In the Southern part of the country, Maduraï offers among the most beautiful temples of India. Well known for the culture of jasmine, it is also a significant Tamil cultural centre, built on the banks of the river Vaigai. The city draws its history from a legend saying that god Shiva blessed the ground with the divine nectar escaping its hair.
The Duke of Tuscany first brought jasmine in India in 1690, a flower originally from Arabia. Whether fresh or dried, they still play a quintessential role in India’s myths, legends and daily rituals. At times, jasminum sambac perfumes loose-leaf tea; at others, it is braided into floral necklaces. Revered spiritually, the odorant flower turns into an offering in Hindu temples.