|Another flower seller at the Mallick Ghat Flower Market in Kolkata, India. If you want to see my other shots of the market you can look here.|
The purple flower here is called the calotropis. This is a very strange flower. It is also know as giant milkweed. Its is very important for Hindus as it is the favorite flower of the god Shiva. They are strung together in garlands like you see here and then draped over statues of Shiva or over portraits of him. If you have a small shrine to Shiva in your home you would honor him by putting one of these on it.
The Indian poet Purananuru wrote over 2000 years ago, "The gods would not refuse even the trivial erukku for worship", the erukku being this flower. It is considered "trivial" because it is a completely unremarkable flower. It doesn't smell. And yet, the most powerful of the gods, the Lord Shiva, the Destroyer, loves this flower. They are unattractive and weedy and yet this is the flower he wears and that you give as an offering.
Just a bit of trivia...
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