Having been holed up in our homes for the past 4-5 months, I have been wanting to take a break and get back to street photography in Jaipur. The markets come alive only after 11 AM leaving very few places for street photography especially after the current pandemic situation. I have been to a couple of morning markets in Jaipur for street photography; I‘m yet to publish those pictures. May be someday, I will. Among the early morning places to visit in Jaipur, check out my blog on the Milk Market in Jaipur. There’s yet another interesting early morning market in Jaipur- Jaipur Flower Market.
Jaipur Flower Market remains a wholesale market that attracts buyers and sellers from all across the city and also from the villages in the vicinity. This is a market where retail flower sellers pick up their stocks. It doesn’t cater to the end-users and therefore, it is a B2B market.
The current set-up is not significantly old rather it has developed & shaped over the last few years. In the past, the flower market in Jaipur was at Badi Chaupar near Hawa Mahal. Here is a picture from the Flower Market at Badi Chaupar in Jaipur.
Owing to a couple of changes especially the Metro project, the market shifted to the Kanwar Nagar not far from Hawa Mahal. The previous site could only accommodate just a few sellers. With the shift in location, the current site offered space to many more sellers. The population of Jaipur has grown tremendously and consequently, the flower business in the city has boomed. The market has engaged many new sellers causing a shortage of space.
Among the flowers sold here, marigold and local rose variants are traded in large numbers. Both these are grown in nearby areas like Jamwa Ramgarh, Chomu, Kanota, Naila, etc.
Imported flower variants like English rose, daisies, carnations, and orchids are also sold in this market. These flowers are cultivated in places like Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh & routed via Delhi.
Even though lotus grows in many parts of Rajasthan, especially near Udaipur, the ones sold here are from Uttar Pradesh.
It is not merely flowers that are being traded here, even leaves find its way in this bazaar as it is used in decoration.
Ashok leaves are used extensively along with marigold flowers. Both are used for all auspicious occasions like inauguration and wedding decorations. Here is a picture of decoration on the occasion of the Holi festival from Govind Dev Ji temple.
Increasingly, the momentum to celebrate the Holi festival with flowers instead of colors & Gulal is gaining momentum. For centuries, the Jaipur court followed this tradition. The Tesu flowers were used during Holi celebrations.
Marigold garlands are the most common flower used for garland, while the local rose is used for offerings to the deities in Hindu temples.
In comparison to the English rose, the Indian rose is most sought after for its fragrant smell. It is additionally used in Gulkand, an essential ingredient of Paan. Indian rose is grown extensively in Pushkar. Over the last few years, there is a decline in rose cultivation in Pushkar because the land has become expensive; the cultivable fields are being replaced by resorts for the tourists.
The market comes alive during the early morning hours with farmers bringing their flower produce with them. Here is a picture that shows one of the many ways for transporting flowers to Jaipur from villages in the vicinity.
One can also witness flower vendors making garland in this market. Garland is one of the most sought after items in the retail flower market here in Jaipur.
I decided to cut short my visit because the market was extremely crowded and people were not adhering to the rule of wearing masks. Only a few people were wearing face masks which explains why coronavirus cases in Jaipur seem to be going up every day. There are a significant number of sellers from the rural areas where people don’t wear masks at all. Do read my street photography post which captures people wearing & not wearing face masks in Jaipur.
My visit was limiting because I clicked from a “safe distance” and forfeited some opportunities. I’m certain there will be many more opportunities in the future.
There is a lot to discover here in this market, people haggling, trying to garner the attention of customers, in short, making a living.
And some flower sellers merely like to chill because they believe in the law of attraction; talk about the real example of someone trusting the message of the book “The Secret” by Ronda Byrne.
Probably, not everyone goes back home happy.
Jaipur Flower Market remains an excellent place to experience the authentic culture of the region and observe the people in action, especially for travelers from overseas. This morning market in Jaipur is different from the markets elsewhere in Europe and North America. Have you ever been to a flower market elsewhere in India or in your city?