Nature has provided us so many vistas of beauty, but none is as beautiful as flowers. Like an innocent child who steals our hearts, flowers, God’s gift to us, are a proof of the purity that nature symbolizes.
Flowers in Indian culture
The epic Ramayana mentions Ram and Sita meeting each other in a garden and later when Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, she was held captive in Ashoka Van. Both the gardens are described as being full of fruit trees and flowers. In another epic, Mahaharata, the city of Indraprastha is said to have gardens, parks and lakes in its layout. Lord Krishna and his association with the Kadamba tree is also mentioned in ancient texts. Later kings planted trees along roads as well as construct gardens to beautify their cities as well as to ease the travel weary. Classical Sanskrit literature too is full of accounts of gardens and flowers. Thus, we get an idea of the importance of flowers and gardens in ancient India.
Flowers in India
Not many of us would be aware that a large number of flowers that grow in our country are actually not native to this region. This means that they were brought here from other places and have now adapted themselves to the climatic and soil conditions here. Though there is no record as such of which flowers came from where and how, it can be safely said that most of these came with Mughals and the British. India’s vast geographical and climatic zones have proved beneficial to cultivation of all kinds of flowers. In fact, even rose is not native to India. It was introduced in our country by Mughal emperor, Babur. His successors, Jehangir and Nurjehan loved the flower and encouraged growing it in gardens.