Gift Shopping

I am wondering about opportunities to do the requisite bit of gift shopping on this tour. Perhaps someone who has taken it can say how she managed to find time during a very busy tour to snag a few things to carry home.


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    edited August 2015
    There is a free afternoon in Delhi when you can arrange to take a trip to the government run 'gift shop' where you can buy all the usual stuff at set prices which end up being the same price you haggle for anywhere else. But it is likely in a cleaner condition than on the streets. If you go with a driver he will try to take you to a store that sells rugs and that type of thing too, just be firm and say no. In Jaipur there is free time, some people went to the famous jewelers store where they will custom fit things like rings and deliver them to the hotel, we were warned not particularly good quality and you have to remember anything that costs more than $800 should be declared at US customs. In Udaipur you can go into the palace stores that have great pieces of art and things like pashmina wraps.
    The streets sellers everywhere will hound you to buy their trinkets. The tour guides have a great system whereby if people are interested, they negotiate for you and bring everything onto the bus, anyone who wants to buy does so and gives the money to the seller. Don't whatever you do take money out in public or you will be surrounded. Take plenty of 100 and 10 rupee bills for trinkets and for paying people to allow you to take their photos.
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    It seems there are similar state-government emporia called 'Rajasthani' at Jaipur and Udaipur. These might be a better bet than Delhi, where there is too much to see in too little time. If we are really desperate, there is a shopping mall, said to be the largest in Asia, across the highway from our hotel at Gurgaon. I suppose they have pashmina wraps there too. You can get them at Nordstrom.
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    It may have changed, but when we took the tour there were a few optional opporturinities to shop for nicer items. In Jaipur, fine jewelry and cloth goods and in Varanasi, silk embrodery. Also the street vendors others have mentioned and museum gift shops. Of course, there's duty free shopping at the airport (good way to get rid of extra rupees). If there's something in particular you're looking for, check with your tour director. If he doesn't know where to get a particular item, the local guides will.

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