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TWO ORNATE triple-arched gateways lead into Sanganer,a colourful town renowned for its blockprinled cotton textiles. According to local lore this tradition of blockprinting goes back to the 16th century when Sanga , one of the 18 sons of Prithviraj , the Kachhawaha ruler of Amber re-established the town.Printers from nearby villages were asked to migrate to this new settlement to develop a range of textiles for the Jaipur court. It was Sanganer's river with its mineral powers of fixing the colours of the dyes that gave thins printing pillage its fame and wealth. Today , the town resounds with the thud of printing, as craftsmen Bork in their sheds amidst bolts of cloth, dye-soaked pads and wooden blocks. Bost of the printers and dyers in the town belong to a guild with retail outlets that sell reasonably priced fabric,tailored linen and accessorize.

Sanganer is alto a centre of handmade paper, a spin-off from textile printing, and Jaipur's famous Blue Pottery (see p266). Raja Ban Singh I of Amber (see p.40) set up the first workshops here to produce this special type of hand painted pottery inspired by Persian and Chinese blue and white tiles so popular at the Muglial courts.Tucked away in the old walled town is an impressive 11th-century' Jain temple.The Saaghiji Temple was probably built by a Jain trader with additional donations from the town's other wealthy merchants. Like other Jain temples found elsewhere in Rajasthan, this too is lavishly decorated with ornate stone carvings that include images of all the 24 Jain lirtbankaras (saints) and a beautiful statue of Mahvira,the founder of Jainism, in the innermost sanctuary.Sanganer is now a busy suburb of Jaipur city and the location of its airpot.

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