In full bloom: The sights, sounds and smells of Bengaluru’s bustling flower marketShrishti Agrawal
The Flower Market in Bengaluru has blossomed into a riot of colours, scents and bonhomie. We take a walk around the famous street market and bring you some beautiful moments we managed to capture.
If you want to see the sights and soak in the sounds of Bengaluru, it’s best to venture out in the wee hours – for, as they say, the city never sleeps.
For a shutterbug like me, the first rays of the morning sun is perhaps the best time to explore the city and what better way than a visit to the Flower Market at the crack of dawn.
It was not easy to wake up at 4.30am but the exciting task before me had me up, bright and early. Wrapped up in my cosy sweater, I was all set to tour one of the city’s oldest markets and celebrate not only the riot of colour, but its sights, smells, haggling, bonhomie, et al – while most of the city was still asleep or waking up to face the day.
The Flower Market or the KR Market (Krishna Rajendra Market) as it’s popularly known is famous for the city’s flowers and vegetables. Coming from Banerghatta Road, it took me only 15 minutes to reach the market, as the notorious Bengaluru traffic was yet to make its presence felt.
As I entered the market, a sea of colour greeted me. I closed my eyes for a moment, and let the fragrance wash all over me. I opened my eyes immediately lest someone pushed me out of the way. For, you see, the market even at 5am was a bustling one.
As I wound my way through the many twists and turns, I saw mostly women selling different kinds of flowers – bright orange and yellow marigolds, plump roses in all hues, about-to-bloom jasmine buds, strikingly white lilies, tulips to exotic flowers like blue daisy, chrysanthemums, orchids, gerberas, carnations, yellow daisy and Dutch roses. Name any flower, and you will get it at the Flower Market.
The flower sellers come all the way from Tumkur, Chikkaballapura, Doddaballapura, Nelamangala and start setting up their stalls as early as 2am. There are flower farmers from neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh who set up shop at the market everyday.
As I walk deeper in the market, I go crazy with my camera. There are assortments of flowers everywhere, from bunches to garlands. There are stray petals everywhere, adding to the colour. There’s a lot of haggling going on… as wholesalers try to outshout one another for the best prices.
One thing that stands out at the market is that most of the sellers are women, and they work in pairs or groups of three. There is a strong sense of camaraderie among them. During breaks, they have everyday conversations about their families, and their lives in general. The interactions are friendly and the scenes, truly heartwarming.
At 8am, as the winter sun streams in, the vendors are ready to call it a day. Flowers have been sold and money has exchanged hands… Until 2am the next day, when the market will come alive again… with its sights, sounds and smells…. And it will be business, as usual!