Anthocephalus cadamba (Roxb.) Miq.
Common Name: Kadam, Kadamb (Hindi), Vellaikadambu (Tamil), Kadamba (Sanskrit)
Distribution: Throughout the Western ghats
In Religion and Mythology
The Kadam tree is popularly associated with Lord Krishna
The Kadam tree is popularly associated with Lord Krishna, who is usually depicted playing his flute under it. Many of Lord Krishna’s ‘Leelas’ (His pranks) are said to have taken place under a Kadam tree.
In the southern part of India, the Kadam tree is associated with Goddess Parvati, who is believed to dwell in a Kadam forest (Kadamba-vana-vasini). The tree is hence referred to as ‘Parvati’s tree’ here. The worship of the tree is supposed to ensure wealth and progeny. The flower is also sacred to Lord Kartikeya. The twigs of the tree are offered to Lord Shiva. The tree is also sacred to the Jains. Bhagwan Vasupujay, the 12th Jain Tirthankara is associated with the tree.
The fruit juice is given to children to treat gastric irritability. A decoction of the leaves is good for ulcers and wounds. The fruits are edible. The timber is used for making pulp and paper, boxes, crates and furniture. The wood is also used as fuel.