Last year, Akash and I visited Jaipur. It is one of our yearly trips and the occasion was Noni’s birthday. We do this every single year and it is one of my highlights. While the occasion is undoubtedly special, the city too is one of my favourites. I like Jaipur very much, find it extremely beautiful, and never fail to get mesmerized by the number of gorgeous details every corner of the city holds. The Pink City is very dear to me and I love the ochre buildings of its old town, the lakes, the hills with their breathtaking viewpoints, the dazzling palaces, its vibrant markets, the artisan’s workshops, and the tiny stepwells tucked away in its various niches. It is a city which seems to have been made for travel photography and the streets of Jaipur are full of life.
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The vibrant details of Jaipur
There’s a lot of action going on in Jaipur during the day and from richly decked camels ambling by magnificent palaces to ladies in colourful saris performing some intricate ritual, Jaipur streets hum with photographic moments. The old ochre buildings and their facades add to the charm and the multi-coloured turbans of the men complete the city’s oomph factor. Apart from these exotic details, Jaipur has the quintessential Indian city features of chaotic bustle, crazy traffic, immobile cows, pesky monkeys, and curious onlookers.
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How is it to be a street photographer in Jaipur?
Strolling around the streets of Jaipur with a camera is one of the rewarding city walks and there are lots of candid moments to capture. Similar to most places in the world, the people of Jaipur react to the camera in a very predictable way. They are either very friendly or very unwelcoming and then there are the curious talkative bunch belonging to the hidden corners which are tucked away from well-known destinations. Since our last Jaipur visit gave us ample time to explore those hidden corners of the city, Akash and I met with many friendly smiles, candid moments, and gorgeous photos. Our guided tuk-tuk drives took us to many crafts’ workshops and we loved the looms, prints, dips, and dyes.
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Choose your own Jaipur tuk-tuk tour today
Presenting a photo essay on the streets of Jaipur as we experienced on our last visit in the summer of 2018. As mentioned before, there will be lots of artisans’ workshops shown here and I am including the names of these places, should you choose to visit them. By the way, my guide in Jaipur was Dinesh. He is a tuk-tuk driver who comes with an impeccably clean autorickshaw, safe driving skills, and kind manners. Dinesh knows Jaipur inside out and offers tuk-tuk tours based on the customer’s needs. I highly recommend him and Dinesh can be contacted at +91-09314870222.
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Jaipur handicrafts and artisans
As mentioned before we explored the handicrafts and artist’s workshops with Dinesh, our tuk-tuk driver and guide. He took us to several places, was patient while I asked a zillion questions, explained a lot of rituals of the Teej festival which was going on at that time, and never once pressurized me to buy something. The tour was for 3 days and each day we spent around 5-6 hours exploring different handicrafts which are being made in Jaipur. Dinesh took us to the gem jewellery makers, wooden block print carvers, tie and dye artists, block printers, embroiders (gota patti and mukaish artisans to be more precise), blue pottery workshops, and the interesting street of silver-gold foil craftsmen. That was the most interesting lane and we could hear a synchronized bang-bang from a distance. The sound turned out to be of the hammers of the pannigars or the foil makers being beaten consistently and repeatedly in a naturally synchronized manner. It was an incredible moment and I stared in awe at the artists who were diligently beating sheets of gold and silver while watching the world go by from their street-front shops.
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A tentative plan for a Jaipur handicrafts tour as done by me
If you are interested in exploring the incredible world of Jaipur handicrafts, then you can either book a customized tuk-tuk tour with Dinesh or check out the workshops and streets mentioned below.
1. Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre – Near Jain Mandir, Amer Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India (While I looked around inside this big shop and art center, Akash was busy stringing beads which have been kept to keep the young travelers busy.)
2. Gem Polishers – Back lanes of Johari Bazaar (Please note that these workshops are rudimentary with poorly lit, unsafe working conditions. There were no children being employed at the time of my visit)
3. Soheb Block Maker – Jivan Lal Marg, near Puliya, RJ SH 12, Dada Gurudev Nagar, Sanganer, Jaipur (Most of the wooden block print stamp shops are in this area. You can see the artists working on the street-front shops.)
4. Silver/Gold Foil Makers or the Pannigars – Pannigaron Ka Mohalla near Subhash Chowk, Jaipur (The pannigars shops are lined facing each other in a block. The area is not very clean and keep a lookout for rash incoming traffic.)
5. Jai Texart Hand Block Printers – 36-37, Chandpol Bazaar, 2nd Floor, Jaipur (This is a super professional workshop held in a clean, well-lit, and ventilated studio)
6. Master Leheriya Dyers Workshop, Old City, Jaipur (This is the tie and dye workshop.)
7. Clay Botik – Panchsheel Enclave, 29, JLN Marg, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302018, India (For a complete blue pottery workshop or process overview)
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