All throughout my stay in Jaipur a thought kept swinging back and forth like a pendulum in my mind. ‘What took me so long to come to this land of mysticism?’ To be honest I found no answer to that question. But the fact that I never felt this way for any other place I’ve travelled to in the past, gave me a strong sense of belonging.
Jaipur is a city inundated with pink but its past is parched in the ethereal confluence of love and hospitality. A hospitality that often beckons the guest to bow their head in a sense of overwhelming gratitude.I was hounded by dreams where ever I went, dreams of a life that was submerged in the celebration of excess. The colors bamboozled me and transported me to an era of cultural mysticism. The music hit many chords before it rests in the inner sanctum of peace and tranquility. The shops are laden with relics of the past created in its modern avatar.
As a traveler I make it my sole mission to scout for quaint, eclectic and non touristy boutiques, eateries & shops. The pink city was like a treasure trove where I found some of the most exotic hand block printing textiles and sustainable fabrics. As much as I love styling my clothes and accessories I am a complete home birdie who impartially enjoys adorning my home with aesthetically rich yet sublime cushion covers, table mats, linens, bedspreads and what not!
For all those shopaholics, here are some of my favourite ‘Hand block printing’ places to look out for when in Jaipur.
Anokhi is a blend of contemporary sensibilities with that of traditional. They are considered pioneers of the hand block printing technique. Dyeing with vegetable colours has been their oldest colouring technique.
Pricing : Value for money
2) Inde Rooh by Karan & Raghav
Inde Rooh, a cutesy little boutique hidden right below a popular rooftop restaurant Peacock ( Which I haven’t been to FYI) was recommended to me by a kind salesperson from another store. I was instantly seduced by the name ‘Inde Rooh’ and then I flipped over their à la mode garments. The duo are known for contemporary apparels and home furnishings.
My Buys: I picked their hand block print button down cotton shirts.
Pricing : Economically Priced.
3) Thahryamal Balchand ( Since 1918)
Established in the year 1918, Thahryamal Balchand carries forward a legacy of manufacturing home furnishings. Their textiles use the finest cotton, silk yarns & fabrics keeping in sync wit the timeless textile printing techniques. At their flagship store in Jaipur you can get home furnishings and linens at a whole sale price.
Pricing : Value for Money
4) Arawali Textiles Pvt Ltd.
On our return from the Amer Fort, my driver took the liberty to introduce us to this shop. From the outside I had already gauged that I am in for some serious business. As you enter the shop, you walk through skilled craftsmen at work. The idea is great, as it educates tourists from around the world on how Hand block printing is actually done.
Let me start by saying, Soma’s array of household textiles are beyond incredible. They cater to clients with all types of preferences. From bright red cherries motifs to ethereal patterns. Soma endorses nontoxic chemical, mineral and vegetable colors. Chemical dyes have replaced vegetable pigments to withstand present day washing and colourfast requirements. Block printed textiles reflect the touch of human hands, sensibility and skill of the craftsmen; and they represent a heritage craft that if we do not respect and protect may be lost forever. Soma joins all those people around the world who are working hard to keep these traditions alive.
Another place you must not leave Jaipur without visiting is ‘Hot Pink’
6) Hot Pink
Hot pink is an out and out multi designer luxury hub that you will find in the city of Jaipur. Some of the most talented designers from Jaipur and around the world showcase their exquisite array of quirky backpacks/handbags, new age Jewelry, authentic pashminas, fine fabrics and contemporary home decor. The exterior and interior of Hot Pink is tastefully done as it is situated in the gardens of Narain Niwas. You need some quality time to explore all the stores when at Hot Pink. I hear the best time to visit this place would be during the monsoons, its just about that time of the year when the garden is lush green and you are more likely to see a peacock fluttering around from one of the store windows.
I hope this post was useful to you. Do share your views and thoughts with me. Don’t forget to leave your comments as I love to see them coming in.