There's something undoubtedly magical about Indian handicrafts. Unique, intricate, eye catching and expressive, each item has a story behind it. It's impossible to come to India and return home empty handed. Forget the ubiquitous handicraft emporiums and check out these interesting places to buy handicrafts in India instead!
If you really love Indian handicrafts, you might also want to go on one (or more!) of these 10 Top Indian Handicraft Tours.
01 of 07
When it comes to shopping for handicrafts in India, you can't beat Dilli Haat. A joint initiative of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Department, it's one of the best markets in Delhi. Deliberately made to feel like a traditional weekly village market, Dilli Haat offers an exciting blend of inexpensive handicrafts from all over India, food, and cultural and music performances.
02 of 07
MESH works with groups of disabled artisans, and they produce beautiful handicrafts. The very attractive and well-made items include bags, bed covers, cushion covers, hair accessories, home decor, toys, and cards. MESH has their own Design Studio, where items are developed. They also have a retail store in Uday Park, close to South Extension. Find out more about the handcrafting process in the MESH Design Studio blog.
03 of 07
Colorful Sambhali Boutique is the perfect place to pick up some gorgeous Jodhpur handicrafts and clothing (both Indian and western style), all made by underprivileged women who are taught and employed by Sambhali Trust. The top-quality items include silk and cotton camels and elephants, block-printed scarves and curtains, and shoulder bags. Custom orders can also be placed. The boutique is conveniently located near the clock tower in the city's central market area, and is one of the top places to visit in Jodhpur.
04 of 07
When thinking of Jaipur, one of the first things that comes to mind is the famous blue pottery. And one of the most famous creators of blue pottery is Kripal Singh Shekhawat. Born in 1922, he's been credited with reviving the art and helping it become what it is today. His works can be found all over India, including in museums. Kripal Singh Shekhawat started Kripal Kumbh as an outlet for his wares, and the team has been trained by him. Both classical pottery designs and more modern designs are on offer, and you can even take a class to learn how to make them. The small showroom is situated in a private home in Jaipur's Bani Park. Other recommended places to buy blue pottery in Jaipur are Aurea Blue Pottery (a social enterprise that collaborates with local craftsmen) and Neeja, particularly if you're interested in new designs.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
There are two villages that you can visit in Odisha where the residents are all artisans, engaged in their professions -- Raghurajpur Heritage Village and Pipli. At Raghurajpur, near Puri, the artisans carry out their crafts while sitting out the front of their prettily-painted houses. Many have even won national awards. Intricate Pattachitra art, with religious and tribal themes done over a piece of cloth, is a specialty. If you're passing through Bhubaneshwar, Ekamra Haat is also worth visiting. This permanent handicraft market, with around 50 shops, is located on a large plot at the Exhibition Ground. It's like Dilli Haat, but on a much smaller scale.
06 of 07
The Kutch region of Gujarat is renowned for its handicrafts, and Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft Park has been set up in Bhujodi village to provide artisans with a place to come and sell their wares on a rotational basis. You'll find a wide variety of products there, including weaving, leather work, embroidery, block printing, wood carving, pottery and metal work.
If you're interested arts and crafts and would like to find out more about the work of local artisans, also don't miss visiting Khamir Craft Resource Center and Shop near Bhuj. The have a basic but comfortable guesthouse for those who wish to stay there.
07 of 07If you're interested in tribal art, one place you can't miss visiting is Must Art Gallery in Delhi. It's the world's first art gallery dedicated to tribal art from the Gond community, which is one of central India's largest indigenous communities. The works at Must Art Gallery consist of contemporary paintings and sculptures from the Pardhan Gond tribes, and many international artists are represented there. Also under the same roof is Gallerie AK, which specializes in all forms of traditional, contemporary, and modern Indian tribal and folk art.