Photos of Jaipur The Pink City, India

Pink City Jaipur - home of our jewellery artisans

The first time I experienced the Pink City of Jaipur was on my honeymoon.  We were supposed to fly to Bali but at the last minute (we had to get our bags off the plane) were informed that a volcano on the island was smoking and it could affect the engine of the plane.  We decided against it. 

We were actually living in India at the time, so after our failed travel attempts, decided to stay local (ish).  Jaipur is all that you imagine India to be, it has the most fascinating palaces with architecture that is beyond beautiful, bustling markets, delicious street food and kaleidoscopic colours.  It's all there and more.

The hotel we stayed at had local musicians welcoming us on our arrival, they even showered us with flower petals from a little tower above the entrance door.  I knew there and then that this city was special.

Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan.  It was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawa Jai Singh, whom the city is named after.  He invited jewellers to Jaipur to settle in the city to create the finest jewellery for the royal family. Today there are jewellers in Jaipur who have descended from the original jewellery makers in the 1700's. 

For me, the most magical area of Jaipur is within the ancient walls of the pink city itself.  In 1876 the Maharaja of the time had the walls of the city painted pink, the colour of hospitality, for a visit from Queen Victoria and they still remain this colour today. 

Walking around the bustling markets of the city, your senses are awakened with the smell of spices, the vibrant colours of saris, the taste of the most delicious street food and the beeping horns of the rickshaws as they take people to market. 

I have spent time in Jaipur in the lead up to Diwali where the streets are filled with twinkling lights and over Holi (festival of colours), where people throw coloured powder at each other with good humour, celebrating the beginning of spring and good over evil. 

Nothing prepares you for the architectural beauty of both the royal City Palace and Amer Fort.  Both were royal residences, in fact City Palace still is and both take you back to a time of opulence and romance. Many of my pieces of jewellery have been inspired by shapes and patterns in both these buildings, including the Star Stud earrings and the Peacock Cuff.   

You still see elephants walking around the area of Amer and there are now elephant sanctuaries around Jaipur that rescue elephants, re-home, feed them and educate visitors on the welfare and importance of these magnificent animals.  You can feed them and take short and safe rides around their sanctuary, you can even wash them which they love :) The money from this helps keep the sanctuaries functioning.  My son I went to Elesafari and fed and washed a young elephant called Tara (means star in Hindi).  It was one of those pinch me moments in life being so close to her ♡ 🐘

It was here in Jaipur in 2020 that I trawled the city streets with our young son, looking for artisan jewellers that would be able to create my jewellery for me.  I wanted to work with artisans that were highly skilled, but worked in a safe environment.  Having worked with communities in India before, I knew that  environments could be very unsafe for workers.  I wanted to develop a transparent partnership where I paid artisans fairly and hopefully help create jobs for more artisans to join their team.  I wanted to create jewellery through sustainable working methods using recycled precious metals and ethically sourced gem stones. 

After a few busy days of searching, my son and I finally found our artisans who we work with today.  They are a small team of five incredibly skilled marginalised artisans.  It's not always easy creating jewellery with a small team that are far away.  I learnt to be more patient and more specific in my communication and I have made some expensive mistakes.  I know I am lucky to work with these artists with their incredible capabilities and am so proud that they are part of my team :)

In my next post I will tell you all about their story ♡

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