Saturday, March 3, 2012

Flowers of Trikuta Hills

Trikuta hills with three lofty mountain peaks are world famous for the sacred pilgrimage of Goddess Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine located in the picturesque backdrop of Pine forests . Lakhs of devotees coming from distant places within and outside India pay homage to the Goddess Vaishno Devi for the spiritual blessings and maintenance of peace and harmony in the society .
Trek route to the sacred shrine starts from Banganga and pass through picturesque spots like Charan Paduka , Adh Kuwari , Bhairo Ghati and enters Vaishno Devi Bhawan .On the way one comes across beautiful flowers decorating the surroundings in an attractive setting of hilly landscape .Different seasons in different moods get decorated differently for adding charm and colour to the pilgrimage of the holy shrine .

Autumn season is seen coloured with attractive hues of falling foliage decorated in red ,yellow or pink .Silk Cotton Tree , Chinese Tallow Tree , Indian Odina Tree , Indian Smoke Bush , Maples are flowerless but are dressed in attractive coloured tints during this part of the season .Winter approaches with sparse blooming of wild plants , shrubs and climbers namely Spermadictyon suaveolens , Porana paniculata , Poinsettia pulcherrima and later get decorated with a magnificent cover of white snow especiallyat spots like Adh Kuwari ,Bhairo Ghati and Trikuta Peaks dotted with green leafy Pines ,Laurels , Monkey Face Trees and leafless Maples , Spindle Trees and Horse Chestnut Trees.

Spring season is more attractive of all the seasons and provide a breathtaking view of Trikuta Hills . Indian Jonquil , Narcissus tazetta locally called Heer minjar in Dogri and Yamberjal in Kashmiri is first to bloom to spread its maddening fragrance all along the hilly trek .Further up in and around Bhairo ghati area .golden yellow blooms of Indian Collyrium , Colchicum luteum locally called Surunjaa in Dogri and Virkimposh in Kashmiri , start flowering amidst patches of snow .Down below ,Silk Cotton Trees ,Bombax ceiba (Simbal ) and Indian Coral Tree ,Erythrina indica (Thubb )get laden with deep red flowers to provide feast to the alluring birds like Mynas ,Crows ,Treepies and Drongos . Bhairo Ghati get dressed up in brilliant blooms of Indian Rose Tree , Rhododendron arboretum ( Chew , Madhaal ,Buraans ) .Now , floral basket of nature gets widely opened up and every inch of surroundings gets all possible hues and tints of flowers .Wheat fields around Katra and Charan Paduka are full of decorative blooms like pink coloured Tulips(Maghoone , Magge ) , pink Geraniums ,yellow Winter Flax ( Basant , Phiyuli ) , golden Carrot Sage ,Eremostachys superba (Gaajarmoola ) , white Butterfly Buddlejas , Langoor Pear ,Pyrus pashia (Kainth ) ,brilliant blue Eranthemum pulchellum , Wild Musk Rose , Rosa brunonii ( Kareer ) and golden yellow Caesalpinia bonduc ( Dudhrehda ) among plethora of other blooms . Decorative Indian Orchid Tree , Bauhinia variegata locally called Katraid is followed by the attractive blooms of Flame Of The Forest in the backdrop of Trikuta hills to add colour and charm to the surroundings .

Summer season welcomes not only attractive flowers of Palash ,Butea monosperma but also beautiful blooms of Indian Laburnum ,Cassia fistula ( Karangal , Amaltaas ) , Scarlet Flame Bush ( Dhaai ,Dhaataki ) , Gulmohar ,Delonix regia , Jacaranda mimosaefolia , Wendlandia heyneii (Pansar ) , Melia azederach ( Dhraink ) ,Sterculia pallens (Udaal ) and Ehretia serrata ( Pauna )

Rainy season is full of clouds and drizzles and it nurtures many fascinating blooms of various monsoon herbs shrubs , trees and climbers . Leucas capitata ( ,Phumman , Dronpushpi ), Gloriosa superba ( Kalihaari , K ukkadsira ) , Strobilanthes alatus ( Pardaah ) , Mimosa rubicaulis ( Raal ) , Ipomea purpurea ( Kharpowa , Ishaqpecha) , Martynia annua ( Bhiddu ,Kaun ) , Impatiens balsamina ( Teera ,Gulmehndi ) , Rabdosia rugosa ( Salaiee , Peeunmaar ) , Mirabilis jalapa ( Gulbaasi ) , Cestrum nocturnum (Raat ki Raani ) , Lagerstroemia indica ( Panjtaara ) ,Oroxylum indicum ( Taatra , Marinjan ) all present their grand panorama amidst lush green verdant surroundings to attract visitors and pilgrims proceeding on way to holy Vaishno Devi Shrine .

Flowers of Trikuta Hills and Vaishno Devi Shrine are vital links in the forest ecology and are a source of food for numerous bees , butterflies ,birds and other wildlife of the area . These flowers are basis of future greenery and important for providing multiple and indispensable ecological , cultural , economic services to the local communities of the area . Goddess Vaishno Devi's happiness lies not only in maintaining religious fervor and devotion but also in conserving nature's beauty in its pristine glory , the way God and Goddesses have created . Spoiling nature and its manifestations in one or the other way is sure to attract wrath of our sacred shrines and we need to look at nature with same reverence as we have for our places of worship

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