Turmeric (Curcuma Longa L.) the ancient and sacred spice of India known as ‘Indian Saffron’ is an important commercial spice crop grown in India. It is also known as the "Golden Spice of Life” and is one of the most essential spices used as an important ingredient in culinary all over the world. Turmeric is a tropical perennial plant, native to India and Indonesia and is cultivated throughout the tropics around the world. Indian Turmeric is considered the best in the world. Growing to a height of about three feet, it bears pairs of lance-shaped leaves on alternate sides of the stem. At the base of the stem, there is a knobby rhizome somewhat resembling ginger. It belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. The commercial part is rhizome or underground stem. Indian vernacular names are Pasupu, Haldi, Manjal, and Kunyit in some Asian countries. The main turmeric producing states in India are Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Kerala.
There are about 30 turmeric varieties grown in India. The important turmeric varieties grown in India are `Alleppey Finger Turmeric’ (Kerala), `Erode and Salem Turmeric’ (Tamilnadu), `Rajapore’ and `Sangli Turmeric’ (Maharashtra) and `Nizamabad Bulb Turmeric’ (Andhra Pradesh). Among them, Alleppey and Madras (Perianadan) are of great commercial importance. Some of the improved varieties are CO-11983, BSR 11986, Krishna, Roma, Suroma, Ranga, Rasmi, Megha Turmeric-1, Suguna, Sudarshana, Suranjana, Duggirala, Kodur, Suvarna varna, IISR Prabha, IISR Prathibha, Rajendra and Sonia.