Plant Myths, Religious Importance, and Traditions in Uttarakhand (Himalaya) - 13
By: Bhishma Kukreti, M.Sc. (Botany) (Mythology Research Scholar)
Botanical name – Prunus ceraoides
Local name –Panyyan
Hindi Name –Padma
Sanskrit Name –Padmaka, Charu, kaidara
Economic benefits – Important for rich nectar for bee keeping; drum stick, stick, resin, fodder, fuel; bark paste for relieving contusion, medicines for uterus disease
Myths, Religious Importance and Traditions
Painyyan or Himalayan wild cherry is very sacred tree of Uttarakhand. The tree stick are used for drum playing (drum and Thali).
The stick is also kept at Nirankar Thau (Place of Nirankar deity).
When there is Nirnkar or bad devta Puja (Ghadela), the person whom Nirankar enters (Nirankar Pashwa) is taken on Pinus or Dwala in a processon to a sacred Panyyan tree. There is drum and Thali play in the procession. The procession ends at Panyyan tree. Then it is said that Garud and snake come there near the tree. After seeing Garud and snake, the Ghadela and other ritual performances are completed. The Painyyan/payyan or Himalayan wild Cherry tree also worshipped.
Painyyan leaves are inserted into garland as for good luck or auspicious in nature.
Madan Swarup Singh Rawat reports that there are many folklore and songs describing Panyyan in Garhwal (Himalaya a Regional Prospective pages -45)
People very rarely cut the tree for wood purpose.
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai 2017
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