Our guide to Taj Mahal gifts and souvenirs
When you visit the Taj Mahal you might like to purchase a gift or souvenir to commemorate your visit. You will find many peddlers or hawkers offering a whole range of gifts to you as you step on to the streets. We generally stayed away from these people totally ignoring them - since if you make the slightest comment one way or the other they take it as a sign of interest and you attract even more towards you like a swarm of locusts. Our advise is stay well clear of these peddlers, but if you see something you like offer them a price 25% of what they are asking and walk away and keep walking. You will see their price drop especially if they feel they will not make a sale. (See our Shopping Tips Page under "Planning your Trip").
After visiting the Taj Mahal we were taken to a couple of shops at the entrance to the Taj Mahal, by our guide. Our guide told us these were government run/controlled shops (how true this I do not really know). The guide told us that some of the descendents of the skilled workmen that helped build the Taj Mahal were still working in marble and producing tourist gifts. He explained that these gifts were sold in these government shops which offered fixed prices and all the good are of a guaranteed quality, as opposed to some cheaper imitations you can find elsewhere. (I would concur with this statement having seen some white marble gifts offered in a shop in Delhi, they were decidedly poorer workmanship but were cheaper).
The range of marble work was truly fabulous and we could see some of the workmen working at the shop entrance. We thought you might like to see a short video clip of the sales technique used by the salesman in the shop selling the marble gifts and products.
We bought a number of Taj Mahal type gifts from this shop, we are satisfied with them, we feel they are of an excellent quality, even the prices were not exactly cheap in terms of what you could purchase elsewhere in India (I suspect they had the usual 'Tourism Premium' on the prices.)
Our living room in Scotland has some of our Taj Mahal gifts proudly on display.