India: Ghazipur flower market blooms again

Touted to be one of the largest flower markets in India, the Ghazipur Phool Mandi, on the fringes of Delhi, is blooming again after two years as buyers return in time for the festive season.

As one enters the Ghazipur flower market, one can only see heaps of colorful flowers spread across the entire market, sprawled on over 15 acres of land and considered to be the biggest flower market in India. Rose, lily, mogra, marigold, orchid, chrysanthemum, rajnigandha — you name it, and the flower market has the flower of your choice.

The Ghazipur flower market, a wholesale market, is known for its extraordinary variety of flowers that are supplied from almost every possible location within India and even abroad. However, the fragrance of these fresh flowers had disappeared for almost two years as the lockdown meant that not only supplies were affected, but there were hardly any buyers as people stayed indoors for several months, including the peak festive period.

Now, with the pandemic abated, at least for now, the market is once again overflowing with fresh flowers sourced from across the world, and buyers throng, hoping to bring the fragrance of festivals in their homes once again.

The flower sellers say the festival and marriage seasons are very important, as the demand is really strong at that time and each shop sells anywhere between 20-50 kg of flowers every day. As the buyers keep coming in hordes, during this period, the flower sellers order larger quantities and store the unsold flowers in a cold storage room in the market in order to preserve them for up to 5 days at a time.

While common flowers like marigolds and roses are in high demand all year, the flower sellers say they also organize rare and imported flowers on prior demand and confirmed orders.

“Demand for unique flowers is not so big, only those who organize big parties and weddings ask for these rare and imported flowers as they have much more money to spend. We get flowers from overseas like Thailand, Malaysia, or even the Netherlands and New Zealand for them. These people provide us with a confirmed order in advance so that we can fulfill it within 4-5 days,” says Teg Singh Choudhary, a flower seller who is also an elected member of the governing body of this flower market.

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