Rising jasmine rate burns hole in people's pockets

The steep increase in prices of jasmine during Navaratri festivities, is burning a hole in people’s pockets.

The price of jasmine has been increasing since October 10. The price of one ‘atti’ of Shankarapura jasmine has crossed Rs 800. One ‘Chendu’ of jasmine is sold for Rs 300 in front of temples.

It is a tradition to offer jasmine to the Goddesses during Navarathri in coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. Jasmine is also used in decorating the Goddess temples in the region. As a result, the demand for jasmine has reached all time high. However, the production has been hit due to heavy rainfall.

“The Shankarapura Mallige had fetched Rs 840 per ‘Atti’. It had crossed the Rs 800 mark during Gauri-Ganesha festival,” said Diwakar, a flower vendor at Marigudi Temple in Urwa in the city.

There is no supply of jasmine flowers to the coastal districts. However, four to five varieties of Chrysanthemum are available in market. In
addition, marigold, Zinnia flowers are also available. Those who have vowed to offer jasmine (Chendu) to the goddess, offer it even if the price crosses Rs 300 per Chendu, said a priest at Marigudi temple.

The devotees offer jasmine flowers at Mangaladevi Temple, Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple and Bappanadu Durgaparameshwari Temple.

Jasmine cultivators attributed the decline in the production of jasmine to  heavy rain during the season. “Following heavy rainfall, water remained stagnant in jasmine fields. As a result, the plants were affected  by blight disease and the production fell leading to decline in supply of jasmine flowers to the market,” said cultivator Raghavendra Nayak from Shirva.

The demand for jasmine peaks on the day of Sharada pooja. At Kudroli Temple, it is a tradition to decorate the idol of Goddess Sharada with jasmine during the procession. Now it will be a challenge to get jasmine for decorating the idol, opined administrative board members of Kudroli Gokarnanatha Temple.

Jasmine decoration is given priority during the procession of Sharada idols at Kudroli, Car Street, Panjimogaru and Urwa Store in Mangaluru.

“Our team has been decorating Sharada Goddess for the last 20 years using jasmine. About 70 to 80 atti of jasmine are used in the decoration. The temple committee has the responsibility to supply the required quantity of jasmine,” said Smitha Pai.

In addition to jasmine, the prices of vegetables, fruits have also skyrocketed in markets in Mangaluru.

“The prices of beans and carrot too have increased. A kg of apple has crossed Rs 175 while a kg of banana too has crossed Rs 85,” said fruit vendor Husainabba.

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