A short walk in Kolkata's Mallik Ghat flower market can be overwhelming to one's senses. Tucked away next to the Hooghly river, it attracts more than 2,000 sellers each day and contains more than a century of history.
Mallik Ghat is Kolkata's largest flower market, in fact, some believe even Asia's biggest. The 131-year-old market is always frenetic and in 2008, it was almost burnt to the ground. However, it has risen again from the ashes and ruins.
The market is a pleasant sight for those who look for aesthetic appeal. Flowers are a big business in India, they are an essential element in temple rituals and offerings, of weddings and festivals. And the market is a one-stop destination shop for all floral needs! It has a range of flowers available, from tulips to roses to dog flowers to what not... you name it, they’ve got it.
The market is a riot of colours, which acts as the source of flower supply to the entire city. Not just the city, wholesalers export flowers to the rest of India and even to Europe.
There are porters, bearing baskets of flowers on their heads, some wear them on their shoulders, while the rest go the old-fashioned way, spread on the ground.
The market has an undying plesant aroma filling the air and is fascinatingly colourful virtually 24 hours a day. It is a sight to watch so many people earning their livelihood and equal number of people buying flowers.