Recently, the worst floods in the last several decades that submerged Kashmir have badly affected the supply of dry fruits that are packed into glittering boxes and distributed as gifts during Diwali.
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the major suppliers of dry fruits in India.
Reportedly, out of 300,000 hectares crop area in the Kashmir division, more than half was fully damaged by the floods, while the remaining hectares were severely affected by incessant rains and a sudden dip in temperature.
Diwali, which will fall on October 23 this year, is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety all over India as it marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after he defeated the demon king Ravana of Lanka.
Devotees decorate their homes with lit earthen lamps and fresh flowers to welcome a victorious Lord Rama. They also distribute sweets and exchange gifts of which dry fruits are the most sought after, as they are nutritious and durable.
Shop owners in Ahmedabad said that the floods in Kashmir have affected their business this year with the scant supply of dry fruits.
A shop owner, Babubhai Motwani, said, "This time there is hardly any supply of dry fruits from Kashmir. For the first 10-15 days, we did not get any supply at all, because the lives of people there have been terribly affected by the floods. Now we are slowly getting the dry fruits. The rates this time have gone up by at least 25 percent."
To deal with the supply constraints, shop owners this year have replaced the dry fruits with chocolates.
"To deal with the low supply, this time we have reduced the quantity of dry fruits in gift boxes and added some chocolates to compensate for the quantity," said another shop owner, Himanshu.
Diwali is also celebrated in honour of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. It is believed that Lakshmi, signifying prosperity, comes into those homes that are clean and well-lit.