Legacy Business of Jodhpur: From Raja to Praja - Bibaji Churi Wale

Bibaji Churi Wale, a 150-year-old legacy business in Jodhpur, blends tradition and modernity in bangle making. Owner Abdul Sartar shares their history, cultural significance, and commitment to preserving Rajasthani heritage while embracing new trends.

Sanjana Sukhwani
New Update
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Situated in the vibrant streets of Jodhpur lies Bibaji Churi Wale, a legacy business with a rich history of crafting exquisite bangles for over 150 years. Visiting Bibaji Churi Wale was a journey through time, showcasing legacy family business that is rich cultural heritage and exquisite craftsmanship. The passion and dedication of the family behind this legacy business ensure that the tradition of bangle making will continue to shine brightly for generations to come.

During our visit, we had the privilege of interviewing the current owner, Abdul Sartar, who shared fascinating insights into their storied past, the unique craftsmanship of their bangles, and their enduring connection to the royal family and the local community.


A Journey Through Time: The Legacy of Bibiji

Talking fondly about his generational business, he said, “Bibaji Churi Wale was established over a century and a half ago by my grandmother, fondly known as Bibiji. She started this business with a basket of bangles, visiting the royal palaces of Jodhpur. During those times, there was a strict rule of 'parda' where queens and princesses could not step out of the curtain. Bibiji was trusted to go inside the palaces to present her bangles to the royal ladies. The business was later carried forward by my father, Mohammed Baksh, who became widely known as Bibaji, a name given to him by King Umaid Singh Ji, in honour of my grandmother.”

The shop has seen significant growth and changes over the years. "Initially, my grandmother made all the bangles by hand. As the business grew, we hired skilled artisans to keep up with the demand. Today, we offer a wide range of bangles, from traditional glass and lakh bangles to modern metal designs, catering to both locals and royals,” shared Mr. Sartar.

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Cultural Heritage and Unique Craftsmanship

The family truly believes that the shop is not just a business; it is a symbol of Rajasthani culture and heritage. Mr. Sartar stated, "We have been the preferred bangle makers for the royal family, which has earned us a special place in the hearts of the people of Jodhpur. Our bangles are known for their authentic designs and high-quality craftsmanship, which have been passed down through generations.”

The place offers a diverse range of bangles, including glass bangles, lakh bangles, and metal bangles. Each type has its own significance and is crafted with meticulous attention to detail. "Our bangles are known for their vibrant colours, intricate designs, and the cultural stories they represent,” he mentioned.

The Artistry Behind Every Bangle 

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The process of making bangles is both an art and a science. Mr. Sartar shared the process with us, "It begins with selecting the right materials, such as lakh or glass. The lakh is melted and moulded into the desired shape, then cooled and decorated with colourful designs. Traditional tools like the 'seal' are used to make the bangles perfectly round, and 'katia' is used to cut the material. Each bangle takes approximately half an hour to an hour to make.”

“We still use traditional techniques and tools that have been in our family for generations. These methods ensure that our bangles maintain their authentic look and feel, preserving the heritage of our craft”, he added.

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Image Courtesy: The Better India

Celebrity Endorsements and Community Engagement

Mr. Sartar lights up talking about the fame of his shop. "We were honoured to be invited to Esha Ambani's wedding to set up a stall of our lac bangles. Celebrities like Janhvi Kapoor, Anjali Tendulkar, Shabana Azmi, Aishwariya Bachan, Raveena Tandon requested custom bangles to match their outfits. Additionally, Hillary Clinton once visited our store, although we were unaware of her celebrity status at the time!"

"We are deeply rooted in the local community and culture. Our bangles are a significant part of Rajasthani tradition, especially for married women. We participate in local festivals and events, ensuring that our heritage is passed down to future generations. We also get invited to exhibitions across India, showcasing our craft to a broader audience," he shared with pride.

A Legacy Adapting to Modern Times 

No one can deny that Bibaji Churi Wale has a distinct and persistent specialty in today's market due to its cultural relevance and versatility. Mr. Sartar delved into details with us, "Bangles are essential for married women in Rajasthani culture, with glass and lakh bangles holding special significance in Rajput traditions. This maintains a steady demand for our products. In addition, we have embraced new trends, with ladies now preferring bangles that complement their clothing rather than the traditional fondness for red. Bibaji Churi Wale continues to prosper by combining our rich legacy with modern fashion needs, ensuring its relevance and beloved standing in today's market. We are looking to expand our presence online to reach a global audience. Additionally, we plan to introduce new designs that blend traditional and modern aesthetics, ensuring that our legacy continues to thrive for generations to come."

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Image Courtesy: The Better India

Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

"Customer satisfaction is our top priority. We take great care in understanding our customers' preferences and provide personalized services. Many of our customers have been with us for generations, and their loyalty speaks volumes about our commitment to quality and service," said Mr. Sartar. "One of the most memorable moments was when Gayathri Kumari Pal, the wife of the Jodhpur prince, visited our shop to buy bangles. Her visit was a great honour and a testament to the trust and respect we have earned over the years", he shared.

Carrying Forward a Living Legacy 

"Bibaji Churi Wale is not just a business; it is a living legacy. We are proud to have served the royal family and the people of Jodhpur for generations. Our commitment to preserving our heritage while embracing modern trends ensures that our bangles remain a symbol of Rajasthani culture and craftsmanship," quipped Mr. Sartar.

bangles tradition craftsmanship interview bibaji churi wale family business legacy jodhpur