Farmers collecting water lilies in the Satla marshland near Bagdha, Barisal, Bangladesh
© Mustasinur Rahman Alvi/Future Publishing via Getty Image
Pastel perfection. Satla marshland in Bangladesh
There may be a more peaceful, stress-free job somewhere, but we wager that the farmers harvesting water lilies and gliding along the river in Satla, Bangladesh, might have that locked up. The flowers bloom during the seasonal flood from August to November, cloaking an incredible 15 square miles of wetlands in gorgeous, fragrant pink. The village of Satla, in the Barisal District of south-central Bangladesh, is known as the capital of 'shapla,' or water lilies, for obvious reasons.
Growing and harvesting the lilies is a community effort, and farmers sell the flowers in local markets. Not only are they bought for their looks, but they're also valued in traditional Ayurvedic therapies for their medicinal properties. You can even find the stalks and seeds of water lilies on your plate as you enjoy a local vegetable curry. No wonder the popular, beautiful, and versatile water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh.