Devotees struggle to find 21 patris for Ganesh puja
Rapid urbanisation, destruction of ghats and deforestation make it challenging to find certain species of leaves
HYDERABAD: With less than 24 hours remaining for the commencement of Ganesh Chaturthi festivities, devotees in Hyderabad are facing a tough time in obtaining all the required 21 varieties of patri (leaves).Vendors selling these leaves in markets across the city are struggling to procure more than 10-15 varieties of leaves and shrubs, leaving devotees with limited options.
During Ganesh pooja, devotees traditionally require leaves from 21 different plants and shrubs for the ritual offering to Lord Ganesha. However, the patri available in the markets often lack authenticity, as they may contain leaves of plants that are not traditionally supposed to be used. Patri is a compilation of various leaves, primarily wild leaves of different shapes, sizes, and medicinal properties, which are combined for the ritual offering to Lord Ganesha.
The Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Committee (BGUS) has been urging the State government, particularly the Forest department, to assist devotees in obtaining the 21 patris from the market. Some of these leaves can still be found in forest areas.Despite assurances from Minister for Animal Husbandry T Srinivas Yadav in a recent meeting with BGUS office bearers that the State government would make patris available to devotees through the Forest department, little has been done to fulfil this promise.
Urbanisation, destruction of ghats and deforestation have made it increasingly challenging to find certain species of leaves, according to GHMC officials.As society becomes more disconnected from nature, the ability to identify and gather these leaves is diminishing. Many people now purchase patris from markets without fully understanding their significance in rituals.
Vendors selling patris have expressed their difficulties in sourcing all the required leaves, particularly from remote villages and deep forest areas where some of these leaves are found. Consequently, the patris available today are often not authentic, in contrast to traditional practices.
The number 21 holds great significance in Ganesh puja, and the authentic patris consist of leaves from Terminalia arjuna (Arjun), Sesbania grandiflora (Agati), Achyranthes Aspera (Prickly Chaff Flower), Nerium Indicum (Oleander), Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewda), Jasminum auriculatum (Juhi), Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Solanum indicum (Indian nightshade), Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass), Cedrus deodara (Deodar), Ocimum sanctum (Holy basil), Datura innoxia (Datura), Ficus religiosa (Holy Ficus), Aegle marmelos (Bel), Ziziphus mauritiana (Ber), Origanum majorana (Marjoram), Eclipta erecta (False Daisy), Jasminum sambac, Evolvulus alsinoides, Calotropis procera (Rubber bush), and Prosopis spicigera (Khejri tree).Devotees hoping to preserve the authenticity of the rituals during Ganesh festivities are praying that they get their hands on genuine patris.