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| Last Updated:: 05/12/2014

Sthala Vriksha to be protected through cloning

 The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department has asked the executive officers (EO) of temples and departmental inspectors to adopt cloning to preserve Sthala Vriksha or tree unique to each temple.


Describing every Sthala Vriksha as a unique germplasm, a recent communication of the department urges the officials to take the help of experts from the Agriculture Department or the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) for the task.


Among the prominent examples of Sthala Vriksha are the Kadamba at the Meenkashi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai; the Vanni at the Magudeshwara Temple at Kodumudi and the mango tree at the Ekambershwara Temple at Kancheepuram, the last two being 3,000-3,500 years old.


The communication from Additional Chief Secretary R. Kannan to HR&CE Commissioner P. Dhanapal also asks the EOs to ensure that enough clones are kept in carefully quarantined, separate places in ‘nandavanam’ or gardens. Even in private temples, the HR&CE inspectors should take steps to preserve Sthala Vriksha . The operation should be certified by an international body for its quality.


A notice board, giving the Tamil, English, Sanskrit and botanical names of each species with details of the legend associated, should be put up prominently. It should also give all details regarding the cloning operation, such as the method used and the persons involved, the letter says, citing the case studies of cloning carried out in the past 10 years, including those of the Vanni of Kodumudi and the mango tree of Kancheepuram.