One of the most prominent tourist destinations of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is aptly called, 'The Golden City'. Founded in the 12th century, this World Heritage Site attracts people to its museums, desert festival, Jain temples and palaces. The Gadsisar Lake, the Jaisalmer Fort, the Khaba Fort, the Patwon ki Haveli and the Indo-Pak border are some familiar destinations which are at the top of the bucket lists of the tourists. However, whether you are visiting the city for its sand dunes or its Havelis, any trip to Jaisalmer is incomplete without exploring the labyrinths of markets. Here is your guide to the what and where of shopping at Jaisalmer.
What to Buy in Jaisalmer?
1. Mirror Work Embroidery
The famous mirror work embroidery on vibrantly coloured fabrics reflects the colourful culture of the state of Rajasthan. Jaisalmer is a hub for mirror work products like cushion covers, banjara bags, quilts, bed covers, wall hangings and Kantha quilts. These are elegant, fade-proof, strong inbuilt and lightweight. The traditional craft is given a contemporary touch in various handicraft products and is a must buy for fashion fiends.
2. Camel Leather Products
The craft of creating products from leather goes back to ancient civilisations. Today, leather products of India, are not only catering to domestic needs but are also being exported to different countries. Cities like Jaipur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer are renowned for their products made of camel hide. This includes a variety of products like bags, mojaris, purses, phone covers, files, hats, jackets, key chains, diaries and saddles. An interesting product which is made of camel leather is Kopi, a special kind of water bottle. The decorative leather saddles are also exported worldwide.
Jaisalmer is famous for its intricate gold and silver jewellery. The intricate Rajasthani jewellery includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets, anklets, etc. What sets the jewel apart is the unique cut of the stones. The stones are hand cut and polished manually. The local markets also offer a variety of junk jewellery at low prices.
4. Fossil Stone
The Hadur Stone which carries the residuals of aquatic species from over 180 million years ago, is famous for its mystical properties. This ancient and beautiful stone is believed to have medicinal properties. Not only this, but it is also claimed that the stone can be used to ferment milk into yoghurt without the aid of a starter culture. The stone is only available in Jaisalmer and Fatehpur Sikri. It is reddish-brown with dark patterns and can be seen on the floors of Jain temples at the Golden Fort. The stone is sold at various prices, from Rs 150 to Rs 5000.
5. Souvenirs and Gift Items
Brassware, rugs, shawls, carpets, carved wooden boxes, antiques, lamps, trinkets and other curious are some of the easily and widely available items which are worth buying in Jaisalmer.
Where to go for Shopping in Jaisalmer?
1. Bhatia Bazaar
Location: Bhatia Bazaar Timings: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
With its array of shops selling woodworks, mirror embroidery, dress materials and decorative pieces, Bhatia bazaar displays the Rajasthani charm of Jaisalmer. The bazaar is located in the main region of Jaisalmer. It is one of the oldest markets and a popular spot for tourists. The bazaar is famous for its silk, souvenirs and sarees.
2. Sadar Bazaar
Location: Sadar Bazaar Timings: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
This is one of the main markets of Jaisalmer which sells a wide array of products like dupattas, shawls, jewellery, paintings, carpets and particularly leather products.
3. Sonaron ka Bas
Location: Sonaron Ka Bas Timings: 9 AM to 9 PM
Sonaron ka Bas translates into 'abode of goldsmiths'. As the name suggests, this market is a must visit for jewellery enthusiasts. The market is extremely crowded during festive occasions when women throng to buy impressive jewellery of different kinds. The market sells precious and semi-precious stones along with gold and silver jewellery.
4. Pansari Bazaar
Location: Pansari Bazaar Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM
Looking for traditional, ethnic Rajasthani objects? Head straight to Pansari Bazaar. This is the oldest street market of Jaisalmer and is also called the Villager's market. The shops sell a variety of handicrafts and home décor items. It is the best place to purchase traditional clothing items and puppets.
5. Light of the East
Location: Tewata Para, Near Jain Temple
Light of the East is a unique store that sells rare and precious stones and over forty different varieties of crystals. Quartz, Jasper, Sandstone, Aventurine, Onyx and Aquamarine are some of the famous stones available here. This enthralling shop keeps a precious piece of Apophyllite which is not for sale.
Manak Chowk is another excellent place to purchase handicrafts, ethnic jewellery and textiles. It is one of the oldest marketplaces which was highly prominent in the medieval period. It showcases the skill of the local artisans and aptly reflects the culture of Rajasthan.
7. Seema Gram
Location: Amar Sagar Pol Time: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Seema Gram is a good destination to purchase dupattas, scarves and trinkets at a reasonable rate. Here, you can also find the Khadi Gramudyog Bhawan.
Other shopping centres one can explore are Gandhi Darshan, Khadi Gramudyog Emporium, Zila Khadi Gramodan Parishad and Rajasthali, the government store.
Your visit to Jaisalmer is incomplete without satisfying your inner shopaholic. Get enchanted by the market streets and palaces of the city. Jaisalmer offers you the most charming retail therapy with its multitudes of objects and colours.