Venkatapura's green heritage

Venkatapura's green heritage

These neem trees have been witness to decades of history. One of them is said to be over two centuries old. This 200-year-old tree is one among the many heritage trees listed under the Karnataka Biodiversity Board.

The tank located alongside the tree line waters the fields of S Venkatapura. There are as many as ten trees here that have huge girth. Surrounding the neem trees are Honge trees. Beneath the heritage sits a small shrine, built for the local deity ‘Muneshwara’.

The bund takes its name after this deity, and is called Muniyappana Katte. There are two other small shrines on the bund too. Hundreds of devotees throng the region every Tuesdays and Fridays. Prayers are offered in grand style on both days. A fair, held here every April, attracts hundreds of locals and outsiders for a congregation. People in the region strongly believe that no branches of the tree be chopped off or used as firewood.

Anyone caught violating this rule may have to face the consequences set for him/ her by the villagers. The hills surrounding the region are rich in biodiversity. There are at least three tanks in the region — Tippasani Kere, Rajasani Kere and Nallasani Kere.

Ninety-four-year-old Narasaramappa, who has lived here all his life, points out that he has seen these neem trees for as long as he can remember. “ The tree must have been planted by those built the tank. It certainly has stood the test of time,” he adds. However, legend has it that the tank was erected by three prostitutes.

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