Rajasthan’s cities such as Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaiselmer are popular not only for the architectural delights but also for being a treasure trove for shoppers. Silver jewellery, Lac bangles, home-decor items, block printed clothes, juthis – you can go berserk shopping in these cities. And so, when we booked to spend Diwali in Udaipur, I drew up my ‘must-buy’ list – Jutis (decorated leather sandals) for myself, a few ghagra-cholis and Salwar suits for Ridi, block-printed bedcovers, a Leharia saree, Kurtas for Jayant, Rajasthani jewellery. Question was, where could I get a good bargain? The hotel staff, guides, our taxi guy helped me with the answer:
Where To Shop in Udaipur? Mostly, you will get 2 options –Jagdish Market and Hathi Pol. We tried out both and here’s what we found:
• Jagdish Market in Udaipur: This market is named after the famous Jagdish temple in the old city of Udaipur. One look, one casual price inquiry and you will know that this market caters largely caters to the foreign tourists. A simple wooded camel cost INR900. Remember buying the same this for INR 70 in Jaiselmer. So they jack up by price by more than 90%, eh? I wondered. Let’s check out the rugs, I told Jayant. INR 12,000 for a 5 by 3 feet simple-looking rug!! Phew! Some ‘rugs to riches’ story here. I had made up my mind – I won’t purchase even a thread from the Jagdish Market.
Know that Jagdish Market comprises several dolled-up lanes selling everything from Ayurvedic Spa massages to shawls to jackets to Jutis to Jewellery to Stamps to Paintings to Furniture to Rugs and Upholstery to Brass Statues to anything. You name it, they have it. I was headed out though. To the Hathi Pol market.
• Hathi Pol market in Udaipur: Hathi Pol market isn’t very far from the Jagdish Market. Being a small town, every place is about 5-10 minutes away in a car. Closer, if you are in those lane-maneuvering-mean-machines, the Auto Rickshaws!!
At first glance, Hathi Pol looked more like a market for the locals. Aha. This is what I was looking for. Enter Hathi Pol and you’d be spoilt for choices – rows and rows of shops selling their specialised wares be it Juthis, Bandej/Leharia Sarees, block-printed bedcovers, lovely traditional wear for children. I shopped to my heart’s content here. And why not? The Juthis were about INR 150 – 200 per pair depending on the workmanship. Hey! The last time I bought a Juti was in Delhi Haat about 7 years ago, and if I remember clearly, it was for 150 bucks!! Seemed to me that inflation had not touched their pricing in Udaipur!!
Well then, regular use bed-covers came between INR 400-600, with some very nice one costing only INR 900. Beautiful kurta-pyjamas and frocks for kids were selling for INR 150-250. The type of quality you get in the city malls for IINR 500 and more!! The Bandej (the famous tie and dye sarees of Rajasthan) sarees came in all sorts on ranges – starting from INR 250 to 15,000. Take your pick per your choice and budget!!
Hope this post helps you to make up your mind when you go shopping in Udaipur. Do give me your feedback.