Lord Krishna's favourite tree in Taj Mahal nursery | india | Hindustan Times
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Lord Krishna's favourite tree in Taj Mahal nursery

Besides being a world-famous monument, the Taj Mahal has another aspect to it, which connects it to ‘Dwapar Yug’. Behind the Taj, there is a nursery, which houses a tree, a favourite to Lord Krishna himself; it is even named after him.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2010 16:13 IST
Hemendra Chaturvedi

Besides being a world-famous monument, the Taj Mahal has another aspect to it, which connects it to ‘Dwapar Yug’. Behind the Taj, there is a nursery, which houses a tree, a favourite to Lord Krishna himself; it is even named after him.

Krishna used the leaves of this tree, as it made a perfect utensil for young Lord to have his stolen ‘makhan’.
The variety is called ‘ficus krishnai’, is classified in the rare category, and is conserved amongst other varieties of that age. Botanical varieties including chandan, peelu, kadamb, harsingar, kareel and bhojpatra relate to the Krishna period and are exceedingly rare to find these days.

Despite the lack of awareness regarding these trees, the Horticulture Department at the Taj, related to Archeological Survey of India, has taken initiative to preserve these varieties.

At the Khan-e-Alam nursery behind the Taj, there is just one ficus krishnai. Over the years, 20 to 25 small saplings have obtained from mother plant.

“The shape of leaf is twisted at the lower mid rib. It serves the purpose of a ‘dona’ or a cup,” says Dr SV Singh Chauhan, former Director of Life Sciences Institute. “It is said that the leaf was favourite of Lord Krishna, as it was excellent for holding the stolen makhan, his favourite. The plant is thus named after Lord Krishna,” he says.

“Getting healthy saplings from the lone tree is a tough process. But the hard work has started yielding results at Khan-e-Alam nursery. There is another variety of kadamb at the nursery,” said an expert from Horticulture Department office near Taj.

“Apart from ficus krishnai, there are varieties like kadamb or Peelu (Salvadora) which are still found in the area, but need to be conserved, being rare to find. There was a Russian researcher who was here to study botanical diversity of this Braj. He found that most varieties are facing the threat of extinction,” says Dr Chauhan.

“Something needs to be done. As there are apprehensions that Goverdhan, the hillock in Mathura district, is losing height because of erosion. It is an outcome of excessive felling of trees with growing civilian activities in the region,” he rues.

Dr Chauhan concluded, “It is praiseworthy that varieties like ficus krishnai are being preserved at the Khan-e-Alam nursery. Trees like these are like our national heritage.”