The Folly of Common Names Struck me between the eyes when I first gazed upon these Gorgeously Fragrant Flowers in the well maintained Temple gardens surrounding The Lakshmikantha Swamy Temple opposite the sprawling Infosys campus in Mysore, Karnataka, India.

The Sky touching Main Entrance or Gopuram in typical Dravidian Style decorated with statues of the Creator Lord Vishnu or LakshmiKantham.

The Main Entrance of the Temple

When I first gazed upon these lovely and graceful flowers I was reminded of a flower from the Himalayas which still haunts me “The Golden Champa” ( English), Champa ( Hindi) or Magnolia champaca ( Scientific Name). Yet these flowers were white and far from being Yellow or Golden.

The leaves closely resemble that of  the Mango Tree ( do see the featured image above) , which is considered auspicious and the leaves are used to decorate homes and temples during festivals like Diwali. ( an earlier blog titled “KING and I” gives an in depth insight on Mangoes)

Innumerable Flowers hidden by Mango-like Leaves

I had never seen these fragrant “Champa”flowers which my host from Southern India identified them as.

In the Northern parts of India I hail from  the temple flower or Frangipanni  is  referred to as Champa in common parlance. Though the tree was located in a temple ,the flowers were nothing like the five petaled Champa  ( scientific name is Plumeria alba) which is also white, but with a yellow centre.

The tell tale central Gopuram resembles those of the “Magnolia grandiflora I had seen in the Himalayas and posted about in earlier blogs titled “Fragrant Opulence “ and “The Lotus Tree”.

The Magnificent Lotus-like Flower

In Modern Classification the flower determines the species and I was certain it is a species of Magnolia .You will be too if you compare the tell tale centres ( stamens and carpals)  of the flowers in the pictures above and  those in the blogs mentioned above.

This Lotus like flower , also called White Champa ( the lady was dead right) is none other than the Magnolia alba ( scientific name) , a supposed hybrid of the Magnolia champaca and native to the Indian subcontinent.

Enchanting is it not ?


Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

22 thoughts on “CHAMPA”

  1. sun champa sun tara koi jita koi hara
    are bada maza aae hay suno meri bat
    jhume nache gaae chalo aaj sari rat
    sun champa sun tara koi jita koi hara
    are bada maza aae hay suno meri bat
    jhume nache gaae chalo aaj sari rat
    sun champa sun tara

    Liked by 2 people

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