Thursday, May 28, 2015

Jasmines of Udupi..

Today I am sharing with you a flower which is famous for its fragrance, soothing beauty in and around the regions of Udupi, Coastal Karnataka and other places. Shankarapura mallige or jasmine is from the small place called Shankarapura in Udupi district, Karnataka, India. These flowers which recently acquired GI tag from the Horticulture Department of India are quite sought after during the festive, marriage seasons and their prices soar during such times.

These jasmines are plucked in the bud stage , stringed together and sold.
There are two ways to string these jasmine either through thread or by string made of plantain stalk. The latter one looks beautiful with brown plantain string in the middle of flowers.  What I observed was that stringing them through thread is easy, latest trend but with plantain stalk it is difficult as plantain fibre breaks in between. The stringed flowers are first measured as 'chidi' or a handspan. About 70 flowers make one chidi. As many as 800 flowers go into the making of one ‘chendu’(ball of flowers), while four chendus make one ‘atte’.
The attes are collected from farmers by agents and sold to retailers in Udupi, Mangalore and other places.

The humid climate is suitable for growing these flowers. Many people around the area of Udupi have cultivated either in large or in a small space of their garden.
Why I am writing so much about this? My mother is a small scale cultivator of this jasmine. Her daily routine includes plucking these flowers and stringing them together and then taking it to a local flower seller. Its about two to three hours of work daily and she earns reasonable amount of extra income.
All this time while I was at my moms place with my kids, I was helping mother with her jasmine routine and could not be an active blogger for a while.