Light up Diwali with 2,000 varieties of diyas
Markets in Japiur, the pink city, are flaunting nearly 2,000 types of earthen lamps in the shapes of gods, goddesses, animals and birds.
Diwali is round the corner and markets in Jaipur are flaunting nearly 2,000 types of earthen lamps, be it in the shape of gods and goddesses or animals and birds.
One can also choose between traditional oil lamps and the newer wax varieties, which people say are more convenient to use.
"This Diwali in Jaipur has plenty of stuff to choose from. The market has never been flooded with so many varieties of diyas," says Anuj Parnami, a shopkeeper.
Ranging from Re1 to Rs 500, these lamps have been specially brought from various places across the country, including Allahabad, Kolkata, Gorakhpur and the Kutch region.
Diwali, the festival of lights, falls on Friday this year.
Lamps in the form of goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh have traditionally been popular but now there are heart-shaped diyas - as the earthen lamps are called - and those shaped like betel leaves and colourful animals too, especially for kids.
"Most people buy diyas in the shape of gods and goddesses. Owing to the religious significance of the festival, these diyas are in high demand," said Laxmi Devi, who has been selling mud lamps for the last 40 years.
"Many people are also buying large mud diyas in which one can light several small lamps," she said.
"Diyas in the shape of birds and animals are the first choice among kids," said Kailash Sharma, a shopkeeper in the walled city area of Jaipur. Special lamps designed to be put up on walls, entry gates and trees are also much in demand.
Ram Kumar, a potter, said business was better this year than last time.
"Business seems to be better this year because we have some new designs like a betel leaf and heart-shaped diyas," he said.
"Our products are often considered stale and out of tune with the changing times. Ceremonial products like diyas and kulhads (mud glasses) were widely used earlier but today they have been replaced by plastic glasses and it is difficult for us to earn a livelihood by selling these articles.
"Thanks to the new designs we have been able to revive our business to a certain extent," Kumar added.