Jessica Faith, who works with Rothschild Safaris’ clients on their “Beyond Africa” trips, is just back from her whirlwind India safari and is out of her jetlag fog enough to report on her adventures! Today, she takes us through the colorful bazaars, since shopping and bringing back trinkets is of course an essential part of travel!

Chaos! That’s probably the best way to describe the markets. They are colorful and noisy and jam-packed with people. The biggest bazaars I visited were in Jaipur and Agra. They are full of textiles, clothing, shoes, jewelry, and carvings and figurines. I collected several marble figurines since I was in the Indian state of Rajasthan, known for having some of the purest marble in the world.

Be prepared to barter! Everything was a negotiation. But in some cases I didn’t have to say a word as the vendor kept coming down in price until it finally got my interest. And a piece of advice – stick to the city markets and refrain from buying items outside the monuments and other tourist sites where things are more expensive and the vendors much more aggressive.  You’ll be able to find the same items in the city and save yourself some money in the process.

As I unpacked all my “souvenirs” I realized most had an elephant-theme! One thing I learned was that the image of the elephant must have its trunk raised up or turned to the right for good luck. A trunk straight down is considered bad luck – though you won’t find many like this in the bazaars! And if you place an elephant figurine or image in your house, it must be pointing to the door in order to bring good luck.

Check back tomorrow to hear about my visits to the palaces, forts, museums, and the most famous of all – the Taj Mahal!

This is a great time to start planning a trip for fall, which is a perfect time to travel to India – the monsoons are over and the extreme heat has subsided. We will customize a trip to meet your specific travel desires, whether it’s exploring the amazing markets, visiting the grand palaces, meandering through villages or searching for tigers on elephant-back. Our private guides can travel with you throughout your trip, providing excellent insight into the culture and history of all the sights along the way.

Contact us at 800-405-9463. We would love to help you explore India’s boundless treasures!