Nallur's heritage tamarind grove under threat from vandalisation

Neglected

eyesore: Garbage strewnin the heritage tamarind grove in Nallur. DH Photo

Dotted with twin 14th century temples, the 30-acre Nallur tamarind grove with a little over 297 trees, has reduced to be a dumpyard, thanks to lack of fencing to protect the area.

According to Green Cross India, secretary P Manjunath, Nallur tamarind grove has been declared as a Biodiversity Heritage site by the Karnataka Biodiversity Board in 2007 and the Karnataka Forest Department is entrusted with its upkeeping.

“As part of the biodiversity hotspot conservation efforts, the department started fencing the entire area, but it is yet to complete the work. This has made it easy for people to dispose waste. Every year, the temples situated next to the grove celebrate a festival. But post-festival, the grove again becomes a dumping yard, especially for plastics,” he said.

With its unique gene pool of trees and over hundred species of birds, the Nallur tamarind grove has been let down by the authorities concerned. Added to that, it is facing a threat in the form of sound pollution from the Bengaluru International Airport.

Biodiversity hotspot

“The biodiversity hotspot had more than 125 species of birds last year. But now it has reduced to a mere 20,” points out biodiversity expert Harish Bhat, stressing the need for strict conservation efforts.

A few environmentalists support the twin temples in conservation efforts in the area. But during the annual festival devotees who throng the temple litter the area with plastic and other non-biodegradable materials. The practise needs to be curbed, they observe.

“We need to preserve the temples dating back to the 14th century Vijayanagar Empire. But at the same time, sincere effort is needed to conserve flora and fauna in the biodiversity hotspot as we are fast depleting this segment in and around Bangalore,” said Harish Bhat.

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