Udaipur is a land of opulence, a land of excesses! There is beauty everywhere you look, be it the numerous palaces or the many lakes, the old havelis or the busy bazaars, you see brilliance wherever you look. How, then, is it not possible to want to bring this beauty back with us? And boy, oh boy! How Udaipur caters to this need! With teeming markets with thousands of shops, Udaipur is rife with shopping opportunities that can coax even the most budgeted travellers to indulge in shopping with abandon! What makes Udaipur special, though, from the rest of the shopping destinations in India, is that mostly you get to interact directly with the artisans, the prices are quite low and it is a one stop shop (more like a one stop city) for all the wonderful things you might want to buy from all over Rajasthan. A big added advantage is that the shopkeepers here are adorably friendly, and you might find many anecdotes about the lives of the people here along with the shopping to take back home. So put on your shopping shoes, and head to Udaipur for a quintessential Rajasthani shopping experience! Our guide below helps you figure out some of the more famous things to buy from this beautiful city.
Quite unique to this fabled and opulent land, Udaipuri Razai are exquisitely beautiful silk/satin quilts that are feather-weight light, yet amazingly warm. With bright colours like reds, maroons, purples, greens, and elegant motifs of gold, these quilts promise to add a dazzling royal charm to any room. They can be used as quilt in winters, and as beautiful bed covers in summers. Another variant of these, made of cotton and vegetable dyed prints, are not as warm, but work brilliantly well as AC quilts, and add a very earthy charm to any room. These rich quilts are an easy way to add a touch of royal sophistication to your room, without ever getting garish. And not only are they extremely light (a double bed quilt weighing less than a kg), but they are also highly compact, folding into fairly small packets convenient to carry. Most shopkeepers offer to courier them to your home for a reasonable price.
The beauty of Udaipur is resplendent, and makes its presence felt through myriad different art forms, and none so beautiful as the intricate workmanship of the jewellery here. Be it beautiful antique silver jewellery, resplendent kundan necklaces, exquisite meenakari sets, royal polka sets or the traditional lac jewellery, you can find it all in Udaipur. For all the sighs that escaped our lips for Aishwarya Rai’s jewellery in ‘Jodha Akbar’, Udaipur markets are right out of our dreams! From loud to subtle, expensive to cheap, Udaipur’s bazaars cater to all jewellery buyers with an inimitable panache! Go to Manihaaron ki Gali for some of the best Lac Jewellery in town, and to Palace Road or to Bada bazaar to test your bargaining skills in the innumerable jewellery shops.
Rajasthan is a land of colours, and the vibrancy spills over to the clothes here as well! It is impossible to imagine Rajasthan without thinking about banjara girls dancing in vividly colourful ghagras, the moustached men in traditional bright turbans. In the dull dreariness of the desert, the people of Rajasthan find respite and joy in loud colours. You can find saris and dupattas with unimaginable colour combinations and work – leheraiya, tie and die, gota work, gota patti work and so much more. Men can indulge in the local culture by way of the traditional turbans and vividly colourful jackets. You can also buy the lehengas and ghagras of Rajasthan, the likes of which are impossible to find anywhere else.
Rajasthan is famous for number of styles of paintings from Pichwai paintings to Phad paintings and the famous miniature paintings. Udaipur has numerous shops and stores selling these, and at fairly negotiable prices. Pichwai is a very famous and ancient style of painting, primarily about Lord Krishna. These paintings are usually used to adorn the backgrounds of idols in temples and homes. The Phad paintings are longish panels of cloth with devotional or folk scenes painted on them. And as the name suggests, Miniature paintings are small paintings depicting beautiful damsels, Gods or other scenes from Rajasthani folklore. Whatever your preferences or needs, Udaipur’s paintings can definitely help to make your home ooze with royal charm!
How can we talk about Udaipur, and not talk about the brilliant handicrafts the place has to offer. From wooden toys to intricate sculptures, colourful turbans to leather showpieces, the famous kaath putlis (the hanging puppets), flying lanterns of vivid colours and notebooks of handmade paper, pens and hand mirrors with intricate mirror work, little key rings to add a pop of colour to your daily life, the list is quite endless and very stunning. Much like the spirit of the people of Rajasthan, the handicrafts here are brilliantly colourful, and beautiful beyond measure. You can buy small keepsakes or gift items to carry with you, or get the shopkeepers to ship the bigger pieces directly to your home.