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Pune’s heritage site Ganeshkhind garden to be educational hub

Sardar guava and Ganesh Pomegranate are researched here

pune Updated: Jul 21, 2017 15:37 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Ganeshkhind garden, which hosts medicinal plant species, and the turtle nesting beaches of Anjarle and Velas in Ratnagiri district will be declared as protected biodiversity heritage sites in Pune.
Ganeshkhind garden, which hosts medicinal plant species, and the turtle nesting beaches of Anjarle and Velas in Ratnagiri district will be declared as protected biodiversity heritage sites in Pune.(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

The Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV), which is the current owner of Ganesh Khind garden, expressed happiness as the two hundred year old Ganesh Khind garden was declared as a heritage site by the state.MPKV’s vice chancellor Dr K P Viswanatha told Hindustan Times, “It is a very good news and we are proud of it. We are planning to convert it into an educational hub for researchers and visitors.” It is the city’s first ‘Bio Diversity’ garden.

This garden is located near Spicer College behind University of Pune and located at the Ganeshkhind Research Center.Viswanatha added that the garden was one of the oldest in the country, with some of trees being planted by the Peshwas, especially the mango trees. After taking charge as the vice chancellor of MPKV Rahuri, he decided to apply for the recognition of the garden as a heritage site with the biodiversity board. For that, a long process had to be completed.

He said, “We had to implement and maintain plant biodiversity, tree biodiversity and reptile biodiversity in order to make the cut. We have documented everything and for the first time, everything has been documented even before filing the application. MPKV even appointed an expert consultant so that no mistake is made.”

“As per the parliament’s bio diversity act 2002, there is bio diversity board and each state has a regional office. Maharashtra’s regional office recognised us almost immediately and it is definitely a proud moment. Now, it is our duty to preserve it for the future generation and education as the garden is in the heart of Pune city,” he added.

The chief also said that after the Peshwas, British scientists had preserved the garden. Former head of Agriculture research, Dr Shivaji Gurav, took a lot of effort to maintain and preserve the biodiversity as well.

Viswanatha said that this is a very important garden and research center and emphasised that the ‘Sardar’ variety of Guava was researched in this center in the year 1927 by Punjabi scientist Dr Chima. Later, the famous ‘Ganesh’ variety of Pomegranate also originated from this garden. “Almost 15 other varieties of flowers also originated from this garden. Therefore, the garden can be called as a ‘research garden’,” he added.

Dr Gurav said that there are many old trees in this garden as well various types of insects and reptiles. The intention of getting a heritage structure is to preserve it for the future generation, he added.