I was allowing myself a little indulgent moment or two this afternoon, as I
attempted to sort through the trillion and one photos that I took in India so that I can get some printed.
I can't possibly print them all, and yet the memories are still so fresh,
and so vivid, that it is tempting to try!
One of the most memorable experiences of my trip was an early morning visit to the
Jaipur wholesale flower market.
I had read that this was one of those unforgettable must-do's in the (to be highly recommended)
Love Jaipur, Rajasthan guide.
So, alarm clock set for the up with the birds early start, and Brunnel, Prem (our driver) & I set off.
I was of course especially excited, and not only because this was a first for me, but in 32 years of driving tourists in India, this was a first visit to this market for Prem also.
I loved that my flower-madness was an excuse to show the seasoned local something new!
The city was just waking as we set off.
But the farmers and growers must have been up for hours already.
The milk bazaar was bustling as we passed.
And after asking for directions to the flower market, we parked our car, and joined the throngs, passing through the incredible fruit and vegetable market on the way.
I'll let the pictures tell the story.
The over-whelming fragrance of tuberose and roses, mixed with coriander and mint. The old sacks and old saris bursting full with marigolds and roses. And the hustle and bustle of commerce.
As one trader told me, his family had been growing flowers and bringing them to sell at this market daily for 300 years. 300 years!!
Most of the flowers come to market as flower heads only, no stems.
This is because they are mostly used as offerings in the temples and shrines, or strung into incredible garlands as decorations for ceremonies and weddings.
After purchase from this wholesale market, where they were sold and bargained for by weight, they were loaded up on to carts, bikes, tuktuks, donkeys and heads, and taken to be sold door to door, or on a stall outside a temple.
And every day is the same. All over India.
I was the only tourist within coo-ee, and stood out a mile.
With Prem to translate, the locals were only too happy to answer my questions and tell their stories.
Although she looks fairly fierce in the image above, as soon as I had taken this photo, this woman rewarded me with the biggest, most beautiful smile, and took my hand.
The experience was amazing, and never to be forgotten really.
And then it was time for a steaming hot masala chai and a paratha for breakfast, before the rest of our day got underway.
Thanks for letting me indulge in the memories! I hope you like the photos. They are my favourites.
I tell you, colour comes oh-so-naturally in India! This is what you see at every turn.
Amanda xxPin It