My first post on my second trip to India included some photos of the beautiful floral rangoli that decorated my room at the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai. A huge part of South Indian culture is the use of flowers. They are used to decorate homes and businesses, temples and religious offerings. Women of all ages wears flowers in their hair or in bracelets/necklaces.
One of the very kind shopkeepers made a beautiful wreath of fragrant jasmine for my hair, seen here in the middle of my welcome necklace- sadly I did not get a photo of me wearing either:
Flowers like jasmine, marigolds, lotus, roses, and countless other floral varieties are grown and used every day. Nearly every corner of Chennai has its own “pookkari” or flower lady—a women who sells flowers on a small makeshift stand off the side of the road.
Visiting a Chennai flower market brings one into a maze of a kaleidoscope of colors and an amalgam of fresh floral scents. There is ordered chaos as vendors hawk their flowers while simultaneously hand weave garlands etc. all the while locals peruse each section looking for their perfect purchase. By the end of the day there is nary a flower left, so so quickly do these flowers sell out, but by dawn a whole new selection is ready.
We were very lucky to have a local guide, Tripura take us through such a market. Without further ado, let me present you with a feast for your eyes:
Even the oranges are beautiful: