A quiet look at nature

The NGMA recently organised a nature walk on its premises. The walk was led by Vijay Thiruvady, a horticulture specialist, who explained the various aspects of the trees in the vicinity.

The banyan tree was one of the primary points of interest. Talking about them, Vijay Thiruvady says, “The banyan tree is the national tree of India. It is spread from the lower foothills of the Himalayas, up until Burma. It is very interesting to know how the tree got its name. In Bandharabaz, a port in Iran, a lot of people conducted their business meetings under the banyan trees. Business people were usually referred to as banias.

So, from bania, came the name banyan. A great truth about the banyan tree is that it has many trunks that spread in every direction — the primary reason for its long survival. In Anantpur, there is a banyan tree which is 700 years old and is declared the world’s largest. It is spread over more than five acres and has around 1100 trunks. Banyan trees are also planted because they spread widely and provide ample shade. That is why we see so many banyan trees on national highways.”

As Vijay Thiruvady was narrating the history and importance of banyan trees, people started pouring in and many were completely engrossed listening to this account.
Madhuri, a nature enthusiast, says, “I loved listening to Vijay Thiruvady, he was very informative. These days, the youth is restless — I call it the Wikipedia phenomenon, in which information is given out in bits. I think such exhaustive talks on nature should be frequently given, it will inculcate an interest for nature in the youth.”

As the information about the various kinds of trees got more detailed, people got intrigued and clarified their doubts.

Catlin, from the USA, who also took part in the walk was astounded by everything she learnt.  She says, “I love India’s diversity, there are so many different plants. It is so rich in flora. But I feel sad that not many Indian youngsters are involved in nature-related
activities. The IT industry is picking up in India and other subjects such as nature are ignored. Truly, the youth here should make an effort to know the rich legacy of trees.”

The walk took almost 90 minutes and people were enthralled to know so many secrets about the nature.

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