Madurai's unique link with the jasmine probably dates back to 300 BC or earlier. There are extensive references to the flower in Sangam literature — the Tamil poems of the period 300 BC to AD 300,which are believed to have been composed or written at the Sangam or assembly of Tamil scholars, regularly held in Madurai during that period. One of the Sangam poems describes how Pari, a Tamil king, could not bear to see a beautiful and delicate mullai jasmine creeper lying on the hard forest floor. And he gifted his royal chariot to the plant so that the jasmine creeper could twine itself around it and rest more comfortably!
The Jasmine is mentioned in old Hindu scriptures and also in ancient works like the Mahabharata and Kamasutra.
So why write a book on the jasmine? To begin with, I wasn't very clear about this, but after constant visits to the flower weavers, seeing them at work, listening to their stories, and witnessing the early morning ritual of the picking of the buds, day after day, I realized that the jasmine has a special relevance, as the lives and stories of the jasmine weavers are woven into each length of jasmine they string.
ISBN No.: 978-93-5300-241-1
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Leave two or three inches of thread or banana fiber strings at one end, and then begin
Place one flower above and one below on the thread as shown,
Pull the loop firmly so that the flowers stay in place.
Place another pair of flowers next to the first one.
Continue to add pairs of flowers in the same way
Uma Kannan is passionate about Indian art, aesthetics and culture, and the preservation of traditional wisdom through the revival of local crafts and skills. Over the years, this has inspired her active involvement in several educational, social and philanthropic causes, including programmes aimed at uplifting rural women, craftspersons, and the differently-abled. She has a doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology from Madurai Kamaraj University. She lives in Madurai and is the Vice President of the Thiagarajar College, Madurai.
Leaving India with a copy of Madurai Malligai wasn't easy. I was very lucky that my hotel in Madurai helped me to get a copy through Dr Kannan's publisher on the morning before I left. I enquired with a number of bookstores in Madurai with no luck and at the time, every online retailer was out of stock. I'm hoping this will change in the future because this is an excellent book for anyone interested in flowers and perfumery; I already have a list of friends I want to gift a copy
The jasmine, called Mallipoo in Tamil, is said to have risen to significance when the legendary king Paari spotted it during one of his hunting trips. So says a legend from one of the earliest Tamil poems of the Sangam Era, between 300 BCE and 300 CE. Another legend goes that the King of Ayodhya, Parthan devoutly worshipped Lord Shiva in a forest full of jasmine vines. Several other legends and mythological stories surround the significance of jasmine in the ancient texts. These tales allude to the prominence of the flower in the history of Tamil culture, which at the time flourished around the city of Madurai. The matron of Madurai, the Fish-eyed Goddess, Meenakshi, who is a manifestation Goddess Parvati, is adorned with mallipoo every night, in a ceremony that prepares her for her time with her husband, Lord Shiva. A commonly held belief is that the goddess’ love for the flower makes the unique variety of jasmine grown in and around Madurai, called Madurai Malligai, the most coveted one of all. Read More...
Source : https://www.kamalan.travel/narratives/jasmine-lady-of-madurai
"Madurai Malligai" was fully need to me and I so thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.... the way of your presentaion. Unfortunately I am unable to see the photographs. However, all those who see the book, spontinously say that the pictures are beautiful and caputure the ethos of the book. The whole of Madurai, I am sure, is proud of you.