Sure the monuments are pretty, but there's so much more to Jaipur than just the palaces
Jaipur is a city that is known for many things. From the gota patti, leheriya saris to the handcrafted silver jewellery there's so much that the royal city houses, yet all people talk about are its palaces. So, this World Heritage Day, here's a lot more that you can do and see to delve into the rich cultural heritage that the city of kings has.
Gota Patti is an intricate form of embellishment that was traditionally done through embroidering shiny pieces of zari ribbon onto a cloth. The gota patti or the ribbon can be sewn into the outlines of the cloth or can be sewn across the entire piece. You can go to Bapu bazaar or badi Chaupal to find the best gota work in the city.
Hand block printing is a technique that uses hand carved wooden stencils to print intricate pattern on a cloth. Traditionally the breathable cotton is used for the printing. The printer has to go over the prints several time to make a colourful pattern, the result is beautiful hand printed piece of cloth that will be a wonderful addition to your wardrobe.
You can check out Rangotri and if you want more, the best hand block printers have set up a "Hand Block Printers Cluster" near Bagru, you can go to them and ask them to direct you to the nearest printer/factory.
Food is often the best way to find about a place- any place for that matter; and if we talk of Jaipur, the Rajasthani thali is your safest bet. From dal baati, saag to gatte ki sabzi and shrikhand, thalis generally have enormous options to pick from. Ask your auto wala or local guide to direct you towards their favourite thali place or head to Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar near Bapu bazaar or Chokhi Dhani and have a delish Rajasthani thali.
Jaipur is known for its amazing pottery, if you can get your hand on it, you'll be set for days. The classic use of colour blue (sometimes yellow and black) on white pottery makes for a sight to behold. Get yourself a tea set in the form of a souvenir and remember the beautiful city everytime you sip a cup of tea.
You can go to M.D. Ismail Road it is known to be the best place for finding pottery.
A hub of artists and musicians, Jaipur Kala kendra is a must visit. The centre was designed by the famous architect Charles Correa, it is divided into eight blocks that house museums, an amphitheatre, a library, and art craft displays. There is always something cultural and innovative happening at the center like the drama festivals, music performances, art exhibitions, craft fairs, workshops, discussions, seminars, and film screenings.
So the next time someone asks you what there to see in Jaipur except the palaces, show them this list. Until then, enjoy Jaipur, happy roaming.