Thovalai: ‘Thovalaipookal’ is a usual component of the Pookalam in the Onam season. With the Athapookalam beginning on Friday, the flowers shops in Chalai in Trivandrum are all set with flowers from Thovalai, in Kanyakumari district.
A large variety of flowers of all colors and types are cultivated and marketed here in Thovalai. The flower market itself looks like a flower carpet.
Apart from Thovalai, 15 nearby villages also contribute to the flower market. During the Onam season the Panchayat market here is in brisk business.
People from different parts of the district reach here to buy flowers.
The Thovalai flower market features Jasmine, Jamanthi (Indian Marigold) and Vadamalli (Bachelor's Button Flower), Kozhipoo (Feathered Amaranth), Arali poo (Ghanera), Sambangi (Frangipani) and Kanagambaram (Firecracker Flower), Lotus, Tulsi and Rose.
Flowers from Hossur, Aruppukkottai, Madurai, Selam, Dindigul, Coimbatore and Bengaluru reach the markets here.
After the noon time, the flowers move from the market to the roadside and the business continues. The cost of the flowers varies daily. The rates are decided by the commission agents in the market.
Despite the flourishing business in the market, rumors arise that the farmers are not benefitted from this.