Brahmakamal:State Flower of Uttrakhand

\"brahmkamal\"Brahmakamal is the official ‘State Flower’ of Uttarakhand State in India. A postage stamp on Brahmakamal was released by Post & Telegraph Department, Govt. of India in 1982.

Brahmakamal is a plant which thrives in The Himalayas. Botanists have identified 31 varieties of Brahmakamal in the Himalayan range. It blooms only once in a year during July-September. The flowers bloom at night and remains for one night. It starts blooming late in the evening, opens up fully between 10 P M and 11 PM. and starts closing down after midnight. It withers away before dawn the next day. The flowers have a lovely fragrance.It looks like lotus but is of smaller size.Legend has it that Brahma emerged from navel in a lotus flower. Hence the name Brahmakamal.

It is believed that Brahmakamal does not bloom in all homes. So people consider themselves lucky and blessed if they are able to witness this rare event and perform puja at the time of its blooming. Blooming of Brahmakamal is considered a good omen. There is a belief that Brahmakamal plant should be received as gift and not bought. (I received it from a friend.) To grow the plant, a mature leaf of an existing plant is planted in the soil. The plant has almost no stem. The base of leaf which is planted becomes hard and transforms itself into a small stem. The flowers bloom from the sides of leaves.

Brahmakamal finds a place both in Ramayana and Mahabharat. In Ramayan, when Laxman was revived with the help of Sanjibani, Gods in celebration showered flowers including Brahmakamal which took root in Earth. In Mahabharat, Bhim was going up to the jungle in search of Brahmakamal when he met Hanuman disguised as an old monkey sitting on the way.(Source-bankersgarden.blogspot.in)

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