Showing posts with label Bio diversity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bio diversity. Show all posts

MP Diaries - The Baobab, Mandu Ki Imli

Mandu, apart from being well known for its rich heritage is also significant for the presence of a good number of Baobab (Adansonia Digitata) trees. Unlike other locations in India where the trees are present either singly or up to a maximum of three in number, Baobab trees can be sighted across the length and breadth of Mandu. Being native to Africa, they are considered as one of the very ancient and longest living trees. These trees also find a mention in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. An African folk-tale claims that their consorted shapes were caused by an angry deity plucking the tree from the ground and thrusting it back in again upside down. Hence, they are also called as upside-down trees with their branches resembling the roots after they shed their leaves. The Baobab trees have an incredible quality of storing water in their trunks in high capacities and hence are a lifeline to the locals of the tropical regions of Africa. The Africans consider the Baobab as sacred and refer to it as the ‘Tree of Life’. This tree possesses amazing medicinal properties and is of great nutritive value. Apart from providing shelter, water and food to many, every part of its tree proves useful in many ways. It is truly the tree of life. The Baobab is locally known as ‘Imli’ (tamarind), or ‘Bada Imli (Big tamarind) in Mandu and is popularly referred to as ‘Mandu ki Imli’. 
Baobab Trees, Mandu
Baobab Tree Welcoming us to Mandu
Baobab Tree
Bare Baobab Tree with only Fruits
Baobab Tree Inside Baz-Bahadur's Palace Complex
Mandu Ki Imli
Upside-Down Tree
Malik Mughith Mosque and the Baobab 
Baobab Reflection in Somvati Kund
Oldest Baobab Trees
Probably the Largest and the Oldest Baobab Tree we saw 
Mandu Ki Imli
Baobab Fruit on Sale
Value Added Products from Baobab Fruits

References:
1.AFRICA Natural Spirit of the African Continent- By Gill Davies

Places to visit around Bangalore/ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು/ Bengaluru - Part 12

Continued from here..
Type: Hoysala Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 220 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 48 - Tumkur - NH 73 - Arsikere - Left turn - Mavuthanahalli
About: The Mahalingeshwara Temple here serves as a very good example of Hoysala architecture which  flourished during the 12th century. The temple is extremely beautiful despite being in ruins. The locals offer their daily prayers. More.
Mahalingeshwara Temple, Mavuthanahalli
Mahalingeshwara Temple, Mavuthanahalli 
Type: Hill Fort, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 70 km
Trek Distance: 2 Km (One way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 77 - Hoskote - Left towards Chintamani - Till Kaivara
About: The hill fort here was built by Tippu and later improvised by the local Palegars. Much of the fortification remains intact and is currently being maintained by the Forest department. There is a temple dedicated Lord Veerabhadraswamy and a water pond. More
Rehmangarh Fort, Kaivara
Rehmangarh as Seen from Ambajidurga 
Type: Hill Fort, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 70 km
Trek Distance: 2.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 77 - Hoskote - Left towards Chintamani 
About: The hill fort here was built by Tippu and later improvised by the local Palegars. Much of fortification remains intact but this place is now abandoned. Trekking here is strictly prohibited. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. More
Ambajidurga Fort, Chintamani
Ambajidurga Fort 
Type: Hill Fort, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 122 km
Trek Distance: 3 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 47 - Dabaspet - Right towards Madhugiri
About: The hill fort here was built during the Vijayanagar period and later improvised by Hyder Ali. Though much of the fortification remains intact, the ASI have taken additional measures to restore this fort along with all precautionary measures in order to ensure a safe climb to people venturing this fort. More
Madhugiri Fort
Madhugiri Fort 
65. Nallur
Type: Bio-diversity Site, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 50 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 4 -  Hoskote - Towards Devanahalli - Nallur
About: Nallur's Tamarind Grove is regarded as the first bio-diversity heritage site in India. This site covers around 53 acres in area having more than 300 tamarind trees. The oldest tree here is confirmed to be around 410 years old. There are numerous ruined temples here which were built during the reign of Chola dynasty in the 12th century. More
Nallur Biodiversity Heritage Site
Nallur Biodiversity Heritage Site 

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India's First Biodiversity Heritage Site - Nallur Tamarind Tree Sacred Grove

Road to Bliss 
"Nallur" is a the small village located off  the Devanahalli - Hoskote highway. We heard of this place first from a friend's tweet  and then Google revealed more information about it. It was quite surprising that such a wonderful site was not very well known to the outside world and a trip to this place was definitely on. On a holiday, we decided to explore the Tamarind Grove and headed towards Nallur. After a while, owing to the presence of good direction boards all along, we found ourselves right in front of this sacred grove. We could hardly believe our eyes while we witnessed the scenic beauty of the tamarind trees against the backdrop of the blue sky and white clouds.

 An information board at the entrance of the grove read, " This site covers around 53 acres and there are more than 300 tamarind trees. This site is believed to have had its origin during the period of the Chola Dynasty, who ruled this region during 12-13th Century AD. The oldest trees have been confirmed to be older than 410 years now while the others have been here around for 200 years. One can find 5 types of crown, 4 types of foliage, 3 types of inflorescence and 3 types of trunk".
Nallur Tamarind Grove


The Bark of the Oldest Tamarind Tree
There are many ancient temples in and around the grove. While the main temple dedicated to goddess Gangamma  has been renovated, the other temples are in ruins which stand tall and beautiful. The temple of Lord Gopalaswamy  has some magnificent carvings of  Lord Krishna. After exploring this place a little further, we found more ruined temples around and a big Banyan tree. The site has been maintained by the Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Dept. of Forest, Ecology and Environment. The National Biodiversity Authority (Government of India) has listed 5 such sites in India as of now, two of which are the Nallur Tamarind Grove and my college campus of GKVK, Bangalore. 
Lord Gopalaswamy Temple

Goddess Gangamma Temple 
Banyan Tree

Dabbe Waterfalls, Shimoga

          Every time we come across a new place, we realize how little we have traveled! We were much surprised to know how such a beautiful waterfall missed being in our must-visit list. A shop keeper suggested us to take an alternate parallel route instead, as it was motorable until the stream from whereon we had to walk to reach the falls. Following his directions, we reached a house from where driving further seemed  risky. On inquiring about the route to the falls, people here were much surprised since this was really not the right time to make a visit to the falls. On insisting much, he gave the exact route to the falls and warned us to be careful.
Gaint Wood Spider
Giant wood Spider
Dark wanderer Butterfly
Dark Wanderer Butterfly
 We started our walk towards the falls and in no time reached the stream which was in full swing. We met a person who was trying to fix an electricity issue and asked him about the falls. He too suggested us not go to the falls and confirmed the route to the same. We continued further until we reached a junction and proceeded as per directions. We crossed a bridge and walking on, reached an areca farm only to realize we were lost. We went in search of people at the farm and  found a house. Luckily,  a person present there told us the route and directed us towards paddy fields at the end of which we had to make a risky descent to view the falls. 
 Crab
Pill Millipede
Pill Millipede
Gaint Black Millipede
 Giant Black Millipede
Paddy Fields
  We reached the end of the paddy fields and found a trail and decided to get down in that direction. After descending a few steps, my wife started being speculative about the route as she looked down. Anyway, we went a little further down and alas! we found ourselves on the edge of a cliff from where there was absolutely no route of getting anywhere. We decided to backtrack to the top and find out the possibility of another route. On reaching the top and walking a little further, we reached the dead end of the paddy field and from there, we could see another trail leading downwards. We feared about this route turning out to be the same as our previous one, but had no other go. We were hell-bent on reaching the waterfall. Having lost a lot of time in finding the route, we had to be quick as we were unaware of how far we had to descend to the falls and the time was ticking. As it was raining  heavily at regular intervals, the path became too slippery with time and we had to watch every step we took. The thick forest canopy blocked sunlight, making our descent difficult. To add to our woes, it began to rain cats and dogs continuously. And as there was no place to take shelter, we had to keep trekking down non-stop with the help of trees and roots (without which the trek would have been impossible). As we trekked downwards, we reached a place open to sky and heard a roaring noise, camouflaged with the heavy rains. Looking around, the beautiful waterfall became visible and what an amazing sight it was! It was worth all the pain we had taken. Though  the heavy rains didn't give us much of a chance to stand and enjoy the falls, nevertheless just a glimpse of it made us more than happy.
The Bridge
The Roaring Stream
           This was only mid-way while the trail continued further down till the bottom of the falls. As the water level was high, we thought there was no point in getting down further and within minutes, we started our ascent. It was pretty much easier compared to our descent. We reached the paddy fields before sunset and on our way back, we met the owner of the farm who wasn’t present at the start time of our quest. He was glad we returned safely and complimented us knowing that  we got down to see the falls while it was raining so much. He also told us about how three days ago, a team of boys gave up after seeing the trail downwards. No Pain, No Gain! True isn't it? It was a great deal of encouragement for us and a zealous adventure though we realized it could be risky at times. We deserved a pat on the back and doing so to each other, moved on! Thus ended another marvelous and unexpected adventure.
Dabbe Waterfalls, Sharavati river Valley
 Nature's Hidden Beauty
Dabbe waterfalls, Shimoga
The Mighty Dabbe Waterfalls


Please don't litter the place, respect the nature and nature will respect you.

A Photo Report on Bengaluru Seed Festival, September 28-29, 2013

Imagining life without seeds is practically impossible. Thus, it is very important to study and know about seeds in depth and save the seed diversity. The seed forms the basic input/ lifeline of the Agriculture.  As the world progressed, population increased enormously, due to which there has been a constant pressure on  developing high yielding, productive and efficient seeds. The continuous usage of such hybrid variety seeds has resulted in rapid erosion of bio-diversity of our country. Fortunately, a small fraternity of farmers  have preserved and re-used their diverse indigenous seed varieties over generations. Kudos to these farming communities for having contributed in maintaining and developing our agricultural heritage and diversity.  Not many of us are aware that India has one of the richest germplasm collections in the world.  India can also boast of being home to more than 60,000 rice accessions of the 425,000 accessions of the world.
Bangalore Seed Festival
Welcome To Seed Festival 
Celebrating the Rich Heritage of Traditional Seed Diversity
 In this regard, Sahaja Samrudha, in collaboration with Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) had organized the Bengaluru Seed Festival during the last weekend at Veterinary College, Hebbal, Bengaluru to “celebrate the rich heritage of traditional seed diversity”. Many seed saver groups from various parts of the country, working for on-farm conservation and promotion of seed diversity participated actively. There were more than 1000 varieties of different crop seeds on display along with relevant literature. All the stalls were quite informative. A few stalls stood apart by displaying unique products. Bio-diversity Management of Edavaka grama of Wayanad, Kerala displayed about 30 varieties of tubers (that grow underground), Vagadhara of Rajasthan displayed a variety of medicinal  shoots and tubers while another stall displayed rich varieties of forest tree seeds.
Paddy Varieties
Different Rice Varieties of Karnataka
Black Rice 
Wild Wheat
Wild Wheat 

Different Varieties of Bajra and Maize 
Hot and Spicy from Meghalaya
Varieties of Millets 
Medicinal Tubers and Shoots from Rajasthan
Varieties of Tubers from Kerala 
Collection of Forest Tree Seeds 
Why is such an effort significant and how will it influence the future? A classical example of saving indigenous seed varieties and developing better ones in the same line is that of Late Mr. Lakshmanaiah, popularly known as “Ragi Lakshmanaiah/ Ragi Brahma”. As a student, I was fortunate enough for having studied and learned about this great man, who single handedly worked and developed the best and the highest yielding variety of Ragi (Finger Millet) named INDAF series, using various indigenous varieties of Ragi. Indaf series, unlike today’s Hybrid and GM varieties, is one of those rare varieties, which possesses all the properties of indigenous ones, apart from having the advantage of being very high yielding and reusable. During 1950s, Mr.Lakshmanaiah quit the coveted job of a clerk in the Indian railways in order to pursue his passion for agriculture. The rest is history though unknown to the outside world. Today, Indaf is the most popular Ragi variety grown across the driest regions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where Ragi is the staple food. Many such varieties have been developed but have lost the race with time against today’s Hybrid and GM varieties, leading to a total imbalance in the eco-system by appreciating indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Accessories made out of Seeds
Our Field, Our Seed, Our Right  
Effects of  Organic and Chemical Farming 
The exhibition aimed at educating people, especially those linked with or involved in the field of agriculture, towards bigger steps of using, reusing and preserving the indigenous seed varieties. The seed exhibition in total was an educative one and managed to attract a heterogeneous crowd.

  Participants:
1.       Sahaja Organics; Web:www.sahajaorganics.com, Ph: 080-26612315, 7483088144, 080-26661420
2.       Sahaja Samrudha; Web: www.sahajasamrudha.org  Ph: 8050743047,9880862058
3.       Sri Masanasiddeshwar Savayava Krishikar Sangh, Munnahalli, Gulbarga Ph: 9972157413
4.       Desi Krishikar Balaga, Haveri, Ph: 9845890411, 9980679824
5.       Hasiru Consultants and Mkt Pvt Ltd.,  Ph: 9591984709
6.       Desi Uthana; Web: www.uthana.com,  Ph: 9341415399, 7760596275
7.       Bio-Diversity Management Committee , Edavaka, Wayanad, Kerala
8.       Agricultural Training Centre, Fulia, Nadia, West Bengal
9.       Vanastree; Web: www.vanastree.org
10.   Organic farming society, Auroville, Pondicherry; Web: www.auroville.org

References:
1.       KannadaWikipedia
2.       The Hindu article