White river

In Hindi it is called Kaans. It is a perennial grass and grow in abundance in the dry river beds and adjoining spaces. It is rhizome and spreads quickly claiming the empty soil. Ghaggar river flows near our home in Panchkula, Haryana. It is seasonal river nowadays though once upon time as the history tells us it was a powerful river flowing till sea and along with another river called Hakra originating in Afghanistan and flowing down to Punjab and Sind, Ghaggar formed a river systems called Ghaggar Hakra system. But now it is mostly dry with small amount of water flowing in the deepest channel.

The grass is found all over the northern plains of India upto Assam. Generally it grows in on the edges of the rivers. This grass has claimed the empty dry bed of the river. At this time of end of August, it has begun to bloom into white colored flowers stalks and whole of the river bed resembles a white sea. It looks beautiful though. Blooms are just in delicate condition and shall go on to become more thick in the coming months. Then they will dry and their color will change to slightly brown and finally they will begin to disintegrate.

In Bengal where it is called Kash Fool, it heralds the onset of Puja festival.

Here are some photographs of the flowers.

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Herbal Garden Panchkula

The garden is very near to my home. If I take the pedestrian route which winds through fields and tall reed grass river bed, the garden is hardly 2 kilometers away. But you have to cross the Ghaggar river on the way and wade into the water and climb steep sloping boundary.  The path winds through the fields and poplar trees which in itself is very sylvan. In winters there is wheat crop in the fields. Small rivulets used to channel the river water for irrigating these fields run through the fields. After crossing these fields, the river bed starts. The river is called Ghaggar and it originates in the Shivalik hills. Although in the monsoon, it is flooded and becomes very dangerous, during winter and dry season most of the bed is dry and a small ribbon like water channel flows through it. Reed and other tall grasses grow on the bed. There are kingfisher, lapwings and other birds which can be found perched and flying in the bed. In the water one can find regular water fowls dipping the beaks in the water to catch the insects.

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The regular route is by road and is about 7 kilometers from our home. But it is worth visiting even by long road route from my home. The garden is laid along the river and is spread across long distance but width is very small. Lawns are lovely and well maintained. There are all kinds of herbal plants and trees. Many other regular trees add to its beauty. People who live nearby come regularly to walk and sit and relax. There are view posts with canopies and sitting benches along the river, where you can sit and watch the reflection of sun in the simmering river water. Indeed it is very well maintained. Only the parking for vehicles is very limited. I can sit there for hours watching the sunset. Must visit.