Giant flat bowls of marigolds greet you at the entrance to the House of MG, Ahmedabad’s Urban Heritage Hotel, found in the chaotic heart of the old city. After all, these perky golden blossoms mean good luck and happiness. Because of that, they are used as offerings to the gods, rituals, weddings, and funerals. When we arrived in Varanasi, our hotel gave each a garland. We wore the marigolds for the day and then on our early morning visit to the ghats, we gave them to the Ganges along with the candles, as we watched the sunrise from the tranquil boat.
These goats with their veracious appetites are feasting on the tasty flowers. Little do they know that there is medicinal value for headaches, toothaches, and strengthening the heart. But they must know that the petals maybe eaten raw in salads or as salads!
Hours before sunrise in Ahmedabad, you can visit Phool Bazaar, the local Flower Market. The hours are 0300-0900. We went about 7 AM and there will still beautiful flowers. It is located on the eastern end of Sardar Bridge. The blossoms are mostly native flowers, marigolds, roses, Arabian Jasmine, wild basil and lotus blossoms. 45,000 Kg or 94,000 pounds of flowers are sold daily. There are lots of temples in Ahmedabad needing offerings. Retail vendors sit outside the market and string fresh flowers into garlands for the early shoppers.
These are the lotus blossoms, the national flower of India.
Here are fragrant roses so valued by everyone.
But the marigolds, I never appreciated before seeing them in India. I thought of them as just bug repellents in the garden. Now they will always remind me of the golden sun of India!
Nameste. . . . . .T I I