Written by Jayashree T.M.G.
I had a dream filled with two colors, where I was walking in between fields of red and yellow. Unable to distinguish what these colorful creations of nature are, I keep moving forward being absorbed in my own thoughts. I’m able to discern the tiny strawberries, which shine like rubies in the sunlight.
Suddenly a huge sunflower grows right in front of me, gently being caressed by the nurturing rays of the sun, gleefully facing east as usual. My central view is blocked but I’m able to see a field of green in my periphery, out of which countless bright sunflowers greet me.
After being abruptly woken up by my mom’s daily morning badgering, I quickly grasped that my reality was much less saturated than my dreams.
Now whenever I see a shade of bright red or yellow, my mind takes me back to that scenario. So I decided to write about this to express myself and see where the mindless dreams take me.
Strawberrys are red. Personally, I’ve always found the color quite enticing. Though the fruit strawberry may not be considered exotic anymore in India, it sure is still expensive. It tastes both sweet and slightly sour, shaped like a heart and even tints your lips. What’s not to like?
I’ve relished the fruit in many forms, strawberry milkshakes, jams, ice creams, etc. Recently I came across images of strawberry farms, got curious about how they are cultivated and now I want to visit one.
Image by Juanjo Menta on pexels.com.
After looking around for some time, I got to know about where the biggest supply of the fruit in India is from. The town of Mahabaleshwar in the state of Maharashtra is where strawberries are grown in hilly slopes. The Mahabaleshwar strawberry contributes to about 85 percent of the total strawberry production in the country. Strawberries from Mahabaleshwar are even exported in large quantities to other countries like France, Belgium, and Malaysia.
When to Visit
Strawberry season in Mahabaleshwar starts from May to June when strawberries start ripening, while it ripens during late-February to April months in the plains. That being said, I won’t be able to travel anytime soon due to the pandemic that we’re facing currently. If not now, then maybe this time next year. I do want to visit the strawberry plantations one day.
More on Mahabaleshwar
Wanting to visit a strawberry farm opened me up to a whole new world of this hill station, which was completely unknown to me. After careful planning, I found more places to add to my travel itinerary. There are a lot of tourist attractions which compel you to visit Mahabaleshwar such as:
- Pratapgad fort
- Krishnabai Temple (origin of river Krishna)
- 3 Monkey Point
- Arthur Point
- Kate’s Point
- Wilson’s Point
- Elephant Point (looks like an elephant’s trump)
- Lingmala waterfalls, whose water cascades into:
- Venna Lake.
Have you ever noticed how sunflower yellow is mostly related to a happy mood? Even Van Gogh captures the beauty of yellow with his “Sunflowers” series.
In a letter to Theo (his brother), Vincent wrote:
“It’s a type of painting that changes its aspect a little, which grows in richness the more you look at it. Besides, you know that Gauguin likes them extraordinarily. He said to me about them, among other things: ‘that… that’s… the flower’. You know that Jeannin has the peony, Quost has the hollyhock, but I have the sunflower, in a way.”
Although I’m not a big fan of yellow, the color itself is attention-grabbing. With that said, I also wish to see a sunflower field in real life, bright yellow covering acres of land as far as the eyes can see.
Image by fotografierende on pexels.com.
Sunflower fields felt distant like I could find them only in the countryside of Italy. After searching for sunflower fields near to me, I realized how unaware I was.
I was quite surprised to know about this, as this town is from the state I reside in. Sundarapandiapuram is a town in Tenkasi district, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. I actually found out that it is a popular setting for many Tamil films and regional sitcoms, like the super-hit Tamil movie Roja by director Mani Ratnam. And in this picturesque little village lies a magical bed of golden flowers.
Image by Good Free Photos.com on pexels.com.
Some More on Sundarapandiapuram
While I will be travelling to visit the sunflower fields, another place to view on my bucket list is the “Anniyan para” that stands near to Sundarapandiapuram. Originally known as “Puliyur para”, it was changed to “Roja para”, as a few scenes from the movie were shot on that rock. Eventually, the name has been changed after the popular Tamil song ‘Andangkaka’ from Shankar’s movie Anniyan was shot here.
All the rock art and portraits of Tamil actors such as Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and MGR were painted on the rocks by the art team of Anniyan for the song (surely the song was a visual treat when I was a kid, but I definitely didn’t expect to be writing about it in a blog).
On a side note, seems like Director Shankar is a fan of this place, as three of his films (Gentleman, Mudhalvan and Anniyan) are said to have been shot at this location.
Getting back on track, I came to know that unscented flowers are usually bright and attractive in other ways, such as colorful flower petals to attract without aroma, and one of them being sunflowers, which apparently have no fragrance. The fragrance-free aspect of sunflowers makes them somehow considered to be a good option as a gift for friendship. I also read that sunflowers symbolize adoration, gratitude, loyalty and longevity.
So to my friends who are reading this, hope you get to see your sunflower field one day as well.
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Jayashree is a contributor at The Strong Traveller. A Master’s student of English Literature, she loves to ponder and comes out with exciting & interesting content ideas every time. She is fond of sharing her own experiences, thoughts and feelings about various things that spark her interest. She keeps on gaining knowledge about different cultures, places and looks forward to travelling every nook and corner of the world!
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