The local arts and crafts culture in Jaipur is as fascinating as its religious monuments and palaces. Shopping varies from traditional market places brimming with bargains to more refined options that offer gems and jewelry.
Brightly colored carpets and hand-woven fabrics can be purchased at the majority of the street markets and it is common to haggle over the price with stall owners looking to sell you a bargain. Camel leather is a popular item widely available in Jaipur and everything from purses and handbags through to shoes and sandals made from camel hide line the stalls in the markets.
Handicrafts sold in Jaipur are renowned across the country for their elusive variety and distinctive qualities and artisans and craftsmen ensure that there is a wealth of locally made crafts available at the street markets. There are two malls, Crystal Mall and Metropolitan Mall, filled with brand names and fast food outlets but the authenticity of haggling at a local market is undeniably far more interesting than trawling an Americanized shopping plaza.
This is one of the main market areas in Jaipur and it is home to a wide selection of jewelry stores, fabric stalls and handicrafts, with the crowds easy to avoid first thing in the morning before most tourists venture from their hotels.
This bazaar sells some of the city's best gemstones and gold, with a large selection of stores and stalls selling everything from cheap trinkets to flashy jewels and gems. There is also a large selection of textile shops located in the bazaar that sell everything from tie-dye clothing to batiks.
Popular among shoppers looking for leather-wear, Tripolia Bazaar has a seemingly endless collection of markets and shops specializing in camel leather handicrafts such as sandals, shoes and purses. Early mornings and evenings are the best times to visit the bazaar, when the city is at its coolest.
One of the most popular department stores in the city is located in Bani Park and it sells everything you might need from clothing and electronics through to cosmetics and accessories. Weekends are particularly busy and should be avoided while evenings and mornings welcome the chance to shop in complete calm.
This shopping mall is home to an immense variety of handicrafts and locally made jewelry and although the stores here are more expensive than the markets and bazaars, the quality of the goods is more stable and the convenience of shopping without haggling can be a relief.
Keen bargain hunters will enjoy surfing the markets and bazaars for the ultimate hidden gems. It is often advisable to trawl the markets in the morning and the evening, out of the heat of the midday sun. High-end brands and name products can be found in the malls and it is vital to keep bartering in perspective and only haggle down to a price that you are happy to pay rather than getting caught up in the banter and demanding an unfair discount.