Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II founded Jaipur in 1727 AD with an idea of establishing it as a major trading hub in the North India. The city planners ensured wide roads, symmetric shop front on all major roads where markets were to come up. The adherence to the layout is evident in this picture of the famous Johari Bazaar of Jaipur at the end of 19th century or early 20th century.
This is how the current picture of Johari Bazaar compares with the old picture.
The situation changed completely in last ten years. Traffic, congestion, Chaos , noise and parking problems started surfacing in the traditional markets in the walled city of Jaipur.
The congestion & traffic pressure compounds due to the high density of population living in and around these markets. A large number of tourists also flock to these traditional bazaars to shop & explore. Tourist sites like Hawa Mahal, City Palace etc are in the close vicinity. These markets are still dominant in respective trades like jewelry, handicrafts, wholesale flower market etc. This creates a huge pressure on the existing infrastructure inside the traditional heritage markets of the walled city like Johari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Sirehdyodi Bazaar etc.
From 1980’s, secondary markets started developing in localities across the city reducing the dependence on the old & traditional markets. In last 10-15 years, malls and modern shopping complexes started springing up across Jaipur luring the shoppers. Some made a switch for the swanky malls to avoid the traffic, chaos and noise, one confronts in the old Bazaars. After all, Malls offered convenience, ease, escape from the heat & dust. You don’t have to do bazaar hopping anymore!
Even then there are large number of shoppers who remained loyal to these old markets. Section of shoppers made a switch only to revert back to the old ways of shopping after experimenting with the modern shopping experience. I’m sure you must be wondering, why some people love these chaotic bazaars? let me tell you these bazaars cannot be replaced by the modern shopping complex, malls and hyper-markets.
Most malls primarily offer lifestyle products and brands. You find same brands and similar assortments across various malls in the city; offering very little variety to choose from. In comparison, there is so much variety in these Bazaars. You can practically buy everything you need; You name it, they got it. Fruits, vegetables, shoes, hardware, daily need….everything is available except the lifestyle brands. There are many sellers selling their goods with a unique assortment, quality and prices.
Why a traveler & photographer should explore Jaipur Bazaar?
These streets are lively. There are so many characters on the street. Channa jor garam seller, old coin seller, handicraft seller, book seller…
Read Milk Seller/ Jaipur Market/ Murli Gurjar where this picture first appeared.
It’s difficult to list them all here. Walking down the street amid the chaos, traffic snarls, dust, noise might be painful for a few but this is a real treat for those interested in exploring and experiencing. True local experience.
Read Doodh Mandi – Milk Market of Jaipur ! where this picture first appeared.
Read Mochadis & Jutis where this picture first appeared.
Malls across the world are similar be it Mantri mall in Bangalore, Siam Paragon in Bangkok, Pavillion in Kuala Lumpur! You are likely to gain more by walking through the local market like Chatuchak market in Bangkok, Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Greenwich market in London than malls. Each bazaar has its own flavor & character which one must experience. This holds true for Jaipur as well. Even though I have walked through bazaars of Jaipur all my life, every time I walk through these streets I get to see and experience something new! I highly recommend walking through the Johari Bazaar of all places in Jaipur.
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