Know reason why Yakka plant (calotropis) flowers are offered to Ganesha

Ganesha Chaturthi is a festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, success, and good fortune. On this auspicious day, devotees worship Ganesha with various offerings, such as modak (sweet dumplings), durva (grass), and hibiscus flowers. One of the most important offerings that is made to Ganesha is the calotropis plant flower, also known as arka, aak, or madar.

The calotropis plant is a large shrub that grows in dry and wasteland areas. It has clusters of waxy flowers that are either white or lavender in color. Each flower has five pointed petals and a small crown rising from the center, which holds the stamens. The plant also produces milky sap, which is toxic and can cause skin irritation and blindness if ingested.

Despite its poisonous nature, the calotropis plant flower is considered sacred and auspicious in Hinduism. There are several reasons why devotees offer this flower to Ganesha during Ganesha Chaturthi:

  • According to one legend, Ganesha once swallowed a demon named Analasura, who had the power to emit fire from his eyes. As a result, Ganesha suffered from a severe burning sensation in his stomach. To relieve his pain, some sages offered him a garland of calotropis flowers, which had a cooling effect on his body. Since then, calotropis flowers are offered to Ganesha as a symbol of gratitude and devotion.
  • According to another legend, Ganesha was once cursed by his brother Kartikeya to have a short lifespan. To save him from this curse, Lord Shiva gave him a boon that whoever worships him with calotropis flowers will attain longevity and prosperity. Therefore, devotees offer calotropis flowers to Ganesha to seek his blessings for a long and happy life.
  • According to a third legend, Ganesha was once challenged by his father Lord Shiva to circumambulate the world three times. While Kartikeya took his peacock and flew around the world, Ganesha used his intelligence and circumambulated his parents, saying that they are his world. Impressed by his wisdom, Lord Shiva gave him a garland of calotropis flowers as a reward. Hence, devotees offer calotropis flowers to Ganesha to honor his wisdom and cleverness.
  • Apart from these legends, calotropis flowers are also offered to Ganesha for their spiritual significance. The five petals of the flower represent the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether), which are the basis of creation. The crown in the center represents the supreme consciousness or Brahman, which is the source of all existence. By offering calotropis flowers to Ganesha, devotees acknowledge his role as the creator and sustainer of the universe.
  • Moreover, calotropis flowers are also offered to Ganesha for their medicinal value. The flowers have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic, and antipyretic properties. They are used in Ayurveda to treat various ailments, such as skin diseases, digestive disorders, respiratory problems, fever, and snake bites. By offering calotropis flowers to Ganesha, devotees seek his protection from diseases and ailments.
Know reason why Yakka plant (calotropis) flowers are offered to Ganesha


To prepare garlands of calotropis flowers for Ganesha Chaturthi, devotees first collect fresh and clean flowers from the plant. They then wash them gently with water and dry them with a cloth. Next, they thread a needle with a cotton or silk thread and pierce through the base of each flower. They continue this process until they have enough flowers to make a garland of desired length. They then tie the ends of the thread together and adorn the garland with beads or other decorative items if they wish. Finally, they offer the garland to Ganesha by placing it around his neck or on his trunk during the puja ceremony.

By offering garlands of calotropis flowers to Ganesha during Ganesha Chaturthi, devotees express their love and devotion to him. They also hope to receive his grace and blessings in return for their sincere worship.