From the flower beds to the Vedas, from romance to beauty and food, 'moonbeams' are fragrant with luxury
Goddess Meenakshi, the reigning deity at the Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai, loves malligai so much that she literally bathes in the fragrant flower six times a day. In the spring festival of Chithirai, it appears as if all the jasmine produced in this temple town in Tamil Nadu ends up adorning her abode, from her garlands to the decorations on her mythical beast yaali, to her poo-pallakku (floral palanquin), which will carry her to her wedding with Lord Sundareswarar. The couple—reincarnations of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati—live happily ever after, the jasmine on Meenakshi’s thirumangalyam (nuptial pendant) marking their contentment, peace and love. Also, perhaps, romance and sensuality.