One thing which most of the people do on a holiday trip is to shop. It is something like a must do. Shopping in Jodhpur is an exciting and rewarding shopping experience for the visitors. It is the homeplace of many talented and skilled craftsmen. They include textile dyers, metal engravers and die-makers. Jodhpur is regarded as one of the most famous hub for wholesale export operations in India and attracts significant number of European and North American dealers.
Bhandari Exports and Nitisha are two stores which can be termed as a shopper's paradise. There are so many choices to fulfill your thrust of shopping viz. Believe it or not - but you can complete your All India shopping for yourself, friends and family. You name it and you get it.
Bhandari Exports are wholesalers of antiques, handicrafts, furniture, jewellery and textiles - but the good thing is you don't need to order in wholesale. They do cater to needs of tourists and others who are looking for just one off pieces and what's better they do it at wholesale prices. We went to about almost every such shop on the main road, but didnt find such prices. The main road shops were very high priced. In contrast Bhandari Exports were good with prices (in some cases 4 times less than what we saw at other places). They did bargain somewhat but not much.
Nitisha is a retail outlet which does clothes for both men and women, bed covers, bed sheets, cushions, silver and semi precious stones jewellery, decorative items, handicrafts items, candles, indian/arabic/thai fragrances and gift packing material at low prices.
Both the places were close by. Just a 5 minute walk - which means you could do both together.
From the main circuit house road, take a left and you'll see the school about 100 mts from the main road. The next store is Nitisha and just adjacent to that is Bhandari Exports. Btw Bhandari Exports has 14 showrooms but this is the main showroom. Plus its close to the other store Nitisha and easily accessible. If you tell them what you are looking for - they could direct you to their other stores as per your need.
What to buy: Jewellery - some of the best we saw in Delhi and Rajasthan at real reasonable prices.
Bedcovers - both etnic and modern
Show Pieces and Souveniers - for gifts and self
Antiuqes heaven if you're a collector
Clothes - specially the ones for women
What to pay: You can spend anything from Rs 100 to Rs 100000............
Depending on what interests you.
However expect a little (by little i mean... very little) bargaining. If you have shopped at other places in Jodhpur or Delhi - u wouldnt find the need to bargain because the prices compared were much less.
But we just tried our luck and managed to get a small bargain!
The Sardar Market, which is just off the main shopping area called Nai Sadak, is a good place to buy local crafts and just about anything else. Bargaining is expected, but bear in mind that a lot of work goes into the making of these many lovely items and objects, so be reasonable. The tourist season in India is a short one, and shopkeepers depend a lot on selling to tourists.
What to buy: I found that Jodhpur had a wonderful selection of Bangles. (I have a penchant for collecting them) and I bought many of these. They are exquisite. I also bought beautiful scarves, fabric and a lovely handmade bag.
My very favourite Jooties were also bought in Jodhpur- they are as comfortable as slippers, and I wear them at home almost every day.
What to pay: Bargain- within reason. I paid about R100 for my jooties, and R150 for the bag. The bangles are cheap as chips.
The cloth market is located just south of the fruit and veg market and really is a network of small passageways lined with small open shops stacked from floor to ceiling with brightly coloured cloth. The colours are really bright reds, pinks and yellows and really stand out.
I like walking around markets in foreign countries, especially fruit and veg markets and Jodhpur has a fine one in the Sardar Market where the Clock Tower is located. The fruit and veg market is located to the west of the Clock Tower and features many stalls brimming full of good looking locally grown produce.
Sardar Market lies right in the middle of the city centre and is dominated by the landmark Clock Tower that was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh (1880-1911) from where the market takes it name. The market is a must visit even if you're not going to buy anything as it's a marvellous human spectacle where you can people watch and see the going's on of a thriving Indian market in a busy city. Local people sell virtually everything such as bangles, jewelry, fruit & veg, spices, clothes, pottery, baskets etc. It's all full on and in your face and this was one of the best human highlights for me whilst touring round India. Be warned that pushy kids will try and get you into their shops.
On your way to the Umaid Bhawan Palace, you'll pass by several large antique shops that are brimming full with archiectural fixtures and fixings such as doors, doorways, window frames and furniture. Every shop has this stuff stock-piled to the roof so if you have a large luggage allowance, you can stock up and take some home!
What to buy: Strictly speaking, India is not starving nor short of food. The problem is one of wealth distribution, and the fruit cart on the streets of any city in India illustrate well this disparity. We were always surprised at how fruit vendors managed without the least concern nor apology to protect their produce from hungry street urchins that often stood very near by. For the tourist, the concern would be one of health. Are the fruits and vegetables attractive and safe to eat? The answer is yes. The overloaded carts of fruits and vegetables that we saw often had fruit and vegetables that were as lovely as any found in the USA. Scales were used to determine price and produce usually given in a plastic bag. With regards to safety, as long as the fruit can be pealed it's safe to eat. The water supply for farming is no more contaminated that in American or European farming, but the washing of produce is highly suspect. Only in tourist oriented restaurants would I trust the greens. But, bananas, oranges, tangerines, and other such fruits can be pealed to remove the contamination. The prices of such fruit from the vendors on the street is low, so don't pay extra thinking that you are doing anyone a favor. The street vendor is simply a businessman looking for the highest profit. On the other hand, we didn't bother with driving the lowest possible price since we were more concerned getting good fruit than the lowest possible price. Our driver advised us about what was reasonable in price and he was in no position to benefit from the transaction. We often pulled over while in transit between cities, to buy fruit, some of which we gave away to children before it rotted.
Opposite the Govind Hotel and close the the post office is a sweet shop which sells some rajastani specialities.
What to buy: Pyaz Ki Kachori is a must try in Rajastan! Go and try it out!
What to pay: Pyaz Ki Kachori is 12 Rp
Brides once travelled to Jodhpur for their trousseau’s because the prints and dyes were dazzling and the shining lamé work. Today you can find the same fabrics in the bazaars and street shops. In the old city you will find wooden toys, leather goods, paintings, juttees and silver jewellery. At the base of Chhattar Hill you will find old furniture and artefacts.
What to buy: This herb is suppose to help men with their sex life. It says "you will feel in your body hotness and relax from cold and also good for 'sexual strenght'". Ihaven't tried it myself, but the store owner raves about it.
In the middle of the town there is quiet big market and you can get anything in there. As it was just 2 days before going home we spent time buying presents for everyone back home.
Ah, and i get so lovely shoes for myself! :)