Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Flame of the Forest

"Flame of the Forest" might be a romantic sounding name, but don't forget, it's also called Bastard Teak, lol.

The beauty of the dry deciduous forests of India reaches the peak when most trees have dropped their leaves, and the Flame of the Forest is in its full bloom.

Some of you might be interested to know that spoons made of this tree are used for ghee-oblations, and in the days before matchboxes, the bark of this tree was lit and used to start the daily agnihotram at sunrise and sunset.

Because the tree is indigenous to India, it finds mention in many literary sources, from vedas to love poetry.

If you've heard about the Battle of Plassey - where the English defeated the Nawab of Bengal - that comes from Palash, the Bengali word for this tree.

Tagore chose the Palash to celebrate the basanta ustsav at Santiniketan. See that little curved hook on the flower? Like Santhali women, you too can use the hook to tuck the flower behind your ear as you walk the lanes of Santiniketan.

Photo clicked by yours truly, in Ranthambhore. You can also spot these trees in Delhi, in the Central Ridge, or at Qutb Complex, or near the Kalkaji temple.