Shilpgram, Udaipur, Udaipur

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Bewitching artwork and handicrafts grace every tiny bylane of Udaipur like magical things that always existed. But at Shilpagram, a government-funded handicrafts village, we met the artists who spun the magic with their nimble fingers. We saw camels made of coconut shells and earrings fashioned from coloured thread. Men with eager shining eyes displayed their hand-woven shawls and regal mojris. Others caught our fancy with their clay tortoises and painted red laughing Buddhas. Musicians burst into song when we passed by and women danced around winding corners. We bought: > A beautiful brass choker and matching earrings for 100 rupees > A hand-crafted and painted saffron Laughing Buddha for less than 40 rupees > A gold-painted lucky tortoise for 40 rupees > A showpiece set of three musicians for 70 rupees > A set of four keychains made from coconut shells for 30 rupees each Go there for hand-made handicrafts at unbelievable prices, resplendent with the fragrance of Rajasthani folk art; and of course, the puppet, music and dance shows and the experience of being in a village. You can even walk into thatched huts and sit by the wayside, while troupes of performers pass by in their colourful cholis and ghagras.

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