• It’s natural for the pure sciences subject of Botany to be linked to Ayurveda, but Panjab University’s (PU’s) Department of Botany has sought to re-emphasise its association with Vedic astrology as well, officially launching a newly created ‘Navgraha Vatika’ (garden of nine major celestial bodies) on International Science Day, Tuesday

Inaugurated by Panjab University Vice Chancellor Prof (Dr) Renu Vig, the open ‘vatika’, within the sprawling but entry-restricted P.N. Mehra Botanical Garden, has plants, trees, bushes or grasses planted in particular directions depending on the different celestial force each of these represent.

Photos By : Life In Chandigarh

Chairperson of the Botany Department at PU Prof (Dr) Promila Pathak told your own news website LifeInChandigarh.com on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony, attended by students and faculty of the department along with select invitees, that the ‘vatika’ is aimed at  creating awareness among the masses about the contribution of these plants, associated with  ‘Navgraha’, in creating positive energy, purifying the air, bringing prosperity, good health and wealth in our lives, as well as removing ‘vastu dosha’.

“We cannot limit the study of Indian plants to their therapeutic values alone, but also consider their contribution from astrological point of view. Astrology along with Ayurveda shows how we can heal ourselves through the herbs corresponding to our particular star,” she opined.

Along with taking care of the particular directions in which the plants have been grown, each plant bed has been architecturally designed and coloured corresponding to the celestial body it represents.

So, according to Prof Pathak, among the plants grown in the ‘vatika’, the ‘safed aak’ represents the Sun, ‘Shatavari’ the Moon, ‘tulsi’ Mercury, ‘parijat’ or ‘harsingar’ (flowering plant) represents Venus, ‘ashwagandha’ Mars, banana Jupiter and ‘bhang’ Saturn.

Though astronomically not planets, ‘Rahu’ and ‘Ketu’ are considered ‘planets’ in Vedic astrology because of their believed huge impact on human lives. These ‘planets’, considered the north and south nodes of the Moon respectively, are represented by ‘durva’ (grass) and ‘bhringraj’ plants in the ‘navgraha vatika’.

P.N. Mehra Botanical Garden

(Info extracted from PU website) Spread over more than 16 acres of land, and named after the founder of the department, it is one of the better known botanical gardens attached to a university in the country.

Special attractions in the garden for the visitors are the Arboretum (a botanical garden devoted to trees) with nearly 225 species of trees and water garden consisting of lily-ponds. The Cactus-House has more than 100 species of cacti while the Orchid-House has beautiful orchids from different parts of the country. In the Fern-House grow nearly 50 species of ferns and fern allies.

Of considerable botanical interest is the Bambusetum with over two dozen rare species of bamboos collected and grown during the last many decades. Several interesting succulent plants from different parts of the country further contribute to the beauty of the garden.

In order to grow plants under controlled conditions the garden has an automated Greenhouse. There is a well-maintained nursery where plants are raised, multiplied, acclimatized and then transplanted.

The botanical garden, besides serving as the repository of the source material for botanical studies, is also geared to cater to the dire need of conserving and enriching plant bio-diversity through exchange of plants and seeds.


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