If you like to visit history through hand-crafted treasures made by master artisans (or you just like shiny things!), Jaipur might be your new favourite city...
Living in India has afforded me with new-found knowledge about Indian history.
And getting to know more about history through the ancient arts and crafts of India sure beats sitting in a classroom!
I have travelled around India for over two decades and seen a lot - but the royal history of the northern state in India and 'Land of the Kings' is one that keeps tourists (and me) coming back time after time.
The State of Rajasthan is a historical hub of gemstones, and as such is a significant part of the history of arts and crafts in India.
Essentially, the Royals saw something they liked, they encouraged the artisans to come to Jaipur, and through their patronage, the royal families elevated the arts and crafts to fine arts.
The culture of India can be traced via the many stories of the artisan's families.
The gems and jewellery themselves tell a story about who wore what, and what materials were prized at the time.
Even today you can sense the wealth in Jaipur.
Jaipur - King of Gems
Jaipur, also known as the 'Pink City,' is the capital of Rajasthan, a northern state of India.
The historical city has a proud heritage of not only developing Jaipur as a centre of important trade but, through the patronage of the royal kingdoms of the past, ensuring the continued survival and innovation of many of India's most famous arts and crafts.
“Where there is a Royal past, there will be gemstones! Rajasthan is known as the "Land of Kings." And the capital Jaipur is still famous today for jewellery and gemstones.”
I was familiar with block printing and the hand-designed fabrics hailing from Jaipur before visiting the city.
The local textile and clothing brand Anokhi is one such label that has ensured many locals and tourists alike now know a lot about the art of the handmade block design fabrics particular to this region.
Where there is a Royal past, there will be gemstones! Rajasthan is known as the "Land of Kings." And the capital Jaipur is still famous today for jewellery and gemstones.
Many specialist jewellery shops can be found across the city, including craftsmen who continue many of the traditional styles and processes of ancient Indian jewellery making.
The Future of Indian Jewellery
Jewellery is an extremely important part of Indian life - both for its place in ceremonies such as weddings, as well as an investment.
There is an enormous and continual demand domestically for jewellery in India.
Despite this demand, there are problems in the handmade jewellery sector.
Unfortunately, due to new materials, losing artisans to more lucrative careers and other economic reasons, there is a risk of losing some of the specialised and beautifully handcrafted skills from the past.
Don't tell my bank, but one day I hope to do my best to support the industry. It's ok Jen, it's an investment too ...
Do you know any 'gems' in Jaipur I should know about? Comment below.