Special Commissioner launches project to grow flowering plants

The flowers for the daily rituals (‘puja') at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala will soon be cultivated at the Sannidhanam itself. The idea was conceived by Karthik Narayan, a devotee from Bangalore. S.H. Panchapakesan, Sabarimala Special Commissioner appointed by the Kerala High Court, and Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president M. Rajagopalan Nair are the driving forces behind the novel initiative, christened ‘Sabari Saran Gardens.'

Mr. Narayan identified the forest area adjoining the Telephone Bhavan and the queue complex near the Valiya Nadappanthal at the Sannidhanam for implementing the project. The space identified for the garden project was being used as a garbage dumping yard by the TDB and the shopkeepers at the Sannidhanam for the past several years.

Mr. Narayan told The Hindu that he deployed 40 workers for shifting the heaps of garbage from the site to the incinerator yard at Pandithavalom a week ago. He said different kinds of flowering plants would be grown in the garden and a permanent system for its maintenance too would be established, once the project was commissioned.

Mr. Panchapakesan launched the project during an informal ‘bhumi puja' held at the Sannidhanam recently. He said as many as 10,001 saplings of various flowering plants had been made available from Bangalore for Sabari Saran Gardens.

Floral offering

According to Mr. Narayan, flowers represent or ‘prakriti' (nature) , and when we offer flowers to the deity, we are praying to God to eradicate our ‘tamo' and ‘rajo' gunas and bless us with ‘satwa guna' that is conducive to the flowering of consciousness.

He said the garden was expected to be in full bloom by the forthcoming Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival.