Bikaner is a lesser known place in Rajasthan. Though still a tourist place but not as heavily promoted as Jaipur or Udaipur. I got a chance to explore Bikaner not once but twice and each time Bikaner blessed me with a special person. First time, I met my husband and got married and second time when I was posted here, I was blessed with a baby boy. Bikaner, you have a special place in my heart.
Rajasthan and Shopaholic me is the best combination ever.For some genuine shopping in Bikaner at a negotiable price I ventured inside the lanes and by-lanes and explored the place extensively.
Here’s an insider’s guide on 7 things you must shop in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
When you think of Rajasthan you think of light-weighted, vibrant lehriya sarees that have a sexy feel to it. Apart from lehriya, there are other famous varieties of sarees in Rajasthan like ghatchola, sanaganeriya, bandhini. Each variety is equally beautiful and tempting. My personal favourite is ghatchola saree that tough light weighted give a royal look because of the criss-cross gold lines throught.
Where to buy – Suhaag sarees in KEM road or popularly known as Khajanchi Market is the best place to buy Rajasthani sarees and lehngas. And the good news is that the price is quite affordable.
Bikaner is world famous for Kundan jewellery both original and artificial. You can get Kundan jewellery almost anywhere now – all parts of Rajasthan, Delhi and even online but remember it is manufactured only in Bikaner. So if you want some authentic stuff and breathtaking jewellery designs then Bikaner is your go to place.
Original Kundan jewelry will cost you a bomb but the designs are to die for. There are many who buy their trousseau jewellery from Bikaner.
Trivia: Did you know that Kundan jewellery is made of 24 carat gold which is the purest gold you can ever get? In the old town of Bikaner almost every household engages in one or the other process of Kundan jewellery making.
On the other hand artificial Kundan jewellery is equally beautiful and is .00001 % of the real jewellery cost. So go on and buy to your heart’s content. B.C Jain Jewellers in Bada bazaar is the best shop to buy artificial Kundan jewellery. It is a small shop in a very old house. The entrance is so low that you have to bend to your half then walk through a dark, narrow alley and when you see the shop so small you are like what? Will it be worth all the effort?
You have to sit on the ground. Be prepared for some cramps. The shop is all stuffed with boxes, boxes and more boxes. The owner here has limitless patience. He will show you jewellery one by one and the boxes keep coming and going. I have been there many times and an average time spent there is around 3-4 hours. He has so many varieties of jewellery that it is a shopper’s paradise. Any fauji wife who has been to Bikaner will vouch by B.C Jain shop. He is the biggest wholesaler of Kundan jewellery and thus has an advantage both in terms of variety and price. It is not just shopping, it is a complete experience.
A word of caution: He offers tea that you must politely decline otherwise enjoy the sugar syrup.
Rajasthan and churan shopping go hand in hand. When my relatives came to visit Bikaner they purchased churan worth Rs 2000. “What? Are you insane? Nobody buys so much churan? What will you do with so much?” I asked flabbergasted. They innocently replied:
“But they have so many tempting varieties, I just couldn’t control myself.”
The best part is shop owners will happily let you taste each one of the churan, tell you interesting stories and even become your home remedy doctor. Shop owners in Bikaner surely have a lot of patience unlike in Gurgaon where I was once chided, “Madam nahi lena hai toh hamara time mat waste karo.”
Some varieities of churan are anardana, hing, garlic, mango, lemon, ginger…it is a long list. My personal favourite is annardana churan.
Apart from churan you should shop for mouth freshener or saunf as we say in India. Again you are spoilt for choice.
Where to buy: Bada bazaar or old Bikaner market is the best place to shop for churan. Though churan is omnipresent you will get it almost everywhere in Bikaner.
Camel Leather Mojri
Camel leather shoes or locally known as Mojri are a must buy in Bikaner. You will get authentic leather and good designs. Camel leather is very soft and cozy, a real treat for your feet. You can pair up with both salwar suits and jeans. Mojris arr available in various colours and are very cheap so you can actually have a matching colour with every dress.
My personal favourite is natural brown camel colour mojri.
Where to buy: There are quite a few shops in the main KEM road that sell jhootis.
I love shopping in Rajasthan. Vibrant colours, beauty and tradition in almost everything. You can’t leave Rajasthan without buying bangles. There are so many varieties and every possible colour under the sun. In Bikaner there are a few good shops right near the railway line on the KEM road. However, I would like to write about choti chaupar bazaar in Jaipur that has one huge lane dedicated solely for bangles. If you are visiting Jaipur you must go there, if not for buying then for the experience and photography.
How can you leave Bikaner without some spicy, tasty Bikaneri bhujiya?
Where to buy: Lalji and Chandmal bhujiya wala in Khajanchi market and Chappan bhog in Rani Bazaar are the best places to buy bhujiya. They will offer you to taste before you buy.
Nokha is a small city close to Bikaner which is famous for making Nokha Razai. The cover of razai is made of tye and dye pattern, it is very light but quite warm. The razai looks beautiful and is quite cheap. You can use them in light winters. A single fibre nokha is just Rs 350 while a double nokha is around Rs 550.
Where to buy: Labuji Ka katla market is the best place to find Nokha. Every other shop in this market will have Nokha.
I am sure there are lot of items that I missed out. Feel free to add on to the Rajasthani shopping list in the comment below.
So what is your favourite Rajasthani product? Have you brought it or wish to buy sometime soon?