Scent of an Indian Wholesale Fish Plant

Relaxing on the Flotation Lines

Relaxing on the Flotation Lines

While on an outing with a group of friends in South India, we had to pass through an outdoor wholesale fish plant/ market to catch a small boat that would take us to the opposite shore. As there was no fixed schedule, I started to explore the plant. The first thing that hits you is the smell. If you magnify the odor of fish at least 100 times and it could even be more than that, you have an approximation of the intensity of the smell. The world of smelly fish abounds in all its variations: there is the sweet scent of freshly caught fish, there is the stench of rotting fish at every stage of decay and there is the pungent aroma of shellfish drying in the sun. I wonder if you can still buy nose plugs because they would have been very useful. It is surprising, however, how quickly you can get used to anything, even an odor as unpleasant as rotting fish! Fortunately this took place outdoors and it was a beautiful day.

Woman Drying Shellfish

Woman Drying Shellfish

Watching the Scene

Watching the Scene

This market was more like a circus with multiple tents and assorted attractions, drawing your eye from one activity to the next.

Sorting the Catch

Sorting the Catch

A Whole Lot of Fish

A Whole Lot of Fish

Bringing the Catch to be Weighed

Bringing the Catch for Weighing

Women in sarees, carry heavy plastic crates of fish on their heads from the boats at the shore to the scales. They go back and forth all day. A few locals negotiate a purchase for their meal but mostly the business is on a larger scale.

While wandering around this unusual fish plant, I kept an eye out for my boat to come in. I hurry toward the water’s edge where all the passengers are now gathering. I board the small skiff, content with the few shots I managed to capture and relieved that I am leaving the aroma of a South Indian fish plant behind.

My Boat Takes Off

My Boat Takes Off



About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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8 Responses to Scent of an Indian Wholesale Fish Plant

  1. Thanks for sharing! It brought back memories from my childhood for me :).

  2. josna says:

    I can smell the fish!

  3. Such sweet pictures 🙂

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Thanks, Vidya Murugan! Sweet is an interesting choice of words…but mostly I end up having affection for all my subjects.

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