I bought these fabulous jhooties in Jaisalmer- they were from a little shop in the main square (Ganhdi Chowk) and are made from camel leather. More comfortable than slippers.
They also sold camel-skin bags and belts.
What to pay: My jhooties cost me R100. A bag I bought cost R200.
The embroideries in the South-Western region of Rajasthan are amazing. Traditional wedding dresses, opium bags, and dowery bags come from the desert villages and are then sewen together to make magnificant wall hangings. The villagers are selling their heirlooms for hard cash. This is a little sad, but it is happening. The embroideries have material that is up to 90 years old. It's quite stunning.
These authentic ebroideries will not be available in 10 years due to the desert village shortage of supply and these traditional garments are slowly being replaced by western ones.
Shankar is one of the best in town and the most honest. His shop is south west of the main gate to the Golden Fort. He has a small half basement with clever signs out front to get your attention. The guys on the opposite side of the road are real jerks, so ask for Shankar.
Ghandhi Chowk lies to the west of the old city near the Amar Sagar Gate and is where the city's main market and shopping areas are located. There are plenty of shops in the small streets that sell all kinds of things. I bought a Rajasthan flute player puppet and a notepad book where the pages are made out of hand-made rice paper and are bound with camel leather. Also, bargain down the prices quoted at you!
This is tucked in a small shopfront you go downstairs to what could be likened to an Alladin's cave of shawls and scarves. In no particular order:
- There is a great assortment of shawls; scarves and stoles available to look at
- The prices are very reasonable
- What you are shown is the real deal (I've been stung in Jaipur from someone who sold me rayon and told me it was pashmina).
- There's a no hassle mindset from the guy who runs the shop. I prefer this to the pushy vendors who follow you down the street after you leave the store, to try and get you to buy.
- Fortunately, there was a credit card facility available, because I wasn't expecting to be buying pashminas in the desert.
What to buy: At this store, I purchased five shawls (pashmina) and some blends of cotton /silk for friends.
What to pay: I found cheaper scarves and shawls could be had for Rs.400 but the better and really nice (I later found out genuine) shawls were around US$50. For the absolute best, you pay a lot more but the quality is unsurpassed.
This shop is meant for manufacturing the Camel leather articles like purses, Money pockets,shoes, Chappals,and a lot od good articles like leather statue of Camel, horses and a lot.. It is worth to purchase and keep in our home. It is just an antique piece BUT The shoes and chappals and money purses we can use , its life is also too much, Leather Waist belts are so nice....
What to buy: As it is a desert so we have to purchase the caps made from Camel leather to protect ourselves from heat....Leather belts,money purses,Camel, horses, dolls and a lot of articles made of Leather...!
What to pay: dallars =100 Max.
The fort is Jaisalmer's main tourist attraction and so you'll find lots of souvenirs in and around the fort for sale. There are plenty of shops in the small streets that sell all kinds of things. I bought a Rajasthan flute player puppet and a notepad book where the pages are made out of hand-made rice paper and are bound in camel leather. Also, bargain down the prices quoted to you!
Buying something made of yellow sandstone is something which is REAL Jaisalmer, because one wouldn't find this anywhere else in Rajasthan.
What to buy: I bought a bowl (mid sized) and a glass made of yellow sandstone!
What to pay: It cost me about Rs. 75 each!
A large outlet, with portraits of Gandhiji, J P, Ambedkar etc adorning the walls, run by the local handicrafts cooperative society. Also adorning the walls are exquisite hand-woven stoles, wall hangings, blankets etc.
What to buy: A must-buy at this outlet are gift items made of sandstone, the same raw material that went into the making of Jaisalmer Fort. You may opt either for hand-polished or machine polished items from this range.
My particular favourite was a set of six liqueur glasses that I pounced on.
The store also offers round-the-year rebates on woven items.
What to pay: Prices are fixed. But rebates on specific items are offered, which are boldly announced in all parts of the shop
Incredible choice. Their collection is unbelievable. My personal favorite was the tibetan jewellery collection. But you can also find lovely Rajasthani silver tribal jewellery. They also have more classical pieces, mostly in silver with or without gemstones. Prices are reasonable and you don't have to "bargain till you drop".
What to buy: Tibetan necklaces !!!!!!! But seriously: apart from the jewellery, they also sell nice textiles, shawls, rugs, statues and singing bowls. But I would go back for the jewellery...
What to pay: Anything from 150 rupees to 10 000 ... Depends of what you want to buy...
Jaisalmer's fruit and veg market is located just outside the southern walls of the fort (exit out of the fort and turn left). I like walking around markets in foreign countries, especially fruit and veg markets but Jaisalmer's was fairly small in size but the few stalls that make up the market were brimming full of good looking locally grown produce. I think there's another market further round the corner from this one. There's also a few stalls down a side road on the way to the train station.
There are a number of carpet shops in or near the old Haveli sandstone homes and in the Fort that offer a fantastic range of carpets, rugs all in the local Rajasthani style.
What to buy: Look out for rajasthani mirror work, rugs and blankets.
Amongst the most beautiful crafts I have ever seen.
What to pay: A big range of prices. I didn't have confidence in my knowledge so I didn't buy. So do your homework first (I later bought a nice, but lesser quality carpet in Kathmandu).
I've been searching for SO long in so many cities for something like this and found it when I least expected it.
This store has an amazing collection of gorgeous stones of all kinds -- onyx, jasper, aquamarine, quartz, sandstone, aventurine, etc. They are in several colors and shapes like eggs, bowls, figurines, animals, natural formations, etc.
Super place to buy gifts!
What to buy: The bit I liked most were the pendants! You could use them in keychains too. They are in nice little shapes or free-forms.
I suppose if you look hard you can find something a bit similar online, but it's just not the same as going through a treasure chest of goodies. Besides, this is kind of the source (the store owner said he exports them too), here they're available for Rs20 to Rs60 each!! It's a steal.
What to pay: Big budget or small, as little or as much as you like, either way you will get something unique. Bargain a bit.
For once, a shop where it is not JUST about getting your money. I actually learned a lot about Indian art while shopping. The guy has very nice printed information cards about everything he sells (and it is really well researched and well presented), and has travelled quite a lot all over India, so he truly knows his stuff.
Of course it is also about getting your money, but he does have an unbelievable jewelry collection and bronze statues and signing bowls, and thangkas and mandalas, and shawls and rugs and embroidered kurtas, and... well, you get my point. There is a lot of quality stuff to choose from, so I dare you not to be tempted to buy anything!
Good place for finding this unique piece you were looking for.
What to buy: Jewellery
What to pay: Well... depends on what you want! A cute bag or scarf will definitely be less than 500-1000 rupees (depending on the quality). But if you want that awesome gold and silver carved mandala, you might have to cough up a bit more!!!
If you visit the Nathmal-ki-Haveli or Patwon-ki-Haveli, you'll no doubt be shown round some antiques which are an attraction in their own right. The shops are brimming over with stuff such as small boxes, wooden door frames, wooden panels, camel bone, metallic figures amd paintings. They're just like aladin's cave.
What to buy: Shopping is a must but one must understand what to buy. Lot of stuff sold in this city actually does not belong to this place. Hence tie-n-die bedsheets, leather stuff and stone handicrafts are the 'Originals'. Otherwise you can get a lot of handicraft and dress materials. Bargaining is a must and the best way is not to show too much interest in a stuff you are ready to die for and start walking out of the shop. This helps tremendously.