As I walk through the rain glistened paths of Lalbagh, I recollect a few lines from the poem ‘The Rain’ by William Henry Davies.
“I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top, Giving the poor beneath Drop after drop;
‘Tis a sweet noise to hear These green leaves drinking near.”
An apt poem to recall don’t you think, when taking an unhurried walk through the botanical garden?
The wet season is here and so are the sweet smelling Sampige, Akash Malige, Parijata and the Basavanapada. Though there are the occasional stray blossoms of red Gulmohar and Jacaranda still in the park, they will soon fade away to be replaced by these fragrant species. Whether it is the rosy hues of Basavanapada or the silvery Akash Malige, their divine scents and blooms will stop you on your tracks at Lalbagh and that’s a promise.
For the uninformed here are few pointers to help you locate these monsoon flowering blossoms.
Champa, Chompa, Sonachampa,Sampige(Magnolia champaca) call it by any name, this native tree cannot be missed. With both white and yellow varieties, this scented flower is used in Pooja offerings. It is also one of the flowers of God Kamadeva(cupid) and so you could do well to declare your love beneath these trees.
Akash Malige, Neem Chameli, Indian Cork Tree(Millingtonia);the bell shaped white flowers grouped in clusters is a sight worth watching. The bark of this tree is used to make cork,hence the name cork tree. If you frequently suffer from colds this tree is worth sniffing. After all the flower buds are used in the treatment of Asthma and Sinusitis.
This is another tree that cannot be missed-Parijata(Nyctanthes arbor-tristis) also known as the Tree of Sorrow are sweet smelling white flowers with orange center. It is a divine tree said to have been brought down from heavens by Lord Krishna.
Bull’s hoof, Camel’s foot, butterfly,Basavanapada, Mandira Pushpa(Bauhinia)- the tree goes by many names. The shape of the leaf gives you a clue to its name Basavanapada or Bull’s hoof. Pink,rose,white, lavender-the flowers come in various colors. This flower is also a popular offering to Lord Ganesha during Ganesh Chaturthi festival.