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Each time phools rush in to the river Ganga, Kanpur-based Ankit Agarwal panics.

He’s been watching the dumping of temple flowers in the river for years now and finally last year, for the sake of health – his and Mummy Ganga’s - he thought up the idea of Phool, a company that would “flower-cycle” temple waste to make incense sticks, cones and vermicompost.

What followed was intense R&D with a team of IIT (Kanpur) graduates, which recently also led to them perching on the verge of making animal-free leather from temple waste. This WIP project they’re hydeing from the public eye, until further notice.

Talk Some Incense

Phool's charcoal-free incense sticks and cones are made with temple flowers, 100% natural essential oils, milk and honey, and are hand rolled by female flower-cyclers. The boxes, bearing Putumayo-ish art work is designed by NID interns and contains 40 incense sticks and a handmade wooden stick holder. Each stick promises to “long burn” for 45 minutes and let out fragrances of Nagpur oranges, eucalyptus, tulsi, nargis, Indian tuberose, jasmine and vetiver, which, let’s face it, is a welcome burning sensation compared to the last one you had.

Getting there: Shop at, they shop across India and internationally too, Rs 165 for a box.

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