West India is marked by a few of the most popular tourist destinations of the country, namely- Rajasthan, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat. These states and territories, represent a myriad of cultures, religions, ethnicity, cuisines and even terrains- from the tropical beaches of Goa to the colourful deserts of Rajasthan- the western half of India, has so much to offer!
Today, we shall not be discussing the gastronomical or scenic faculties of these states, but rather something that gives us a therapeutic feeling and an oxymoronic rush at the same time- yes, we’re talking about shopping!
There are just so many wonderful things that these places have to offer! From small memorabilia to stunning home décor, the list is never ending. So without further ado, here’s the ultimate shopping listopia, West India edition:
The largest state of India and home to India’s famous Thar desert, Rajasthan is a vivid visual treat! But it is also the land of famous Indian textiles and spices. Here’s what all you can score in Rajasthan:
Bring on the bling, with some intricate jadau jewellery from Rajasthan. The state is popular not only for its gems but also for the jewellers who create precious masterpieces out of uncut diamonds aka jadau jewellery.
Rajasthan is the proud state where gota patti textiles originated. Often worn during Indian celebration, this textile uses an appliqué technique to create stunning designs over fabrics. We highly recommend indulging in some pretty suits or sarees when there.
3. Miniature Paintings
Also known as Mughal Paintings, these small and extremely complex paintings done on fabrics and canvas, depict scenes from mythologies or royal courthouses and make for exquisite home décor elements as well.
Rajasthan is a gastronomical paradise and the foodie in me is compelled to mention that you get the most scrumptious “Kachoris” (deep fried crispy dough balls stuffed with pulses or vegetable) there! But apart from devouring these delicious goodies you can also indulge in the spices that can help you recreate this dish and many others at home. The state is actually referred to as the ‘king of spices’, for the prime quality of the spices found here.
A visit to this state is incomplete without the entertainment of a musical puppet show! These puppets are available for sale at nearly every corner of every street and make for excellent show pieces and gift items.
This western state of India is known for its bewitchingly beautiful, and largest in the world, salt desert in the Rann of Kutch. Of course, no mention of Gujarat is justified without the recall of the Gir National Park which is the natural habitat of the majestic Lion. But sights aside, here’s what all you can find in the shops of this Western state:
1. Textiles and Clothing
Gujarat is where India’s iconic tie and dye textile- Bandhani originated. You can find yards of this gorgeous fabric in all the colors you can imagine and more. Not only that, you can get the fabric fashioned into a traditional ‘chaniya-choli’ (festive wear) by one of the skilled seamstresses usually on site. You can also indulge in luxurious Patola Silk Sarees there that make great heirlooms owing to how intricate they are and how precious the art of creating them is.
You can always count on Gujarat to turn you into a foodie with the array of savoury and sweet delicacies the state offers! No trip to any part of Gujarat is complete without stuffing your suitcase with packets of treats for you, your midnight binges and your loved ones!
The natural landscapes of the state provide plenty of inspiration for artistic expression, and that might be precisely why you can find beautiful works of art, created by the tribes from here. Warli Painting, Rabari Embroidery, Pithora Paintings, and Rogan Painting are the various forms of art that adorn fabrics and wall arts found in the state.
The coastlines of Maharashtra get major tourist traffic for their scenic beaches, the sensational food and the magical pull of the ‘mayanagri’ (literally ‘city of dreams’) Mumbai, which also happens to be the economic capital of the city. But apart from the beguilingly beautiful sights and gastronomical delights, here’s what your retail therapy can get you here:
Maharashtra is most famous for the expensive and exquisite Paithani Silk. Named after the town it originated in, this fabric is weaved to create stunning designs using zari and silk. The artisans creating them take years to perfect their skill, which is why a Paithani saree is today considered an heirloom.
2. Lacquer Ware
Pretty lacquer jewellery can be found in every nook and cranny of Maharashtra. They make memorable and cost effective presents for loved ones and cute memorabilia for you!
3. Kolhapuri Chappals
The iconic Indian design of footwear originated in its namesake district in Maharashtra in the 12th century, and continues to be in vogue till date. You can find them in both feminine and masculine designs, so be sure to pack a pair for all your dear ones.
India’s very own party central offers way more than pretty sunsets and tropical sands. Here’s what you can find on your adventures there:
1. Cashews Nuts
Stock up on your year’s worth of cashews, the next time you visit Goa. The cashews grown there are humongous in size and taste great too. Cashews are grown in such abundance in Goa that you are likely to find them priced lower here than in other parts of the country.
2. Kokum juice
The small fruit, kokum is known for its medicinal properties, particularly against acidity. In Goa you can find juiced and bottled versions of the fruit that can be diluted and enjoyed on a hot summer day.
3. Kunbi Sarees
These cotton sarees, with large checks on them, represent the local weave of Goa. Though a formerly lost art, it has seen a massive revival recently as local designers have started using the pattern in their creations.
With this list as your ready reckoner, next time you visit the western states of India, you might want to go with empty suitcases and come back with these gorgeous treasures...What say ?