Nearly 300 years ago, a stylish maharajah with a penchant for jewels and an eye for architecture built a planned city amid the arid hills of Rajasthan. Called Jaipur after its founder, Jai Singh II, the city hit heights not just for royal palaces, but for the workshops of artisans recruited to establish a new commercial hub. Today, gem cutters, jewelry designers and garment-makers are still flourishing. The streets are awash with color and handicrafts. The Old City alone houses nearly 700 jewelry stores.
Here is our pick of Jaipur’s top ten shops.
Fashion and lifestyle boutique Tokree is based at the charming boutique hotel Alsisar Haveli and owned by its young chatelaine, Sanyukta Singh. Singh, who worked under legendary fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, is passionate about both supporting local artisans and collecting vintage pieces. The whimsical collections include jewel-like handicrafts, elegantly-tailored salwar kameezes, blue pottery, antique paintings, and block-printed textiles. The star buy is the lassi cups hand-painted by Singh herself.
Hotel Alsisar Haveli, SC Road, Pink City, Jaipur 302001 (+91 97722 01320)
Idli is a celebration of all things color. Founded by French interior and fashion designer Thierry Journo, this stylish shop sits prettily in the grounds of Narain Niwas Palace. Combining Journo’s French design aesthetic with the expertise of Jaipur’s craftsmen, Idli is the place to find one-of-a-kind pieces, embroidered, block printed and displayed in ravishing rainbow colors. The shirts in chinoiserie prints are a must-have as are the elegant shawls, which are perfect for al-fresco dining.
Narain Niwas Palace, Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Road, Jaipur 302004 (+91 141 257 0400; www.idlidesign.com)
Hidden among other fabulous shops in the same Narain Niwas Palace enclave, Hot Pink is quite possibly Jaipur’s chicest boutique. Opened in 2005 by Munnu Kasliwal of the Gem Palace family and French jewelry designer Marie-Helene de Taillac, clothes and accessories from both the hottest local designers and India’s biggest names can be found here. Look out for Sophia203, whose pieces are locally-made, using traditional Indian embroidery techniques. Hot Pink also has a shop in Amber Fort, with sweeping rooftop views.
Narain Niwas Palace, Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Road, Jaipur 302004 (+91 141 510 8932; www.hotpinkindia.com)
This bespoke trunk company is the epitome of Indian craftsmanship. Owned by the Mehta brothers and set in the verdant grounds of Rambagh Palace, the shop lives up to its opulent location, offering hand-crafted leather pieces, elegantly detailed and monogrammed to order. From the signature suede quilted lining to the gleaming brass hardware and the wooden trim finish, each unique design is made to last a lifetime be it a trunk for travel, trunk for jewelry or a trunk to house the finest of wines.
133 & 134, Shopping Arcade Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005 (+91 99287 66444; www.trunkscompany.com)
Co-owned by three brothers from Srinagar, Andraab is India’s top cashmere shop. With a desire to revive the heritage of the Kashmiri Pashmina, each exquisite products made in Kashmir from the finest Pashmina, using weaving techniques from 15th-century Persia. Featuring contemporary designs, Andraab’s other focus is on reviving the finest embroidery with whimsical motifs in gold and silver thread adorning the shawls, wraps, bedspreads and other covetable.
Narain Niwas Palace Hotel Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Rd, Jaipur (+91 141 257 0110; www.aandrab.com)
With patrons from the Prince of Wales to Mick Jagger, this Jaipur institution has been standing stately on M.G road since 1852 and been run by the Kasliwal family, former court jewelers to the Mughal emperors, for eight generations. Purveyors of some of the most exquisite jewels in the world, The Gem Palace is an Aladdin’s cave of all that glitters from antique and vintage jewelry from the royal family to a custom-made contemporary creation. A unique archive and a treasure trove to rival the great regal collections of old.
The Gem Palace, M. I. Road, Jaipur, 302001 (+91 141 2374175; www.gempalacejaipur.com)
Owned by designer duo Aavriti Jain and Siddharth Daspan, Teatro Dhora is Jaipur’s first concept store. And that concept is to showcase in one place clothes, jewelry, accessories, and housewares from the country’s most exciting emerging designers. Star buys are fashion-forward garments from Goan ethical label Mogachea and the softly supple own label leather bags. The lightweight cotton pants are great, too, made from block-printed fabrics cut in a contemporary style.
9, Yashwant Palace, Ajmer Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006 (+91 141 402 7979)
For over 500 years old, Sanganer, just outside Jaipur, has been a major handicraft center. In the old days, the village used to supply the Jaipur royal court with delicately-printed cotton textiles for the aristocracy. Today, Sanganer is still the place to visit for block-printing shops, workshops, and factories, where you can watch – and buy – the exquisite products being made. Walk down towards the riverbank to see the enormous, brightly-colored fabrics hanging on huge racks and drying in the sun.
Anokhi means "outstanding" in English. And this classy, upmarket boutique is just that. Block-printed fabrics, tablecloths, bed covers, cosmetic bags, and scarves can all be found here alongside a range of vibrantly-patterned clothing. There’s a wonderful little vegetarian cafe on the premises and an excellent bookshop in the same building. For those interested in textile design history, the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing near Amber Fort is fascinating.
2nd Floor KK Square, C-11 Prithviraj Road, C-Scheme, Jaipur – 302005 (+91 141 4007244; www.anokhi.com)
Championed by Bollywood and international stars alike, this fabulous 40-year-old jewelry house, located in the elegant surroundings of Rambagh Palace, is renowned for its rare craftsmanship and contemporary design. Using rare diamonds and gemstones, every piece is handmade, including a collection of flamboyant standout pieces, exclusively designed by Manish Arora. The Amrapali Museum of Jewellery is well worth a visit, too, displaying nearly 3,000 items of antique silver.
132, Hotel Rambagh Palace, Jaipur 302001 (+91 141 5103156; www.amrapalijewels.com)
These ideas are just a few recommendations but the list of emporiums and shops in Jaipur is exhaustive. To start planning your luxury tailor-made holiday to India, please contact us. Each trip designed by Rajasthan Tours is created uniquely for you, working to your budget, style and interests with an absolute commitment to quality. We take the work off you to allow you to enjoy the most memorable holiday experience.