[Shopping] Mojris – Rajasthani Footwear

In Udaipur, there are so many fascinating places and things to look around. Indeed, it cannot be count. But, if you ask me to name one thing every tourist who is visiting Udaipur should buy then my answer will be Mojri. Mojri / Mojdi or Jutiya is not just a type of shoes but it is deeply connected with the hundreds of year old Rajasthani traditions and lifestyle. Made by pure leather, mojri is now known globally. Though, I had worn many mojris till date I was not very interested as it was very common thing for me. But when I started exploring world both online and offline I realized the importance of our tradition and culture. I started respecting each and every Rajasthani traditions and tried to understand it deeply. I avoid writing any article just for the sake of it. I always prefer writing stories and incidents I have faced in real but with a complete coincidence. Exceptions are different. So, when I wrote a review of Hotel Gold Leaf, I mentioned that we had some guests in town 2 weeks back, they were interested in buying Mojri for all of their family members. I took them to a place where I usually buy mojris. Saheli Mojri Centre near Sahliyon ki Bari. My guests bought some 8-10 pairs from there and I got an idea to write about Mojris. History of Mojri Mojris were favorite foot wear of Royal Families of Rajasthan to the farmers working in fields. It is something which was and still commonly used by almost all social groups of Rajasthan. Historically, mojris came into existence from desert areas of Marwar Rajasthan. Because of its dry, rough and hot climatic conditions Mojri has proved durability and comfort for long walking in desert. Normally it comes with plain flat sole but as time had passed mojris of Rajasthan evolved from desert to the metropolitan cities and became favorite footwear preferred in festivals and weddings. There are very less places in Udaipur where you can find the old fashioned but antique mojris which are look wise plain in comparison to the present designer mojris. If you want that then you need to travel little far from Udaipur a place called Gogunda. How do they make it? Traditional Mojris are made by pure leather. Basically three types of animal skins i.e. bull, camel and goat skins are being used to make mojris. Few mojris are made by velvet and other material too but that’s not what we call pure Rajasthani mojri. Interestingly, they don’t use any sticking glue/ gel or any other thing to stick the part of leather except the paste of wheat flour mixed with a local pesticide to stop it getting eradicated by insects which also keeps the foot wear long lasting. Traditional mojris are heavier than the new fashionable ones. Still tribal in Rajasthan prefer heavy mojris of 2 and half to 4 kilograms weight. Designer mojris are decorated by artistic thread work, Rajasthani kashida, embroidery, glass work and multi colored thread and beads. The Saheli Mojri Center’s owners Mr. Murtuza and Riyaz Rehmani showed me one different type of mojri known as pocket mojri (see image below). It is so flexible and soft that you can just fold the whole pair round and keep in your pocket, it is made up of camel skin and that’s the reason of its flexibility and softness. How much a pair of Mojri cost? It depends upon place and location you are buying it but still you can find good mojris in Udaipur starting from 120-500 rs. I will not advice you buying it from big and highly demonstrated emporiums and showrooms. They might charge you 10 times more than the actual market rates. Where to find a good Mojri Shop in Udaipur? I’ve seen more than 100 different types of mojris at Saheli Mojri Center, it’s a small shop but they keep best varieties in nominal price. Other good places are shops near Hathi Pole area and some good shops are in Bada Bazar What are the good things about Mojris?
  1. They are light weight
  2. No lace
  3. Look different
  4. Goes well with jeans
  5. Easy to wear and remove
  6. There is no left and right in mojri. You can wear both the shoes in any side of legs.
What are the bad things about it?
  1. It might give you shoe bite in starting
  2. It get spoiled of water easily
  3. It is slippery if you bought plain soled. You need to ask them to put extra sole.
How to buy mojri?
  1. Go for pure leather mojri
  2. Ask for camel leather, it is soft and flexible
  3. Get little bit tight pair then the actual size of shoes you wear. Mojris naturally spreads and gets more comfortable after few days of wearing it.
  4. Do bargain; see quality and work done on it. Price can go high of pure leathered and hand work.
  5. Ask shop owner about the way the pair is stick or weaved

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