Religious Significance of Bakula Tree in Hinduism – Kesara or Spanish Cherry Tree


Bakula is a tree of religion significance in Hinduism. It is popularly known as Spanish Cherry, Indian Medlar Tree and Bullet Wood. In Hindi it is referred as Maulsari, Kesara and Bakula. In Bengali it is known as Bakul. In Tamil it is known as Magizhamboo. In Marathi it is known as Bakuli. In Kannada it is known as Ranjal. In Malayalam it is known as Ilanni. In Kannada it is known as Ranjal.

The Shradh meal offered on the Amavasya day (no moon day) in Paush month (December – January) is known as Bakula Amavasya in Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and parts of North India.

The creamy-white and star-shaped flowers are offered in religious worship. It is offered to Vishnu and His avatars and various other deities.

Offering the flower on Krishna Paksha Ekadasi in Jyeshta month (May – June) is highly meritorious. This Ekadasi is known as Yogini Ekadasi.

In scriptures, it is mentioned that when Kuchela went to visit Sri Krishna he rested under a Bakula Tree.

In Ramayana, Vanarasena (the monkey army) led by Sugriva and Hanuman uprooted Bakula trees and used it against the army of Ravana.

The tree is sacred to Anuradha Nakshatra born people.

Siddha Bakul Tree in Puri:
This is a small monastery near Gachha Kali near Puri Jagannath Temple. In the sixteenth century lived a disciple of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu named Haridas. It is believed that once Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to him with a twig of bakul tree offered in a ritual to Jagannath. After reaching Haridas's place Chaitanya planted it and miraculously after a few days tender leaves sprouted on it and it started growing until it became a full grown bakul tree which can now be seen in this place. The place is today known as Siddha Bakul.

Bakula Tree is found in Mahanam Sampraday temples and ashrams for Prabhu Jagadbandhu in North and Eastern parts of India.

Medicinal Properties
The tree has numerous medicinal properties. It is an antidote against snake poison. Fruit is used to cure diarrhea, fever and colitis. Twigs are used to brush teeth. Powdered flowers are used to treat headache.

The wood of the tree is hard and is used to make furniture and boats.