Buying flowers

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Flowers are abundant in Varanasi, but they are not for putting in vases; they are nearly all used for ‘puja’ – the daily offerings to the deities. You will see them placed in shrines and temples but also strung around anything from a motorcycle to the neck of a cow or the weighing scales of a shop or market stall, where it is usually accompanied by incense sticks. The flowers are usually sold readily prepared in garlands for this purpose and most commonly are orange in colour, though occasionally also yellow or red as pictured here.

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