Lucknow: The mother tree of Malihabad’s Dussehri mango is among 943 trees which have been declared as ‘Heritage Trees’ by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh. Aged over 100 years, these heritage trees belong to 28 rare species and carry unique aesthetic, cultural, religious, historical, botanical and ecological values.
The list of the 943 heritage trees was finalized in a meeting of the UP State Biodiversity Board, chaired by Sudhir Garg, the Principal Secretary Forest and Environment. “A notification to this effect will be issued shortly and a coffee book table providing minutest information about these rare trees will be ready by March end to promote tourism in the state,” said Garg.
Over 1090 entries were received by the Board from the DFOs of 75 districts across the state. After spot verification by the Institute of Wildlife Sciences, Lucknow University, the Board’s technical committee put its seal on 943 tress which were finally declared as the Heritage Trees of Uttar Pradesh.
The Yogi Adityanath government plans to develop areas in and around these heritage trees to promote tourism and to ensure its resolve to protect the environment.
Apart from Dussehri mango tree, the mother tree of Langda variety of mango in Varanasi, Fatehpur’s Tamarind tree on which 52 freedom fighters were hanged in 1857, Banyan tree of Jaunpur, Kareel, Parijat and Sheesham trees of Prayagraj etc are among 943 trees which have been declared as Heritage trees.
Maximum Heritage trees were selected from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Parliamentary constituency Varanasi (99), followed by Prayagraj (53), Ghazipur (35), Unnao (34) and Lucknow (26).
Many of these heritage trees have historical and religious importance. A Sheesham tree in Ram Shayan Ashram in Prayagraj is famous for Lord Ram spending a night under it when he was sent on a 14-year exile. Devotees offer mat at the tree after their wishes are fulfilled.
Devotees offer a wrist watch at a Banyan tree in Jaunpur out of respect to Braham Baba who lived there. It is said that Baba was fond of wearing wrist watches. Sarnath’s (Varanasi) world famous Bodhi Tree under which Lord Buddha had given his first sermon is also among the list. His followers from all over the world pay respect at the tree.