Taking a stroll in the busy markets of Jaipur city would give you a feeling that you are walking into the age-old streets that still reflect the regality of the ancient era. Shopping in Jaipur is an integral part of the city’s tourism and one of the places that attract most shoppers is the Maniharon Ka Rasta.
Whether you are looking for a souvenir or just wishing to explore the old streets of the city, visit Maniharon ka Rasta to make your trip memorable. In a city which sells almost all kinds of artworks and hand-made items, people love to buy accessories a lot. Just as there is Johari Bazaar for jewelry, Maniharon Ka Rasta is known for the lac bangles.
Enter the Maniharon ka Rasta and you will be greeted with endless numbers of shops selling all kinds of bangles. The entire market echoes with either the chatter of women or the clink of bangles. Most of these shops are handled by Muslim Manihari women while their husbands work with the kilns and furnaces so as to prepare the raw material.
It’s known that during the 18th Century, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh invited all trades to settle in Jaipur. Among these were the craftsmen from the Manoharpur district of Uttar Pradesh. After the invitation, many craftsmen shifted their vocational base from Amer to Jaipur. Since then the market is known to be filled with bangle shops whereby the Manihari womenfolk create lac bangles using beads, stones, crystal and other embellishments.
Lac, the material used for making these bangles, is known to be a resinous secretion of lac insects which usually inhabit ber, palas, and Kusum trees. This resin is scraped off from the trees as long sticks and then crushed, sieved and washed to remove impurities. It is further melted till it turns brick red in color and then wax, titanium, and coloring agents are added.
The lac is in the form of semi-solid dough which is rolled into poles, dried off, and sent to the Maniharis. The Manihari women then use roller pins to flatten the length of the poles and draw sheets out of it. This sheet is used to crease out slender strips which are rolled in the shape of bangles. The dimensions of these bangles are adjusted through mild heating on the stove.
Located just 10 minutes away from Hawa Mahal road, Maniharon Ka Rasta is a market that reflects the true essence of Jaipur and renders a memorable experience. The market is crowded especially during Rajasthani festivals like Teej and Gangaur when women shop for accessories to dress up in the traditional attire.