Nature’s Resplendent Crowns…
With the summer bringing sunshine and warmth, flowering trees in India are showcasing their magnificent visual treasures for the summer months…Once the rains hit the landscape around June-July, the countless, dazzling blooms will lie scattered like beautiful carpets on the rain-soaked green ground!
Celebrate the coming of spring and summer in India!
By Vimla Patil
It’s that time of the year again in India. Everywhere in the country’s forests, cities and villages, exotic Gulmohar, Palash, Laburnum, Jaquaranda and Flame of the Forest trees will soon be in full bloom, with their sunburst dangles etched against the azure sky. Their joyful procession of orange, yellow and vermillion floral cascades unfolds before us the exotic grandeur of tropical flowering trees for the last few weeks.
The queen among all the flowering trees is undoubtedly the Gulmohar. With its vibrant burst of blooms, the tree is called by several botanical names the world over, the best of them being Delonix Regia or Royal Ponciana. Gulmohars are deciduous tropical trees. The tree has fern-like leaves and dazzling dangles of red and orange flowers. With its majestic flowering, it is considered one of the most beautiful trees in the world! From Madagascar to Mumbai, this tree rules the landscape with its flamboyant beauty!
Indeed, nature lovers can revel in the beauty of the Indian countryside during the spring and summer months. For some trees, the flowering season continues into the early Monsoon. During these months, the countryside, national parks, gardens and whole forests become a feast of colour because of innumerable flowering trees which bloom during these months. Sometimes, the crowns of trees are so flamboyant, that from far away, large areas appear as if the trees are on fire. In reality, they could be the Flame-of-the-Forest trees in full bloom. Some forests may look golden in colour because of the Golden Shower or Rusty Shield Bearer trees in full bloom. Similarly, purple, pink, red, white and other colours create tree-top spectacles because of the flowering trees that bloom mostly in spring and summer.
India’s flowering trees have been celebrated through copious research by botanical experts. From the slopes of the Himalayas where rhododendrons grow in abundance to the tip of the Indian peninsula where Harsingar or Laburnums grow profusely, botanists have studied every species and recorded their profiles and given them pride of place in books, research papers, paintings, photography and most important, in the stamps designed on special occasions. Many flowering trees have found their images on Indian stamps.
Tourists to India agree that one of the greatest sights of India’s tropical landscapes is the flowering of trees in the summer. Over the past many centuries various authorities and rulers have built the fabulous cities of India used these species of trees to create unforgettable summer landscapes when all flowering trees blossom with bunches of yellow, orange, purple and red flowers. Among cities that are blessed with a profusion of such flowering trees are New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and of course all the areas of the Gangetic plains including Varanasi, Lucknow and Allahabad. Mumbai for instance, was the trading post of the early British settlements and thus was designed in a mini-image of the London landscape but with tropical trees that would add a touch of glamour. Thus the South Mumbai area today boasts green expanses or maidans bordered with flowering trees even in these days of severe congestion.
Bengaluru and Mysore are a vision of beauty with flowering trees planted in a disciplined manner along all major roads. In fact, because of the innumerable flowering trees, Bengaluru is called the Garden City of India. New Delhi was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens with majestic roads bordered with flowering trees. Later, the Government of India designed National Parks where flowering trees and shrubs literally create Valleys of Flowers every summer.
Additionally, New Delhi has been named the fourth most beautiful garden city of the world by the Congress of Urban Green Spaces. Delhi has been the capital of India for centuries and the Mughal gardens designed by various city planners are a sight to be seen in the summer with flowering trees and plants. The roads are covered with carpets of multi-coloured petals all through the summer into the autumn. Bengaluru is known as the garden city of India with its fabulous rows of flowering trees along most main streets. The Vrindavan Gardens in nearby Mysore are a delight to see and famous as a tourist destination. The Sahyadri Mountains (Western Ghats) along the west coast of India are also a spectacle of a spectrum of colours and blossoming trees and plants as the summer approaches.
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the only large forest with wild animals and a huge variety of butterflies and flowering trees and plants, unbelievably stands right in the middle of one of the largest, cities of India, Mumbai, which is the financial hub of India. This park is unique for its own “Valley of Flowers” which blooms as the rains recede in September.
Did you know?
India is known for its flower valleys from the Himalayas to peninsular India. Here are some examples:
The Valley of Flowers National Park in the Himalayas: This valley starts from Ghangharia. There is a dense Birch forest on the hillsides. The River Pushpavati flows through the valley and there are many waterfalls enhancing the beauty of the valley. The bloom of a vast variety of flowers starts immediately after the melting of snow but a magnificent show unfolds from mid-July to mid-August. Almost 300 species of wild flowers bloom here. The prominent species are Brahma Kamal, Anemone, Geranium, Marsh marigold, Primula, Lilium and many others. The valley attracts many trekkers in the summer.
The Kaas Valley in Maharashtra: The Kaas Valley lies near the historic city of Satara in Maharashtra. The wide plateau in the Sahyadri Hill offers endless visions of colourful flowers blooming in huge patches along the road.
The Singlila Park in the Sikkim Himalayas: This is a unique national park with rhododendron forests and rare varieties of orchids. At a height of between 2400 m to 3650m, Singalila is the highest National Park in West Bengal. The park has an area of 78.60 sq.km with mixed vegetation of Magnolia, Rhododendron, Oak, Pine Hemlock, Silver Fir, Juniper, Mailing Bamboo, Buk, Kawla, Bhujpatra etc. The Singalila Park also has a priceless collection of different species of rare orchids that adorns the forests. The Singalila Park is also very important for some most endangered species of animals.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai: This unique national park in Borivali, a suburb of the metro city of Mumbai is a rain washed jungle in the midst of the buzzing city. Created in 1974, the landscape has undulating hills covered with forests and green valleys with the Vihar and Tulsi Lakes (which provide water to Mumbai) dotting the landscape. It is famous for its small tiger and leopard populations in the core area and for the huge variety of butterflies that prance among the flower carpets that cover the ground after the Monsoons. The park also includes the historic Kanheri Caves dating to the 1stt and 9th century A.D.
Tagged with: Flowers • Indian Flowering Trees
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