Changanassery: A rare 1000-petal lotus has bloomed at Vazhapally Mahadeva temple in Kottayam. This is only the second occurrence in Kerala. It is said to be the favourite flower and seat of Hindu goddesses. People are crowding the temple to watch this rare flower. It is also known as the Zhinzun Qianban and its origins date back to ancient times. It was rediscovered in 2009 by Chinese horticulturalist Diake Tian.
This flower which bloomed Sunday morning was growing on a cement tank. This flower which looks like a giant red-violet shaded ball once it matures might only be in its full glory for two more days. Strong fragrance is yet another feature of this species. After that, the petals will start shedding. The seeds procured from Kolkata were planted on March 5th. It was AR Police Camp's PS Pramod who gave it to the temple. He has lotus cultivation at home.
Later the lotus was tended by the temple priests and employees. Usually, the 1000 petal Lotus will have 800-1600 petals. This Lotus is usually seen in China, Vietnam, and North India. Though the plant grows in Kerala, it is rare for the lotus to flower in this climate. The first 1000 petal lotus made its appearance in hobbyist and lotus hybridiser Ganesh Anandakrishnan’s home in the state last year. His friend had gifted him the seed of a thousand petal lotus from China. It bloomed on his terrace garden at Tripunithura. He has been trying to make it bloom for 10 months.