Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nagalinga or Cannonball flower

The topic for this week's photos in my class is patterns and textures. We need to photograph a couple of shapes and patterns that repeat throughout the photo, and also need to try and get a feel for the texture of the subject in the picture.

My first thought was to take a picture of the bark of one of our Live Oaks pointing up from below so that the rest of the tree is in the frame as well. Later I realized that I'd already done this before - in Trivandrum in 2006, under the Nagalinga tree.

Most of you from Madras or the South of India know this tree and must have seen it before. For those who haven't - this flower is called Nagalinga because the pink flower looks like a serpent head (Naga) hovering over a linga.

The flowers smell heavenly and at the peak of summer when all the flowers are in full bloom, you can find this tree just from its fragrance, from several meters away.

There was one tree in some private land across the street from where we lived in Madras. So though I could see them, I couldn't ever get close enough to the flowers. Then when I was in Trivandrum with my parents in 2006, we found this tree within the Shastha Temple grounds! It was in full bloom and I got some good pictures.

When I looked online for details about this tree, I couldn't find too much info. There is one blog entry in someone's blog that describes the Nagalinga Pushpa, but that's about it.

When I searched for Cannonball Flower however, I found many more links.


kitchensurfing said...

Hmm...don't know if I've ever come across these in Madras.

Figures you prefer nature photography to anything else?

bindu said...

The tree I'm talking about was on the road across from the Raj Bhavan, almost directly across the street from the Saidapet court house. There must've been many more.

Yeah - I like taking photos of bugs and animals, and nature - but not the typical landscapes etc. I try to get some interesting angle or composition that highlights some specific feature. I also like taking still life shots, with interesting colour composition or shadows etc. :)

Nungavaram said...

In Ayurveda, Nagalinga or Nagakesara(sanskrit) is used extensively as an anti-inflammatory medicine.The volatile oils from the flowers show anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.It is one of the ingredients in the many preparations which cure gastritis, scabies, bleeding piles,dysentry,scorpion poison and many.