picture of johari bazaar jaipur

Old Bazaar vs Malls/ Why I recommend exploring the traditional markets in Jaipur & elsewhere!

Most of the tourists and travelers visiting the city have listed shopping in Jaipur as a big attraction of the pink city. Bazaar of Jaipur like Johari Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar etc all rate high on their list. 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 Bazar Jaipur at the end of  19th century or early 20th century.

vintage picture of johari bazaar jaipur
Old picture of Jaipur market – Johari Bazaar. (Image source – google)

This is how the current picture of Johari Bazaar compares with the old picture.

picture of johari bazaar jaipur
Always buzzing! picture of Johari Bazaar, Jaipur

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.

johari bazaar traffic jam
Traffic congestion in Johari Bazaar, jaipur
Hawa Mahal market sirehdyodi bazaar jaipur
Market near Hawa Mahal, Jaipur – Sirehdyodi Bazaar!

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.

Flower seller at badi chaupar johari bazaar jaipur
Old flower seller  market at Badi Chaupar near Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

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!

metropolitan-mgf-mall-jaipur
One of the mall in Jaipur- MGF Metropolitan
escalator-in-jaipur-mall-india-rajasthan
Technology makes shopping easy!!

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…

Milk seller at Doodh Mandi -Milk Market

Read   Milk Seller/ Jaipur Market/ Murli Gurjar where this picture first appeared.

old coin exchange in jaipur johari bazaar
Coin seller in Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
pan-walla-paan-in-jaipur-jaipurthrumylens-rajasthan-india
Wholesale Paan seller in Ramganj Bazaar, Jaipur

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.

jaipur market johari bazaar
Busy old bazaar in Jaipur
pasta-in-jaipur-for-sale-johari-bazaar-rajasthan-india
wide assortment for sale in old markets of Jaipur
gem stone beads seller in johari bazaar jaipur
Semi precious stone beads for sale on the side pavement in Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
Johari bazaar market picture
try your luck! see what catches your attraction in Jaipur Bazaar!
doodh mandi
Doodh Mandi, Jaipur -Milk Market of Jaipur

Read  Doodh Mandi – Milk Market of Jaipur ! where this picture first appeared.

jootis
Jaipuri Jutis & Mochadis

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 the places in Jaipur.

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exploring old bazaar in jaipur jaipurthrumylens; jaipur shopping speciality #jaipurbazar #joharibazarjaipur

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56 thoughts on “Old Bazaar vs Malls/ Why I recommend exploring the traditional markets in Jaipur & elsewhere!

  1. It seems like another benefit of these types of markets is the ability to cultivate relationships with the vendors, which isn’t really an option for tourists. But vital to locals, I’d think. Thanks for sharing this, Arv!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monica…that’s a valid point. Even for a tourist, there’s so much happening at the same time!
      As you said all these shops offer something for the regulars that modern markets don’t – relationship, good advice and credits!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In places liking johari bazaar there is so much happening. It’s not only a popular shopping destination for the locals, it’s equally popular among the tourists.

      Like

  2. Ah! And it made me feel nostalgic. Beautiful expressed the role of bazaars vs malls. The old bazzars have so much to give from traditional stuff to Street food to multiple brands. Jaipur bazaars offers you a blend of traditional, vibrant and colourful India. Well captured 👍 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Ekta. A lot of get attracted to the glamour of the glitzy malls and shopping centres without giving a thought that they thrive on homogeneity and standardization. The essence of these bazaars is variety. Thank You for sharing your thoughts here Ekta. 🙂
      Have you ever been to Jaipur?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bapu bazaar is certainty a very popular among ladies. Johari bazaar on the other hand has so much variety of things on offer. A gold mine. 🙂

        Like

      2. I suppose for the Block printing! Have you heard about bagru prints? It’s on a similar lines but some difference exists between these two.

        Like

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