The art of making coiled strands of the famed jasmine sambac, called locally as Madurai malligai is widely practiced in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Garlands are also crafted out of this flower by the womenfolk for supply to weddings and functions. Flower vendors skilled in this traditional art are present in great numbers as Madurai is an important pilgrimage town. Jasmine holds a special significance in the lives of the people of this city as it is an intrinsic part of their culture, history and heritage.
Adorning the hair with these pearl like flowers is considered auspicious by the females. Additionally, the buds are also used for ritualistic purposes for decorating deities and the decor of every wedding celebration is rich with the fragrance of the malligai.
Despite the presence of several varieties of jasmine in Tamil Nadu, Madurai malligai is renowned globally for its distinctive white colored waxy and oblong flowers which are incomparably fragrant than the other varieties. In 2013 the variety received a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its quality.