India's biggest aromatic garden boasting of 140 species has been developed at Lalkuan in the Nainital district.
The garden has been developed over an area of three acres by the research wing of the Uttarakhand Forest Department, Chief Conservator of Forest (research) Sanjeev Chaturvedi said.
The project has been funded under the Centre's compensatory afforestation scheme (CAMPA).
Initiated in 2018, it aims to conserve various aromatic species, create awareness about them, promote research, and link them with the livelihood of local people, Chaturvedi said.
Lalkuan was selected as the site for the garden to offset the perpetual stench that comes from the paper industries in the area.
The aromatic garden has a ‘Tulsi Vatika' which contains more than 20 species of tulsi, including Rama tulsi, Shyam tulsi, van tulsi, Kapoor tulsi as well as African, Italian and Thai tulsi.
Besides Tulsi Vatika, it has eight different sections comprising aromatic leaves (lemon balm, rosemary, Kapoor and various mint species), aromatic flowers ( chameli, mogra, rajnigandha, kewda), aromatic trees (Chandan, neem chameli, naglingam, parijat), aromatic rhizomes (aama haldi, kali haldi), aromatic seeds ( kasturi bhindi, badi ilachyi, timur, ajwain), aromatic grasses (lemongrass, Java grass, khas grass), aromatic bulbs (red ginger, sand ginger) and aromatic roots (pattharchur, vach).
Chandan from South India, Agarwood from Northeast, kewada from coastal areas, and Parijat from terai zone, apart from neem chameli, Hazari mogra, sontaka, chameli, raat ki rani, din ka raja and anant are some of the most fragrant popular species present in the aromatic garden. It has nine different species of jasmine, four different species of mint, four different species of ‘Haldi (turmeric), and three different species of ginger.
The extracts of these aromatic plants are used in cosmetics for flavouring and fragrance purposes.
These plants are also of great utility in making spices, pesticides and repellents.
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