Popularly known as the Pink City – due to the extensive use of pink sandstone in its buildings, Jaipur is famous for its lac jewelry, meenakari jewelry, and tie-and-dye and bandhej fabric. However there are also some not-so-popular-yet-fantastic souvenirs you can pick up while in Jaipur. Take a look at these.
A Persian form of painting that was brought into India by the Mughals, and which blended beautifully with our own indigenous designs and themes, to create a unique form of art. One finds many artifacts carrying these paintings – wall plates, coasters, lampshades and lamps, jharokhas, etc. They add a traditional touch to your home which is unique and eye-catching.
Jaipur is in the middle of a desert, so it is only natural to assume the presence of lots of camels, and thus camel leather. While the main markets mostly stock mojris and jutis that are popular with tourists, delve a little deeper into the markets and you will come across some fabulous camel leather accessories – jewelry, bags of every kind, desk accessories, stationery and even lampshades and water bottles (known as kopi’s).
Marble Inlay Work
Did you know that the marble that was used to build the Taj Mahal was brought to Agra all the way from Makrana near Jaipur. So next time you want to buy authentic marble inlay work, you know where to look. Ditch the traditional mini Taj and elephant souvenirs. Go in for the unconventional table tops, floor and wall tiles in all sizes, coffee tables, coasters and trinket boxes.
Lac is a natural by-product made from resin. Lac jewelry is what gives the markets of Jaipur its color and vibrancy. But look beyond the numerous bangles and neck-pieces and earrings, and the baskets full of key-rings, and you will find beautifully crafted coasters, mirrors, photo frames, and even stationery – diaries, pens, pen stands, etc. Oh, and do not forget to pick up those tiny trinket boxes that will make you feel like royalty.
Kathputli / Puppets
These are string puppets made entirely of cloth, and make the most adorable and colorful gifts for toddlers. The authentic kathpulti’s are absolutely infant-safe since they do not use cotton stuffing (instead using layers of cloth) and use only natural colors. You may have to dig a little deeper into the markets to find these authentic kathputli’s. However for adults, they make a great home decor item.
Head over to this page to read more about what you can buy in Jaipur.
“God’s own country” – Kerala – is literally a shopper’s paradise. With it’s rich history of trading, dating to more than 3000 years ago, Kerala has one of the most evolved markets in India, actually anywhere in the world. Kochi , especially was a famous center of spice trade since the times of the Greeks and Romans (Ref: Wikipedia). Since you are reading this post we assume you are looking for the off-beat kind of stuff. Here are some things that you must shop, and also must NOT shop when you visit Kerala.
Must-Buy’s in Kochi
Kerala is known for spices, with spice trade in Kerala dating back as old as 3000 BC. And if you are on a short trip to Kerala, with only Kochi on your itinerary, then you have to pick up your share of spices here. Cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, peppers (the green, white and black varieties), nutmegs and vanilla beans are only some of the spices that you can buy. Each of these spices has its own medicinal properties and most are used for flavoring food and drinks. (more…)
India is a country known for its rich and diverse culture and history. Though there are numerous world heritage sites across the length and breadth of the country that reflect different eras of Indian history, here are our top 10 picks:
Taj Mahal, Agra: Standing first in the new ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, Taj Mahal, was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 for his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. It is a mausoleum for both.
Qutub Minar, Delhi: Located in the Capital of India – Delhi, it is the tallest minar measuring 237.8 ft, and was constructed by Qutub-ud-din-aibak in the year 1192 AD. The construction was completed by Iltutmish. The famous iron pillar in Qutub Complex was set up by a king named Chandra and was set up as Vishnudvaja. (more…)
Urban India has seen a rise in the young population which works hard and parties harder. With a growth in the five-day week corporate culture and tech companies who work round the clock, there has been a burgeoning of the clubbing, pubbing and eating-out joints around the country, prompting us to draw up a list of the top ten rocking cities. Get an overview on what’s hip and happening
National geographic has placed Goa in the sixth spot in their ‘Top 10 Nightlife Cities’ list. The city’s night bazaars and music festivals are a major draw. And the innovative, creative pubs and clubs dotting the state, playing music from around the world are irresistible, as is the lip-smacking Goan cuisine.
It is truly the city that never sleeps. You are sure to get good music, good food and great drinks at a variety of restaurants, clubs and pubs, right into the wee hours of the morning. Even the beautiful promenades fronting the seas are buzzing till late at night.
The nightlife in Bangalore has undergone a stark change in the last five years, becoming the city with the most innovative and diverse options of pubs, clubs and eateries. From micro-breweries to art cafes to organic eateries, the city has whipped up a great cocktail of culture and fun.
Delhi easily makes it to this list owing to its beautiful and spacious lounges, bars, hotels and restaurants among lush green environs and the never say never spirit of its people. The early closing hours are a bit of a dampner, but the spirit of the people more than makes up for it.
College students and techies drive the hip and happening pub and nightclub culture in Pune. It is also one of the safest cities in India, so women can go out with no qualms.
When it comes to fun, people on this side of the Aravallis can’t be far behind. Chandigarh boasts of good pubs and good liquor. Even local markets buzz with all kinds of eating and drinking joints till late in the night.
Considered the hippest of cities, and one of the first to boast of cafes and pubs during the pre-Independence era, Kolkata seemed to lose some steam in the intervening years. Now there is a resurgence of good pubs and nightclubs pulling the crowds to it again.
Hyderabad has seen a mushrooming of pubs and clubs in the last few years, most of it owing to a growing tech and biotechnology industry.
Chennai is one of the few cities to have escaped the time restrictions applicable in most other cities and has lately evolved into a city with an exciting night life.
Though a major tourist spot, the nightlife in this city is still largely pushed by demand from the locals all set to make the most of the day at night.
There is great promise in the changing cultural landscape with people wishing to make the most of every waking and sleeping hour in the pursuit of fun.