JAMBU TO GET PRIDE OF PLACE AT THIS YEAR’S VASANTOTSAV AT RAJ BHAWAN
Sunday, 18 February 2018 | Jaskiran Chopra | Dehradun-
A week away is the annual Vasantotsav (Spring Festival) of Raj Bhawan, Dehradun. This event has become extremely popular over the years. Preparations are now underway at Raj Bhawan for the two –day event beginning on February 24.
It has become a tradition over the last few years to highlight some herbs or medicinal plant growing in Uttarakhand at the Vasantotsav. A special postal cover on this particular plant is released by the Governor during the inauguration of the event every year. The special postal cover to be released this year will be on Jambu, a medicinal plant found in high -altitude areas of the state. Jambu herb came from Brazil. It is used as a flavouring agent and for its medicinal properties across the world and is really effective for toothaches. It is used as a medicinal remedy in various parts of the world. A small, erect plant, it grows quickly and bears gold and red flowers. It is frost-sensitive but perennial in warmer climates.
Uttarakhand has a wealth of biodiversity and countless such plants or trees. Each year, people get to know in detail about the particular plant chosen for featuring on the first day cover brought out by the department of posts. At Vasantotsav 2017, the Governor released the special postal cover on Vana Tulasi which has medicinal and religious significance. It grows between 750 to 3000 metre altitudes in Uttarakhand.
In 2016,, the first day cover featuring Amesh or sea buckthorn was released. Any tree or plant that is highlighted at this annual event becomes the focus of attention and people become aware of its properties and uses. The commercial cultivation of the plant can be focussed upon in a better way. Amesh grows naturally in many areas of Uttarakhand hills. It grows in cold climates and is known to prevent soil erosion and enrich the soil. The plant parts contain many anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial substances. It flowers in March and April.
The herb chosen in 2015 at the festival was Shankhpushpi. It is known as Aloe weed or Convolvulus Pluricalis and has immense medicinal value. In 2014, the chosen herb was Kedarpatri (Skimmia Laureola) , a medicinal plant that is eaten by musk deer.
This initiative of the Vasantotsav to highlight the hill state’s medicinal herbs and plants is important as far as promoting Uttarakhand as a herbal state is concerned. The large number of people who visit the annual Vasantotsav derive a lot of awareness and knowledge about Uttarakhand’s vast biodiversity –its unique flowers and plants.