Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Flora of North East India......

Flora of North East  India.....
Areca nut (Areca catechu) or betel  nut is abundantly grown in  These are the freshly plucked fruits of the palm. 


The dried and cured nuts are chewed with betel leaves as a mouth freshener. The raw nut  is locally called tambul in Assam and chewing it as a mild intoxicant is an age-old tradition. These fruits are considered sacred and essentially required for many rituals of marital ceremonies. So ingrained in Assamese tradition is this nut, the commercial capital of Assam, Guwahati city (Guwa means areaca nut) has got it's name from it only. There is a market exclusively for trading this nut in Guwahati. During my three years stay there, i have noticed these slender, lanky palms in the yard of almost every household, much like the obligatory holy basil in every household in Orissa. Not to forget the expansive areca nut palm  plantations in Meghalaya. How I frolicked under the canopy among the palms, grown in the rolling hills, enjoying the cool breeze, looking at the bunches of nuts? I call that peace and bliss....

Kasatandi flowers, the beauty of autumn ....The sweeping expanses of these feathery, long-stalked, white broom like blossoms under the azure sky graces the landscape. Indians associate these flowers with Durga Puja. During this fortnight-long festival, the fields are abloom with these lovely grasses,swaying in gentle breeze with their pleasant smell thick in the air........

Here I am in front of the feathery blooms.......



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