Near K.R. Market are a few a shops selling brightly coloured objects that can easily be mistaken for souvenirs. Modelled as they are on different animals, birds, gods and mythical creatures, a closer look will reveal that they’re made of sugar.

They’re essential to many traditional events observed by different communities, and are used during wedding rituals, or as offerings to deities, and are also given as gifts at festivals along with other traditional items.

Shops selling these colourful sugary figures (sometimes made of powered ‘kal sakkare’ or rock candy) make steady profits through the year, as there’s a festival on every day of the Indian calendar, one owner points out with a content smile. And when prodded, he boasts that his shop is probably better known than any newspaper that wants to interview him.

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