Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, January 28, 2023









Botanical Name

Oryza sativa

Common Name

Rice, Chaval (Hindi), Nellu / Arisi (Tamil), Vrihi / Dhanya (Sanskrit)






Cultivated throughout India


Religious association







Goddess Annapoorna










Hindus associate rice grains with Goddess Annapoorni and also Goddess Lakshmi. It is referred to as Deva Dhanya and is believed to be a symbol of prosperity.






Goddess Dhanya Lakshmi








From ancient times, Dhanya Lakshmi is often depicted holding a few sheaves of paddy in her hand.







Hutri - harvest festival for the people of Kodagu









There are numerous festivals connected with the sowing, planting and harvesting of rice. Major harvest festivals include Pongal in Tamilnadu, Onam in Kerala and Hutri in Coorg.



Akshata (rice mixed with turmeric) forms part of many religious rites and rituals. It is even offered to deities along with flowers.






Rice is the staple food for a large part of India. Rice straw is used for animal feeding. It can also be made into paper and board pulp. Bran oil is used for cooking and is also used in textile and leather industries as a finisher.