Jaipur : Dal-bati-choorma, lak jewellery, bandhej textiles…Most overseas Indians participating in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here are taking time off from their busy schedule to shop, sightsee and soak in the rich culture of Rajasthan.
The state government has spruced up Jaipur’s old city areas, known as the Walled City, for them. The pink-coloured buildings and shops are sparkling with glittering lights and decorative items.
Many enthusiastic delegates, braving the winter cold, went for a ride of the Walled City after dinner at Sisodia Rani Garden Sunday night.
“I really liked the rich heritage of the city. The Walled City is really beautiful. The outer part of the city has a sign of modern development, but the old city still has the old charm,” said A. Bhattacharya, a delegate from the US.
He said he was attracted the most to the small shops on both sides of the road in the Walled City selling traditional items.
The markets here are crowded with delegates who were seen shopping. Traditional clothes and accessories, including lugadis, chunnis, bangles and handbags, are turning out to be a major draw.
“I’ve come with my family. So while I am attending the sessions here, my family is busy shopping. They bought lak bangles, bandhej and some jewellery,” said Mahaveer Singh from France.
Another delegate said apart from meeting businessmen from all over the world, getting an opportunity to observe Rajasthani culture had been a major advantage of his visit to Jaipur.
“I really enjoyed Rajasthani food like dal-bati-choorma, which I had at a place near the main bus station,” said Deepak Kumar from Canada.
However, he said, the traffic and encroachments seemed to be a major problem. “The authorities should do something about the traffic,” he said.
Around 1,500 delegates from 65 countries are taking part in the PBD being organised at the Birla Auditorium in Jaipur Jan 7-9.