Common Name: Marigold, Gendha (Hindi), Sendigai Poo / Tuluka Samandhi (Tamil), Sthula Pushpam (Sanskrit)
Distribution: Throughout India
In Religion and Mythology
Marigold garlands as offerings to Lord Shiva
Marigold is one of the flowers commonly used in garlands and offerings to Hindu deities especially in the northern parts of India. Among the Gonds – aboriginal tribes of Central India – a legend connects the origin of the Gendha with Gondmuli, their folk deity. It is believed that Gondmuli abducted the wife of another God and in a fierce battle, the other God emerged victorious after cutting off Gondmuli’s head. Gondmuli’s wife wept as she dragged back her husband’s body. She dropped her hairpin and a marigold sprouted, water by her tears, from the place the hairpin landed. The flower was known as ‘Gonda’ and eventually the name ‘Gendha’ evolved.