Shopping in New Delhi and Jaipur


Visiting India for the first time, I found shopping in New Delhi and Jaipur to be initially quite overwhelming, especially with the heat, noise, different smells and the volume of people generally in the streets. You can easily get lost in the many markets in both cities and the quality varied. After a few days acclimatizing to the surrounds I discovered a few hidden gems that I’ve listed below!

New Delhi

I visited the Khan Market, which is a good place to start when you’re not used to the hustle and bustle of the New Delhi markets. It’s located in South New Delhi, near the India Gate and was just round the corner from the Taj Mahal Hotel where we were staying. With the ex-pat market in mind, Khan Market is open daily, except for Sundays and offers a range of beautiful clothes and home ware boutiques (with fixed prices), bookshops, restaurants and Ayurvedic food and cosmetics. Some of my favourite boutiques there were Anokhi (boho style that would look great in the South of France, Palm Beach or in Bondi), which featured women and children’s clothes as well as soft furnishing like blankets for the home – all export quality and beautifully made. Fab India was also a great find – a little less bohemian than Anokhi there were some great kurtas, light weight pants and skirts for men, women and children. For jewellery there was Amrapali, an incredible chic boutique with the most exquisite pieces with prices to match!


If you’re feeling adventurous check out Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi for fabrics, jewellery, handicrafts and street food. The lanes of Chandni Chowk are divided into bazaars with different specialties.

Connaught Place is also worth a visit for saris, silver jewellery, pashmina and Kashmiri shawls.

We also visited Hauz Khas Village a tiny surburb in New Delhi which is often compared to NYC’s SoHo or Greenwich village. There are some beautiful clothing and jewellery boutiques to be found as well as some beautiful antique and interior design stores if you’re looking to find something for your home! There were some gorgeous restaurants and cafes there as well.


I loved shopping in Jaipur which is well known for its textiles, colourful stone jewellery, pottery and brass work and came back home loaded with some great finds! Some of my favourite discoveries, that I intend to visit again on our next trip back to India include:

Hot Pink India was established by Marie-Hélène de Taillac, a well known French jewellery designer in partnership with the family that runs Gem Palace. There are two locations – the original shop is located in the beautiful grounds of Narain Niwas Palace, Narain Singh Road and is open daily from 10 am – 7:30 pm. The second location is located within the Amer Fort and is a beautiful, cool oasis from the intense heat. Both locations carry a wide selection of clothes, bags, accessories and scarves from local designers from Jaipur like Manish Aurora and Rajesh Singh. We bought some beautiful white cotton shirts for Landry and I picked up an intricately woven belt, block print scarf and dip tied handbag.

Gem Palace is an institution with two locations in Jaipur. The main store is located on MI Road with a smaller boutique to be found within the Rambagh Palace. The quality of workmanship and the variety of stones, metals and styles is undisputed. Starting prices are surprisingly quite reasonable i.e. less than $50 for a simple pair of silver earrings. If you can’t find something you like, you can pick your own stone and design, which is what I did! I left with the most incredible green amethyst solitaire, large quartz drop earrings and two necklaces made from gold/peridot and gold/quartz. The service is impeccable and definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for something a bit special.


Amrapali has 3 locations in Jaipur – along MI Road, in the Rambagh Palace as well as in the Palace Atelier of the Museum City Palace. The pieces are exquisite.

Nayika was super hard to find and our driver had a hard time locating it on MI Road. If you are up for discovering a hidden gem, this little boutique is located at the back of a driveway in a small courtyard behind Tholia’s Khuber, which sells antique silver jewellery. Open from Monday to Saturday, 10:30 am – 7:30 pm you’ll find a beautiful range of unexpectedly chic quilted silk jackets, tops and skirts. You won’t be disappointed.

Anokhi is now a household name in India for their exquisite Jaipuri garments. The Anokhi store in Jaipur, on Prithiviraj Road, is enormous and located on the 2nd floor of a very unassuming office building. It carries a wide range of clothes for women and children, table and bed linen, as well as accessories. The adjoining vegetarian café is a welcome respite from all the spicy food we’d been eating and a great place to enjoy a quick cheap meal.

Anokhi also has a museum near the Amer Fort dedicated to hand-printing and Jaipur’s rich garment-making tradition. It’s a bit difficult to find, but when you do find it, it is worth a visit. If you book early enough, you can learnt to carve your own woodblock for printing and for children, there is an opportunity to decorate their own t-shirt or scarf from a variety of woodblocks and paints.

Soma, also has quality clothes, fabrics, linen and accessories.

Rasa is definitely worth visiting – located behind the Raj Mandir Cinema, adjacent to Cafe Kala Pani, this little boutique is open weekdays 10:30am to 7:30pm and on Sundays 11am to 5pm. The store carries a wide range of beautiful contemporary wood block blankets, sheets, cushions as well as bathrobes and tops. The workmanship is exquisite and I ended up purchasing a quilted reversible blanket with silver block print blossoms, navy blue with silver block print blossom cushions and a beautiful bathrobe.


I also found the boutiques in the top hotels in each city to have a beautifully curated collection of local handicrafts of a superior quality to those found in the markets. It was sometimes worth buying from the hotel boutiques for the quality and not having to haggle for small gifts.



City Palace Udaipur

City Palace Udaipur lake view

City Palace, Udaipur, is a palace complex in Udaipur, in the Indian state Rajasthan, built over a period of nearly 400 years by several kings of the dynasty. It is located on the east bank of the Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar.

The City Palace in Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan, a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, and was built on a hill top that gives a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding, including several historic monuments such as the Lake Palace in Lake Pichola, the Jag Mandir on another island in the lake, the Jagdish Temple close to the palace, the Monsoon Palace on top of an overlooking hillock nearby and the Neemach Mata temple. These structures are linked to the filming of the James Bond movie Octopussy, which features the Lake Palace and the Monsoon Palace.

The City Palace is opened from 9AM to 5PM daily and the entry fee is Rs 115 for foreigners.





City Palace architecture

City  Palace Udaipur details

City Palace Udaipur birdcages

< City Palace Udaipur view


Inside the City Palace Udaipur

City Palace poolside

City Palace Udaipur poolside tree


City Palace decorations

City Palace Flower Decorations

City Palace Udaipur artisan work

City Palace fresco 1

City Palace Fresco 2

City Palace Fresco 3

City Palace Udaipur sunset

Room With A View at the Lake Palace Udaipur


Legend has it that the young prince Maharana Jagat Singh II indulged in moonlight picnics with the ladies of the Zenana on the lake island palace of Jag Mandir until his father found out. With that option closed to him, he built his own palace on a different island in Lake Pichola. Begun in 1743 and inaugurated in 1746, the new palace was named Jag Niwas. What may have begun as a prince’s rebellious gesture was turned into one of the most romantic hotels in the world by Maharana Bhagwat Singhji in 1963. The palace’s decadent reputation was cemented when the James Bond film Octopussy was filmed on the premises.

Our stay at the Lake Palace was incredible. From the time we arrived by car, after a 5 hour drive from Jaipur we were treated with the most wonderful hospitality by the staff of the Lake Palace. We waited under beautiful archways for the boatman who would take us across the lake where we were greeted with a shower of rose petals as we entered the lobby of the hotel. After check-in, we were then accompanied to our room walking by the lotus pond made famous by the James Bond film, Octopussy. It truly is even more spectacular in real life.

There are 4 restaurants at the Lake Palace. We took a buffet breakfast in Jharokha with views of the lake and City Palace and tried Bhairo situated on the rooftop of the Lake Palace we watched the sunset while enjoying the beautiful contemporary cuisine. The Amrit Sagar restaurant is a more casual dining experience which offers high tea and Neel Kamal offered elegant traditional indian cuisine from the region.


lake palace udaipur lotus pond

lake palace udaipur lotus pond





Lake Palace water ponds










Lake Palace Udaipur archway







Amer Fort

Amber Fort

The Amer Fort (also known as The Amber Fort) is located in Amer, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur, in Rajasthan India and is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Amer Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I in the 16th century and is known for its artistic style of Hindu elements combined with Muslim architecture. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront.

The opulent palace complex built with red sandstone and marble, consists of the Diwan-e-Aam or the “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas or the “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over the water cascade within the palace.

We took a private car from Jaipur to the Amer Fort for flexibility. Opened daily from 9:30AM to 4:30AM (except on Holi), the entry fee is Rs 50 for foreigners and Rs 10 for children and Indian citizens. There is an additional fee of Rs 70 for a still camera or Rs 150 for a video camera for foreigners.

amber fort from a distance

amber fort and lake

The Amer Fort elephant ride is quite a sight to see, especially with the Amer Fort in the background. Visitors should try to arrive early (before 9AM) if they are interested in a ride as most of the 80 elephants will have finished their quote of rides by 11AM. The Jaipur government routinely perform health checks and each elephant is limited to carrying two passengers plus the driver, only making 5 trips each day. The Amer Fort elephant ride costs Rs 1,000 for two people and it takes approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on elephant traffic!) for the elephant to slowly trudge up the hillside to the main courtyard.

amer fort elephant station

elephant amber fort

elephant and rider amber fort

amer fort elephant and rider

amer fort elephants

amber fort elephant trail

The Maota Lake and garden, which sits in front of The Amer Fort.

amber fort and maota lake

amber fort and maota lake

amber fort and garden

amber fort and surrounds

Inside the Amer Fort there are beautifully manicured gardens.

inside the amber fort

amer fort garden

amber fort arrival

Getting dropped off in the courtyard before entering The Amer Fort on foot.

amer fort courtyard

inside the amer fort

The beautiful mirrored walls and ceilings of the Sheesh Mahal ‘Mirrored Palace’ inside The Amer Fort.

amer fort mirror palace

amer fort mirror palace 2

amer fort mirror palace close up

amer fort mirrored ceiling

Humayun’s Tomb

chabagh garden and humayun's tomb

Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum was so grieved over her husband’s death that she dedicated her life thenceforth to a sole purpose: the construction of the most magnificent mausoleum in the Empire, at a site near the Yamuna River in Delhi for the memorial of the late Emperor. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and since then has undergone extensive restoration work.

Humayun’s tomb was placed in the centre of a 30-acre (120,000 m2) Char Bagh Garden (Four Gardens), a Persian-style garden with a quadrilateral layout. The highly geometrical and enclosed Paradise garden is divided into four squares by paved walkways and two bisecting central water channels, reflecting the four rivers that flow in jannat, the Islamic concept of paradise. Each of the four square is further divided into smaller squares with pathways, creating into 36 squares in all, a design typical of later Mughal gardens.

Huayun’s tomb is open daily from sunrise to sunset and the entry fee is Rs 250 for foreigners ad Rs 10 for Indian citizens.

chabagh garden close up

chabagh garden 01

charbagh garden grounds

chabagh garden path

chabargh garden with tree


The exterior arch of Humayun’s Tomb…

chabagh garden interior

The symbolically cut out mihrab facing west or Mecca, over the marble lattice screen.

Humayun's Tomb lattice window

view from charbagh garden

chabagh garden grounds

Jama Masjid Old Delhi

jama masjid chandelier 2

This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. It was completed in 1656. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. You can enter, after hiring robes at the northern gate to ensure you are appropriately clothed while visiting the mosque.

It lies at the beginning of the Chawri Bazar Road, a very busy central street of Old Delhi and is a good starting point to explore the city further.

Jama Masjid is open daily from 7am to midday and 1:30PM to 6:30PM (tourists are not allowed in during prayer). Entry is free however there is a fee of Rs 200 to take photos.

jama masjid exterior

jama masjid exterior

jama masjid cityscape

jama masjid old delhi brass details

jama masjid chandelier

New Delhi

new delhi view

New Delhi is the capital of India and seat of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. It is also the centre of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. With a population of 17.8 million in 2014, Delhi metropolitan region is the world’s second most populous city and the largest city in India and also one of the largest in the world in terms of area. After Mumbai it is also the wealthiest city in India.

The population of Delhi is mainly consists of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and so on. Hinduism is the main religion in Delhi with 81% Hindu followers. All the major Hindu festivals are celebrated by Hindu community in New Delhi. Muslims with 11.7% population forms the second largest community after Hindus in New Delhi. Majority of the Muslim population live in the Old Delhi areas like Chandni Chowk. Sikhism is another major religion in Delhi forming large community in capital of India.

The photos below were taken from the largest Muslim mosque in India – Jama Masjid, in Old Delhi. We took a bike ride through the nearby streets of Chandni Chowk one of the oldest markets in Old Delhi.

new delhi streetscape

new delhi buildings

new delhi landscape 2

touk touk in new delhi

street vendor in new delhi

street vendor tomatoes in new delhi

street vendor snacks in new delhi

Hawa Mahal – Jaipur

Hawa Mahal or the “Palace of Winds” or “Palace of the Breeze”, is a palace in Jaipur, so named because it was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivities while unseen from the outside. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace.

The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-storey exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows decorated with intricate latticework. The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey strict “purdah” (face cover). The lattice also allows cool air through the intricate pattern, cooling the palace during the high temperatures in summers.

The palace is open daily from 9AM to 4:30PM and the entry fee is Rs 30 for foreigners (an extra Rs30 for a still camera) and Rs 10 for Indian citizens.

Hawa Mahal Palace Jaipur

Hawa Mahal Palace Jaipur



View from the Hawa Mahal Palace Jaipur


Street view from the Hawa Mahal Palace Jaipur





Room With A View at the Rambagh Palace Jaipur

Rambagh Palace Jaipur

The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan is the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur and now a luxury Taj Palace Hotel, located 5 miles (8.0 km) outside of the walls of the city of Jaipur on Bhawani Singh Road. Built in 1835 on a modest scale for the queen’s favourite handmaiden Kesar Badaran, and later refurbished as a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, the mansion was renamed Rambagh, after the then reigning Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. Rambagh remained the home of Jaipur’s Royalty until 1957, when it was first converted into an upscale hotel and is now managed by the Taj Resorts and Palaces group. For more information visit the hotel’s website.

We had an incredible time at the Rambagh Palace. The staff were very accommodating and great with our kids. The food was wonderful and we were spoilt for choice – in the morning we took a buffet breakfast in the Rajput Room a more casual all day dining experience, in the evenings we either enjoyed drinks at The Polo Bar or on The Verandah while we watched the evenings dance and music performances or had our palms read and we even tried Steam – a restored steam engine complete with a Victorian style station on site – you can either have a drink on the platform or have dinner inside the train! The kids can also have a play in the actual driver’s compartment.

The kids also loved chasing (or being chased) by the beautiful peacocks on the manicured lawns of the Rambagh Palace as well as swimming in both the indoor and outdoor pools. Each day, there was a new beautiful petal flower arrangements by the pools and around the paths leading towards the spa.

Rambagh Palace Jaipur

rambagh palace garden

rambagh palace garden

rambagh palace internal courtyard

rambagh palace outdoor pool

rambagh palace indoor pool

rambagh palace poolside flowers

rambagh palace entrance

rambagh palace cars

rambagh palace peacock

rambagh palace peacock in garden

rambagh palace the verandah

evening lights at the ragbagh palace jaipur

City Palace Jaipur

city palace jaipur

City Palace, is a palace complex that lies in the heart of Jaipur city and incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings that blend both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. A highlight of the City Palace is the Peacock Gate which is exquisite and contains an alluring display of detailed workmanship featuring bright peacocks.

The City Palace and the Museum are open to visitors daily between 9.:30 AM to 5PM (Closed on Diwali / Holi and a select few holidays) and an entry fee of 300 rupees for foreigners (includes camera fee and entry to Jaigarh Fort) and 75 rupees for Indians, plus 75 rupees for a still camera.


city palace with truck

city palace windows

city palace interior

city palace chandelier

peacock doors at city palace jaipur

close up of peacock doors in city palace jaipur


peacock at city palace jaipur

peacock gate at city palace jaipur

Janta Mantar Observatory – Jaipur

Janta Mantar Observatory Jaipur

Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by King Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734, literally means “calculation instrument”. The Jaipur observatory has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as “an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period”. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses and tracking stars’ location as the earth orbits around the sun. It is located next to the City Palace in Jaipur and is opened daily from 9AM to 4:30PM. The entry fee is 100 rupees for foreigners and 20 rupees for Indians.

jantar mantar observatory

jantar mantar observatory instrument

jantar mantar observatory

jantar mantar observatory

jantar mantar observatory

Room with a View at The Oberoi Amar Villas Agra

Taj Mahal View at Dusk

A room with a majestic view on the Taj Mahal is what makes the Oberoi Amar Villas very special, it is one of the closest hotels and the views are its expansive grounds are ideal for pre-dinner walks and shows. The hotel is quite new and inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture with a stunning entrance with arches, sandstones columns and 64 fountains. The swimming pool is huge and simply stunning, it was a perfect resting place after a long day of sightseeing at the Taj Mahal.

Oberoi Amar Villas Entrance

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

Oberoi Amar Villas Pool Side

oberoi amar villas terrace 2

oberoi amar villas pool

oberoi amar villas terrace

Taj Mahal – Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

The Taj Mahal is located in Agra in India. Much has been written about this white marble mausoleum that was erected by a Mughal emperor in memory to his wife, a Persian princess. It took over 20 years to build this stunning piece of architecture that is a Unesco World Heritage site. It is highly recommended to visit early in the early morning to avoid the crowds and the heat. A walk around in the gardens provides different viewing angles. The Taj Mahal should be on your must see list if you visit India for the first time, it is only a couple of hours from New Delhi by train.

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal and gardens

Taj Mahal - The Great Gate

Taj Mahal - The Great Gate close up