Exploring Local Market in Jodhpur

Local markets in all tourist hotspots of Rajasthan offer attractive options of colorful traditional Rajasthani clothing and shoes. I am not talking about the so called Government recognized handloom shops, which the cab driver or rickshaw puller will take you to for his commission. Those shops are generally expensive.


It makes more sense to shop at the gallis, or the narrow by-lanes, in the walled cities. It is always fun to explore these areas on foot as they add a flavor to the visit. On my visits to Jaipur, the shopkeepers often marketed products as ‘made in Jodhpur’, especially chappals/jootis (footwear). On my maiden visit to Jodhpur, I therefore planned to explore the local markets. The visit was for just one night and so I and my wife chose to stay closer to the market. We managed to get a hotel inside Sojati Gate, a noisy locality, but in the market area.

The temptation on a holiday is to stay in calm locality. But on the downside, it will limit your proximity to public conveniences. That would in turn limit your access to the so called tourist shops. And if you rely on cabbies or rickshaw drivers, they are most likely to take you to their favorite shop. A little homework will help you find the market you should visit for different items on your list. If you specifically ask the cabbies to take you to a specific market, they will oblige assuming you are knowledgeable.

Jodhpur is famous for its lahariya bandhini apparels and traditional footwear. The city’s main shopping line is the Nai Sadak, which eventually leads to the Sardar Market. Other notable markets are the Tripolia bazaar, Sojati Gate, Ghasmandi bazaar, Lakhera bazaar and the Mochi bazaar. My hotel was in between the Sojati Gate and the Tripolia Bazaar. Google map will help you understand that these markets exist side-by-side of Nai Sadak.

A typical Jodhopur sightseeing tour takes about half a day, leaving you with an extended afternoon for exploring markets. Initially, I thought of heading to the Nai Sadak, but then, on the advice of the staff at the hotel reception, I set out for the Tripolia Bazar, which was barely a hundred meters from the hotel. It is a cloth market that resembles the gallis (or narrow bylanes) of Delhi’s famous Chandni Chowk. It was full of Marwari style shops, where one has to sit on floors and bargain with the shopkeepers.

The shops were generally selling traditional clothing like Kurtis, Churidar, Sarees, and so on. Choices were aplenty. The prices were even better. My wife was delighted to buy a dupatta (a kind of stoll) for Rs 250. She had bought a similar one at Delhi for Rs 600. It was quite apparent that this is not a tourist market, but a market for locals and hence prices were reasonable. We were probably the only tourists in that market that evening. My wife was delighted with the bargain and picked up more items for at least half the price at Delhi.

Now that we had done with apparels, we wanted to explore the footwear market. When we enquired about shops for buying them, a shopkeeper suggested Muccho Ki Gali (or the Cobbler’s bylane). It was not difficult to find it. We made our way through some narrow gallis and had to ask for directions constantly. When we reached Muccho Ki Gali, we noticed it had about 10 shoe shops. Again the choices were abundant and prices about 30 per cent lower than Jaipur’s, and you can always bargain at these shops.

We decided to explore other parts of the markets very late into the evening, as we still had time on our hand. We went on the shopping spree until shops started pulling the shutters down. I realized that was worth staying close to the market and it’s my favorite strategy when I travel.

Author: Editorial Team

Spice Flair Editorial Team

Comments

  1. Terry Watson says:

    I am planning to visit India next month. I am sure I’ll use some of the tips mentioned in this blog for other cities as well.

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