Kalyanasougandhikam – White Ginger Lily

First of all, I wish everyone a very Happy Deepavali

White Ginger Lily, known as ‘Kalyanasougandhikam’ in Malayalam, is a beautiful flower with captivating fragrance. ‘Sugandham’ means fragrance and ‘sougandhikam’ is something which is fragrant, and so is the name of the flower. These are the flowers from my garden.

Kalyanasougandhikam - White Ginger Lily

The white flower has four petals which are arranged in a special manner. Two are in the same direction while the other two are in opposite directions.

Kalyanasougandhikam - White Ginger Lily

The plant belongs to the Ginger family. Leaves are long and resemble that of Canna Indica and Ginger. 

Bees consuming the nectar. . .

Kalyanasougandhikam - White Ginger Lily

The flowers before blooming . . .

Kalyanasougandhikam - White Ginger Lily

There is a story about this flower in the Hindu epic ‘Mahabharatha’. Some of you might know this. The story is like this. One day, Bheema (the second among Pandavas) and his wife Panchali were spending time in the forest, when she noticed a flower with an extraordinary fragrance. It was this flower, ‘kalyanasaugandhikam’. She liked it very much that she asked Bheema to get some more such flowers for her. Bheema went out in search of this flower in the forest. Bheema, who is known for his power and strength, destroyed all barriers (including trees), which came on his way. Hanuman, who was sitting on Bheema’s way, realized it. Both Bheema and Hanuman were sons of ‘Vayu’. Hanuman knew this but Bheema didn’t. So Hanuman decided to settle down his brother’s violence and for that, he took the form of an old monkey and laid there on the path itself. When he reached there, he asked the old monkey to give him his way. But he replied that he couldn’t move himself as he was so aged, and asked him to move him using his ‘Gada’(a round headed weapon). But Bheema couldn’t. Realizing that it was not an ordinary monkey, he asked the monkey who he actually was. Hanuman told him all the stories and Bheema calm down. Later he got the ‘Sougandhika’ flowers and returned happily. That is the summary of the story.

This story was made into ‘Kalyanasougandhikam Thullal Katha’ by Kunchan Nambiar. It is well known in Kerala. ‘Thullal’ is an art form, developed by the ancient Malayalam poet, Kunchan Nambiar. 
Very interesting things about a flower, isn’t it? 

Coming back to the flower, its scientific name is Hedychium coronarium, and is bulbous. It is a favourite for honeybees. 

Kalyanasougandhikam - White Ginger Lily

Once again Happy Diwali to all. 

13 thoughts on “Kalyanasougandhikam – White Ginger Lily

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *