Pongal: Jasmine flowers sell for Rs 3,500 per kilo in Erode, Tamil Nadu

Erode: Pongal (Sankranti) is a festival that is celebrated with great fervour and spirit in South India. The two-day festival celebrated this year on January 14 and 15 brings smiles on the faces of florists and farmers but burns a hole in the pockets of buyers. A kilo of jasmine also known as Jallikai in Tamil Nadu is sold at Rs 3,500 in most places of Erode in Tamil Nadu.
Jasmine flowers are planted in more than 50 villages including Bhavanisagar, Kothamangalam and Thandampalayam in Sathyamangalam. These flowers are sold in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, Trivandrum and Kolkata. Flowers play an important role in the festival. The price of other flowers also has skyrocketed. 
A special floral market was opened in Kanyakumari district selling variety of flowers including a variety of jasmine-Pichi Malli, champak, rose, Nerium (arali flower), lotus, globe amarnath (makhmali or vadamalli). At least 40 tonnes of flowers are being sold at the flower market. The price of other flowers too increased from Rs 800 to Rs 2,500 per kilogram. The main reason for the increase in price is said to be shortage of flowers than the demand.

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