Wednesday 8 April 2020

Ganjam Kewda Flower And Ganjam Kewda Rooh #OdishaGI #KnowYourGI #GIsofIndia #AToZChallenge

Odisha, a state in eastern India, has thirty districts. Each district has unique products.
Ganjam is a district in southern Odisha. As it is my native place, I have spent much time there.
However, there is a lot that I am still learning...

The following Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha have links with the Ganjam district:
1. Bomkai Saree & Fabrics - Handicraft
 Berhampur Patta (Phoda Kumbha) Saree & Joda – Handicraft
3. Ganjam Kewda Rooh - Manufactured
4. Ganjam Kewda Flower - Agriculture

When I started working on the GIs of Odisha, I knew about many of the GIs of Odisha, especially the handicrafts and handlooms.
But, the Ganjam Kewda Flower and Ganjam Kewda Rooh were revelations.
I felt very ignorant.
Why did I not know of them?
This is not taught in school text-books, nor had I read about them in the news media.
Did you know about Ganjam Kewda flower?
Botanical name is- Pandanus Fascicularis Lam.
It is also called:
Screw Pine in English
"Ketaki" in Hindi
"Kia" in Odia

The name 'Ketaki' features in a number of ancient Sankrit literature texts.

After learning about these fragrant flowers and their rooh i.e. extract, when I tried to locate samples to carry with me to Delhi to showcase at the GI exhibition at the BRICS Alliance Business Conclave, I felt dejected to be unable to contact the registered proprietors.
How could I get samples of the flower and the extract i.e. rooh?
How would I be able to take these along for display?

While for Dhalapathar Parda And Fabrics, the sample issue was sorted, I just couldn't manage any samples for these two Ganjam GI products despite my best attempts.
Thus, I informed the organizers. They were okay with the idea that I would display 12 out of the 14 GIs of Odisha.
(Note- Till 2018, Odisha had 14 GI tags. 3 applications were submitted in 2018; Odisha now has 17 GI tags.)
You can read the details about Odisha GIs here.

Ganjam Kewda Flower 
This is an agriculturural product. The region where the Kewda flower is grown is called the 'Kewda belt'. 90% of India's cultivation is in Odisha.
The blocks of Ganjam district- Ganjam, Chhatrapur, Rangeilunda and Chikiti have thousands of hectares under cultivation, the highest area being in Rangeilunda.

Ganjam Kewda Rooh 
Rooh means extract from the flower. It is a manufactured product.
Kewda oil is prepared by distillation process. It is used to make perfumes for use in cosmetics, soaps, hair oil, agarbatti etc. Kewda attar has been popular from ancient times. It is also used for flavouring foods.

While researching, I learned that as per Shiva Purana, Kewda Flower is not offered to Lord Shiva though He likes the fragrance. However, it is offered at the Brahma Temple at Pushkar, Rajasthan. There is a mythological story behind it.

You can watch this video for more info about the world's most fragrant flower, the Ganjam Kewda flower:

G For- Ganjam 
Ganjam Kewda Flower & Ganjam Kewda Rooh
G is also for- Geographical Indications.

I am writing A-Z posts about the Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha #OdishaGI.
GI products are linked with the culture, traditions, history, reputation etc. of a geographical location.
Only when info is shared, people can learn and be aware.
This is my sincere attempt to share information about the GI-Tags of Odisha.
You can check out my other GI posts here.
My previous #AToZChallenge posts here.
Let us all use GI products - the "invaluable treasures of incredible India", and encourage our artisans, weavers, and farmers.
Are you aware of Geographical Indications? 
Had you heard of the Ganjam Kewda Flower and Ganjam Kewsda Rooh
Please do share in the comments below.


  1. All this is new to me. This is the first time I am hearing about the Ganjam kewda flower and its use in perfumes and other cosmetics. Your A to Z posts are indeed really educational.

  2. How beautiful is the flower you have posted the pic here. Dil khush ho gaya. I came to know many things today from your post. Enjoyed the post. Lovely read.

  3. Have heard of Kewda flower and its oil. Your series is an informative and enlightening one for me. Thanks for bringing these lesser known details about Odisha and its GIs!

  4. Have heard of and used kewda water but didn't know of the GI behind it. This is really informative and good to know.

  5. I have never heard of it. This is all new to me. Your series on Odisha and GI tags are very informative. I got to know about GI tags even through your posts.

  6. Wow! Such an informative piece. Have never heard of all this before. I am learning a lot from your series.

  7. Nice to know that both Ganjam kewda flower and Ganjam kewda rooh have got GI tags. One can find such bushes everywhere in Ganjam.

  8. It's wonderful to see you work on lesser known facts! True that many things about our own sources and places are unknown to us and we just go about tailing bigger names and products. Thanks for shifting the focus. Kudos Anita!


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