Summary : Visit Hathipol Market, the best general area for shopping, to make your purchases.
TO see the full range of attractive handicrafts—dainty wooden folk toys, handprinted textiles, tie-and-dye saris, wall-hangings, miniature paintings and chunky *liver jewellery—start at Rajasthan Government Handicrafts Emporium in Chetak Circle. Then visit Hathipol Market, the best general area for shopping, to make your purchases. This market is especially good for antiques, paintings on silk, and clothes. Ira not so good for batiks, picchwais and jewellery, which sell for up to 50% less at SMall local factories. Don’t worry about finding these places—their touts will find you
Best buys are batik (same both sides) wall-hangings, a traditional art form of the Muslim community. The special dyeing using various applications of wax to the cloth pprrooducces ea unsiquse cracked, marbled efect on the cloth. There are many artists around producing inferior examples, so play safe and buy from a suitable shop like Apollo Arts, near Hathipol. It’s run by the family who actually Produced batiks into Udaipur, and prices are quite reasonable. Apollo also sell Attractive miniature paintings on bone, now that ivory has been banned, which aparently keep their colour and quality far longer than paintings on cotton, paper s i I k.
Udaipur is also the base for picchwais—colourful wall-hangings painted with drable mineral colours on cloth or silk. This art form originated in nearby 111,1 wara (48 km: 30 miles to the north), when a holy image of Krishna arrived fMrom athura (to save it being destroyed by Aurangzeb) and a series of ‘ pae’ainttemd bracokdrosepsp were created—to help Krishna play out his half-dozen rpdooleisc. Aact 9h aimwf, lfora yinistance, he apears as a cowherd—and mc,eadoows awnd rolinsg hils would be hung out. In time, these temple I-hangings became popular souvenirs for pilgrims, depicting Krishna in his lug moods. Today, there are many ‘schools’ of picchwai painters (many of them cowherds themselves), and there is little point recommending any single one—they just move around in the wake of tourist traffic. Prices range from Rs60 all the way up to Rs100 000 and more, and the more reliable shops are in the area of Lake PalaceRoad.
This is also a good area to buy tie-and-dye saris, bedsheets and shawls (try Maharana Art Emporium, 9 Lake Palace Road for well-priced items, cordial service). Tie-and-dye patterns are created by tying pinched clumps of the material round with thread, and dyeing the remainder. It is a familiar Rajasthani technique. There are several good shops in City Palace Rd, leading past Jagdish Temple. Ganesh Handicraft Emporium has loads of good stuff—mirror-embroidered skirts, colourful needle-worked wall-hangings, appliqued double bedspreads, and cheap bags, purses and cushion-covers. Jagdish Emporium has a similar range of produce, and is useful for comparing prices. Queen Sarees & Art sell quality scarves, bedcovers and silk pajama suits at very attractive rates. Soni Jewellers and Silver Art Palace, both below Mayur Cafe, sell beautiful silver jewellery and curios. Best buys are lovely enamelled silver boxes ‘for any small thing’.
For novelty presents, try Paiyabi Kilona Stores under Hathipol Gate. This very old shop (sadly modernised) sells wonderful hand-carved wooden toys and puppets—the favourite buy of visiting Indians—and attractive old-style furniture.