Blue pottery quest in Sanganer, Rajasthan

After celebrating the first anniversary of the Crowne Plaza Jaipur Tonk Road, the search for the famous blues began in the nearby Sanganer market

Words and photographs: Ambica Gulati

Jaipur. I think the word now spells many things besides pink and palaces! So when invited to celebrate the first anniversary of the Crowne Plaza Jaipur Tonk Road and the addition of the Mongolian griddle to the House of Han, the Chinese restaurant, it seemed like a great a idea to see the outskirts of Jaipur. It is a lesser known and lesser visited area and the close by Sanganer is known for its bed sheets and blue pottery.

Decorrated plate at House of Han

Edible decoration on plate at House of Han

So an early morning train from Delhi and we reached in time for a quick refreshing change for the celebrations. House of Han offers a vast choice of vegetarian and non vegetarian food, which is flavorsome and prepared under the guidance of expat Chinese Chef Lee Tuck Seng. The highlight was the kettle with the long snout which could reach into the far corners of the table to pour jasmine tea into the cup. As the hotel is more popular with business visitors, the Mongolian griddle will give a chance to change their palate for a while.

And then we dug into what was Jaipur’s longest pastry. A mix of the normal pineapple and black forest, it weighed 220 Kilos, was 66 ft long, 1 ft wide and 4” in height.

After the heavy lunch, a walk through the village of Sanger was probably the best thing to do. But we should have gone a little earlier in the day to explore more. With organizer, Ayushi Anand as the guide, our quest began at a traditional gateway. The market turned out to be a lesson in the local culture. People are still warm and friendly, unlike the cold metros. They might not understand the language but they do know how to help. Anand quickly downloaded a photograph of blue pottery and there were multiple hands pointing out the way.

A shop keeper even asked his son to write down the directions and offered us water. He was selling bangles. If you go at a leisurely pace, you can enjoy the sounds of people haggling over veggies, women buying bangles and things needed for daily household chores. What was interesting–the small cups on carts which are reasonably priced. And the honesty is almost a shock. We ate a plate of kachori and the famous chilli pakora with kadi (unusual for those living in Delhi) and paid only Rs 20, just the same price as the locals.

Bangles at Sanganer market

Bangles at Sanganer market

The sun had set and shops were closing, but we reached the main road and finally the shop where the signboard read Shiv Kripa Blue Pottery. Seeing us unimpressed with the dust, the shop keeper took out his care and drove us to his godown. There we found a treasure of vases, plates, cups, diyas, masks, and more. And comparatively reasonably priced.

Blue pottery

Blue pottery

Satiated with our shopping, we took another Uber ride (cost just Rs 90) as cocktails and traditional Rajasthani fare awaited at the hotel.

My recommendation at the hotel: Eat Indian cuisine for it is so well prepared by traditional maharajs!

How to reach: Jaipur is well connected by trains and the airport is also nearby.

What more you can see: Kalagram Chokhi Dhani which is around 2km from Tonk Road.

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