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Jaipur Lit Fest beckons the bookworms and bibliomaniacs. Are you ready?

Globe on book

Before we begin, let me make this clear once and for all. I am a bookworm and am literally betrothed to my favorite characters like Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. I read books of all genres; anything that comes my way, you see. So am I not excited about the upcoming Jaipur Lit Fest?

Huh, is that even a question?

I am damn excited to go to Jaipur this season and finally satiate my cravings to meet some of my favorite authors. Besides, it will be a great place where I can rub shoulders with other co-bookworms (let us see who else in the country can match my bibliomania)! By the way, I reside in Delhi, mind it. So the journey is going to be an oversea one. Well, not exactly an oversea journey, but it seems all the same to me. You see, being a compulsive bookworm, I hardly venture out of my house, except for occasions when I really have to. Even the stray dogs in my neighborhood quiz my presence with raised eyebrows on those seldom moments when I hit the streets.

So, making this trip all the way to Rajasthan will be like a Mars trip for me. Yes, there are weekend packages from Delhi which I can latch on to. But despite all the convenience and luxury these packages promise to offer, there is this mental block which I will have to conquer.

But, as my parents say, I will even cross the seven seas in pursuit of books. They are not wrong coz I have done some bizarre things to lay hands on certain books. The day the final book of the Harry Potter series was released (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), I left my house a little after 4 am so that I can get the book the moment it gets released. (It was to be released at 6 am IST).

Anyway, enough of my ramblings!

For guys like you, a Jaipur trip may not sound all that daunting. The Jaipur Literature Festival 2014 shall be held from 17th January to 21st January. There is enough time to make preparations. After all, this can serve as an excuse for you to plan a family holiday.

The trick is to combine the pleasures of literature and sightseeing. So, I guess I shall do both of them. Even if you are not a big-time bookworm like me, there are attractions like the Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal and City Palace to keep you busy.

Best bazaars of Rajasthan- Top shopping corners of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur

Rajasthan (pic) - 18 Aug 13

Well, you may have travelled to Rajasthan for the primary purpose of sightseeing. But once you enter its local bazaars, you will forget your palaces and forts and get forlorn amidst the charms of these traditional corners. Besides, Rajasthan is also a lovely shopping destination and a pretty quaint one. Instead of thrusting those irritatingly snobbish malls down your throats, it delights you with its crowded, noisy and winding bazaars where you can shop for pottery, handicrafts, clothes, paintings, souvenirs, books and everything else.

Here is a quick breakdown of the best bazaars of Rajasthan, city by city:

1. Jaipur: Those shopping-loving women have really elevated the status of Jaipur tourism to unfathomable heights. If you are a maniac of shopping, then the ‘pink city’ would really make your face go pink in ecstasy! Johri Bazaar is the most popular market in Jaipur and is best known for its gold and jewel shops. If you are looking for textiles, then Bapu Bazaar is what we would recommend. On the other hand, the Nehru Bazaar should serve you well if you are looking for shoes, chappals and sandals! It is also a cool place to shop for perfumes and souvenirs.

2. Udaipur: When you are in Udaipur, you cannot come back without browsing through some paintings. Anything that has got something to do with art sells like ‘samosa’ in this city! Off the Lake Palace Road, there are many local shops which sell anything and everything. The region beside the Clock Tower is also a magnet for a shopaholic and presents you with some traditional bazaars. If you are hunting for shoes, then head to Mochiwada, and if you are looking for silver artifacts, then hop over to Bhattiyani Chohtta! These are the best places to visit in Udaipur for slipping into the shopathon mode.

3. Jodhpur: Jodhpur is another city which is teeming with markets. Its Kapraa Bazaar is one of the top places to visit in Rajasthan for purchasing garments. Here, you can hunt for both western as well as Rajasthani style of dresses. Mochi Bazaar (known for footwear) and Sarafa Bazaar (best noted for traditional clothes) are also must-visit destinations.

A special shopping tip: Rajasthan’s bazaars and shops quote prices which are usually inflated. They are negotiable and you must do everything you can to bring down the price. In short, this is not a place for a poor bargainer! But if your wife knows all the shopping tricks in the world, then you can let out a sigh of relief! Your wallet, we know, would be in safe hands!