The Golden Shower Tree’s scientific name (The Cassia Fistula) is derived from words Cassia, meaning aromatic bark (like Cinnamon) and fistula, indicating tubular or pipe-like shape, which describes the pods. It is a popular ornamental tree worldwide and has multiple medicinal properties.
It is called ‘Aragvadha’ which means ‘disease killer’ in Ayurveda, and is used to treat several dermal, gastrointestinal and cardiac problems. The Golden Shower tree is a beautiful flowering tree with unusual, interesting fruit and significant cultural relevance. Apart from its various uses, when in full bloom in May and June months, it is one of the most beautiful trees in the dry deciduous forests and street sides of India.
The flowers are of ritual importance in the state of Kerala, where they are part of the ‘Vishukkani’ during the festival of Vishu. Its leaves are also used as offerings during religious ceremonies. Besides this, it is the floral emblem of the state of Kerala and the national flower of Thailand.
The tree is native to India and other countries in South and Southeast Asia. A variety of local names in different Indian languages demonstrates its widespread occurrence across the country. Common names range from Amaltas in Hindi, Bahava in Marathi and Vishu Konnai in Malayalam. Interestingly, in West Bengal, the Golden Shower Tree’s local name – Bandar Lathi (meaning monkey’s stick) is derived from the supposition that monkeys are particularly fond of the sweet pulp around the seeds and by eating them, help in dispersing them. The Golden Shower Tree is also mentioned in various Sanskrit scriptures and literary works by different names like Karikara, Suvarnaka, Kritmala, etc.
Dravidian architecture was a style of architecture that emerged thousands of years ago in the Southern part of the Indian subcontinent or South India, built by the Dravidian peoples. It consists primarily of pyramid shaped structures called Kopurams in Tamil which are dependent on intricate carved stone in order to create a step design. Dravidian architecture temple tower consist of many statues of deities, warriors, kings, dancers and animals.
Mentioned as one of three styles of temple building in the ancient book Vastu shastra, it originated mainly in the region of Tamilnadu. The majority of the existing buildings are located in the Southern Indian states of Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra pradesh. Various kingdoms and empires such as the Cholas, Chera, Pandyas, Pallavas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas, and Vijayanagara Empire amongst many others have made a substantial contribution to the evolution of Dravidian architecture through the ages. Dravidian styled architecture can also be found in parts of North India, Northeastern and central Sri Lanka, Maldives, and various parts of Southeast Asia, Angkorwat in Cambodia and Prambanan in Indonesia were built based on early Dravidian Architecture.