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Rajasthan’s well known for its beautiful arts and crafts, and Jaipur is a good city in which to get a closer glimpse of this culture. In the city’s tiny lines, you’ll find artisans who create gorgeous jewellery, fabrics and paintings, right before your eyes. But you don’t just have to watch, you can even try your hand at it.

For instance, visit Paliwal Textiles to watch practised hands block-print rows of Rajasthani motifs on cotton sheets. The motifs come from a wooden block that has an embossed design, dipped in vegetable dye. Smaller blocks are used to fill in details in the design. Try block-printing a camel or an elephant and watch the natural dyes change colour upon drying. Remember that aligning the blocks is tricky: one slip of the hand and you end up with a two-headed animal instead of one

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Vijay Nanda

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