Endangered flower of the Himalayas–Brahma Kamal

A flower which is native to the Indian Himalayas, found only in high altitude areas, is indeed a rare and special flower. Lord Brahma is said to hold one of these in his hand, hence the name. Is is the ‘Life giving Lotus’ or Sanjeevni booti (the Magical life giving plant. When we visited the temple of Badrinath, I happened to see some of these flowers, which were being offered in prayer. Seeing my delight, I was gifted a few. The Brahma Kamal is exclusively found in the Indian Himalayas, parts of Burma and China. It is used in traditional medicine. 

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It is said that nymphs reside in the mountains and enchanted forests in the Himalayas where these flowers grow in plenty. They abduct young men who go to pluck the flowers !!!! Apparently, the plant contains hallucinogens which cause people to lose their senses when they smell the flowers. Of course, I could get the strong sweet odour from a mile away….maybe my happiness that day can be attributed to these exotic flowers which are being  sought and plucked and sold and are now endangered…..

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