palaash-phool-flame-of-forest-state-tree-of-jharkhand

Search for Flame of The Forest/ Tesu tree in Jaipur

This year I received a box of organic colors on  the occasion of Holi. ( Click here to read my post on Holi). The box contained dried flower of Tesu tree/ Palaash tree The tree is also popular as Flame of the Forest tree elsewhere in Asia. Gifting of colors is a  common practice  on occasion of Holi. Often, color packet is accompanied with a bottle of Thandai or box of locally made Indian sweets. This is how organic color box looked like.

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Tesu ke Phool. Organic and safe way to play Holi

This is how you can prepare organic color for Holi from dried Tesu flowers- the easy way!

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How to prepare organic colors for Holi with Tesu flowers. Instruction on box.

The box reminded me of a story I had read during my school years  about  how a protagonist prepares organic colors  from Tesu flowers for Holi. It kind of made me curious. Is it possible to find Tesu tree in Jaipur?

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Tesu flowers. Also known as Palaash tree or Flame of Forest!

Tesu is also known as Palaash in hindi. Going by the scientific  name of Butea Monosperma, it is commonly called Flame of Forest. And it does full  justice to its name. The bright orange color flower is absolute beauty. It stands out among its surrounding. Even though this tree is quite common in Central India namely Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh, it extends all the way to the state of West Bengal in east. Some say that instead of offering sacrifice to Goddess Kali (popular deity in Bengal), one can offer Palaash flower in its place!! The tree holds great religious and cultural significance to the region & states where it is commonly found. It is a state flower of Jharkhand. The tree flowers from January  to March. The time coincides with the festival of  Holi, which is usually  celebrated in the month of March.

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Tesu flowers, used for making organic color- Gulaal. Flame of Forest tree.

Coming back, finding Tesu flowers in Jaipur seems like a remote possibility since the topography of Jaipur differs vastly from Central India, where it is commonly found. But I still wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any; at least in popular parts of the city. There are lots of Ashoka , Holopetlia Ingrifolia, Gulmohar, Neem trees but no Tesu or Palaash tree in Jaipur!!

Few weeks had passed by. During one of the hiking excursion near Jaipur, I came across a   bright orange flower bloom on a  tree. Looked like I had located the tree I was looking for! Wow!

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That’s a Tesu flower……Flame of Forest tree!

Here is another tree in the vicinity. Much older and bigger!

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Found!!…. Palaash Tree in jungle
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In full bloom. Flame of Forest tree.

Time for close up of Tesu flower cluster.

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Tesu flower cluster.

Tesu or Palaash flower is found in clusters. Shaped like a parrot beak, it is devoid of fragrance or smell. Here’s another close up of a single flower!

palaash-phool-flame-of-forest-state-tree-of-jharkhand
Tesu flower, shaped like a beak of parrot.

The Flame of Forest tree truly proved its name -I found one in the forest!!

Even though, the tree was technically not in Jaipur but now I know where to source the Tesu flowers to prepare organic color for next Holi!! Bravo!

tesu-flower-palaash-used-for-gulaal-on-holi-jaipurthrumylens
Search for Tesu flower ends!

In case, you haven’t run through my photo story on Holi festival, check it out here.

Check out other blog posts in same category, Click Here.

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Tesu Ke Phool tree Flame of the forest jaipurthrumylens #Palaashflower #Palaashtree #Tesu

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41 thoughts on “Search for Flame of The Forest/ Tesu tree in Jaipur

  1. Fascinating post! I love learning about other cultures, and I’m so glad you found the Flame of Forest. It’s quite beautiful. I will read about Holi now. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that you liked it Judith…An appreciation from an artist like you surely means something!… I hope it can provide you some inspiration! Just out of curiosity, how did you land up on this blog? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found your blog recently…can’t remember what led me there. I’ve been seeing your posts in my “Reader”, and when I saw the Tesu tree this morning, I had to comment. I think I probably found the blog by using the “Recommendations” that come up from WordPress.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Could you believe this? I have always been fascinated by Tesu flowers. ‘Kesudo’ is how it is known as in Gujarat. My mother recalls one holi celebration particularly every year. and it had a bucket full of Tesu coloured water. May be that is the reasons why I am fascinated by it. Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures and carefully written piece.

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    1. Mana…Even though rose occupies top slot when it comes to flowers, but I feel the sheer beauty of a blooming Tesu pales all! Kesudo? The word sounds quite like “Maarwaari” which is spoken in some pockets of Rajasthan. I’m happy that you liked it. I wrote it because I’m fascinated with the flower, like you. will make a post on another similar looking flower. It’s been pending for quite some time like this one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀 your post made me smile. Yes, many words of Gujarati have Rajasthani ancestry. And both the languagues trace their roots in Prakrit languages. Anyways…

        Coming back to our fascination with Tesu, I’d love to read about other flower too. Flowers are symbols of so many things. Beauty, sacrifice, life and what not! Rose is kind of a pompous! Its personality is egoistic. I love Mogra flower a lot. But Madhumalti and Raatrani are my favourites!

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      2. Mana.. Lot of other similarities exists too.. Some other time!
        You’re right on flowers. If you dig mythology, you’ll find reference to all these flowers. probably, with so much western influence all these flowers have taken a backseat. 🙂

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  3. Arv lovely pictures and to tell you the truth I haven’t heard of this flowers. Looks so beautiful. the colour is sure the flame of the forest. Good to know something new. Holi am not a great fan of the colours on you. Its after effect of taking it off is real difficult. Being in Chennai haven’t got much on hands in celebrating holi and have never heard of these flowers also. Good post. Am happy you finally found what you were searching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meena, I’m happy that you liked this post. I know Chennai is not at all into celebrating Holi. If you ever celebrate Holi, use organic colours. you face any issues in Washing it Off! Trust me Holi is fun. people have become very conscious and many people won’t play with chemical colours. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! those flowers are awesome and I must admit I didn’t know their name or the use as narrated by you. Thank you for such an informative post. I marvel at the beauties of nature…trees growing so well in the wilderness, without any care!
    Lovely images. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Sudhit for appreciating the post. Yes, Tesu was very popular among the poets and story tellers, but I guess those were different times. I doubt if lots of people in my generation can recall Tesu tree or flower! 🙂

      Like

    1. Quite a few of these were planted by forest department whereas rest of these came up on their own -evolution cycle. The trees you are referring to can be planted and these are hardy variants. Variety in trees is way forward! Thanks for checking it out and writing your views on the subject! 🙂

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      1. Sandhya, I hardly use much of technical equipment. At times I just use simple point and shoot camera. I just follow basic photography principles that everyone can. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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