The lacquer craft of Jaipur

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Jaipur since its inception has been a cradle for fine arts and crafts. One cannot associate the city with a particular craft but it can be touted as a city of Arts and crafts, a distinction which has recently been conferred to the city by UNESCO, The erstwhile rulers had patronized several crafts during their tenure, in fact, to patronize the crafts and their practitioners, a separate department, ‘Gunijan Khana ‘ was created. which was directly controlled by the rulers. Under their patronage the art and craft prospered. The exponents of these arts and crafts showed their talent in stone sculpturing, jewelry making and enameling, dyeing of cloths, painting, lacquer art, dance, music and many more.

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These artisans were housed in a particular lane or a colony named after their profession which later became a platform  to show case their art. One such lane is Maniharon Ka Rasta at Tripoliya Bazar one of the prime market places of the walled city. Here one can see a lot of crafts men and women showing their expertise in Lacquer art of molding Lacquer a natural scarlet resin from selected trees into various articles and decorating them since generations. They mold a large number of articles such as mementos of Animals, ashtrays covered with lacquer  and many more articles which can be used for decoration and souvenirs. For their female clientele,  they have  jewelry pieces such as Bangles, earrings, finger rings toe rings, anklets, nose rings and many more pieces of local jewelry which adorn women.

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The significance of Lac or lacquer bangles for married women of Jaipur is such that they flock to this narrow lane to buy them prior to every festival or a happy event in their house irrespective of their financial and social strata.

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This craft has bought laurels and recognition to the city. On the national level it has won two awards by the President of India for Master Crafts Person.

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The global acclaims this unique craft has earned for the city has created new avenues of earnings for these craftsmen who get direct exports orders from leading souvenir shops across the world.  A lot of foreign tourists visiting Jaipur specifically include Maniharon Ka Rasta in their city seeing itinerary to have a firsthand look of the molding process and the decoration of beads etc. which ‘ Maniharin’ the female crafts person  does  on the moldings.

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The distinct smell which emanates during the making of dough for molding penetrates the nostrils of the visitor who enters Maniharon Ka Rasta besetting the environment for a large buy.

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