STORY: The fragrance from flowers travel far and wide in Indian’s pilgrimage town of Coimbatore and people share a sacred bond with flowers which they use for auspicious and inauspicious occasions.
Flower stalls dot every market and many street corners in the temple town, selling loose stems or elaborate bouquets and set-piece presentation arrangements.
Women belonging to all sections of the society fasten a string of jasmine flowers, locally known as ‘Gajra’, on to their heads and as they believe it would bring good omen to them.
A flower trader Ram Chandran said that demand of the flowers remains throughout the year as people buy them for all sorts of occasions.
Locals believe that floral offering pleases the gods. Hindus believe that without floral offerings any ceremony is incomplete.
A resident Chitrakala said that roses and jasmine were the most popular flowers and no matter how high the prices were, people would buy them and offer them to the gods.
Flower production has boomed in India, as its eight percent annual growth boosts incomes in the middle class. Wedding halls are often crammed with blossoms and frequent festivals are seen as an occasion for garlanding with hot-hued blooms.