The trek in the Himalayas has opened my eyes to the northern cultures of India. I’ve realized how little I know about them. There are so many new things to see and try. Discovering Burans flower, for example, was one of the great experiences I had in this journey.
We noticed Burans flowers from day one of our trek, few km up in the mountain forest, at about 1500 meter high.
Burans flower (Rhododendron arboretum) is a cultural flower of the Himalayas region, a national flower of Nepal. In the state of Himachal Pradesh, Burans flowers are used to make flower juice and wine. It has been considering to be a gift from God, having a divine ability that is good for heart and liver.
Burans tree is a shrub or small tree with striking red flowers, mostly grown in the sloped hills, making it tough to reach or pluck the flowers. At a distance, the flowers look really showy and large, like the super size carnations, but up close, they were bell-shaped flowers grown in bunches, making them together look like a single big flower.
And as they are grown on the mountain slopes, at some places, they give really stunning views from distance.
Also, the fallen Burans flowers make the trails look really beautiful.
When we reached higher range in the mountain, we came across different colors of flowers, from other shades of red, white and blue or even purple. We were told that the red ones were eatable, but others could cause trouble.
The locals make syrup from the red Burans flowers which is a local delicacy, a refreshing welcome drink and using for flavoring. The flowers have nectar pouches inside. The guide told to bite off the bottom of the flower and suck out the nectar first, and then we should gobble down the whole flower t finish it. We tried THAT and many other ways many times 🙂
Burans flowers taste of a mix of bitter, sour and sweet with an interesting, distinctive kick, kind of like gooseberry in a way that when we drink water after munching on Burans, water tastes amazingly sweet. They have medicinal qualities that help your internal organs, especially heart. So they are perfect as an accessible, healthy, natural snack during our trek.
On the way back to Pune, I bought a bottle of Burans Squash and we made some drink from it. I told Tes it tasted kind of like her Roselle tea, but she disagreed. Well, maybe it isn’t like that, but it is still pretty sweet and refreshing. Everyone at home liked it.
Next time we go u there, I’ll bring you guys some 😛
See you soon,