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Oldest Trees in Maharashtra
There are many trees in the world that are very old which are present from even centuries. Even Maharashtra has a few such old trees. In this article I will describe some of the oldest trees in Maharashtra and the legends attached to them.
The baobab tree opposite bhabha hospital, bandra
The Baobab tree at Bandra is said to be the oldest surviving tree in Mumbai. Although there are many trees in the city that have been surviving for long now, here is a rare species of trees that experts claim could be the oldest one in the city. The Baobabs are not of Indian origin. They were brought to Mumbai by the Portuguese from East Africa during their rule in India.
The one seen opposite Bhabha hospital in Bandra is believed to be about 450 years old. The trees are about 5 to 30 metres tall and store up to 1, 20,000 litres of water in their trunks. The peculiarity about Baobabs is their longevity, as a baobab can live up to 3,000 years, making them one of the longest surviving tree species. They occupy a lot of space, as their roots spread wide and have a very stout trunk.
The tree has to be protected from the nearby stalls as there is a lot of filth around. The government should ensure that the tree is not harmed, as it is one of the most peculiar and oldest tress in the city. Despite numerous efforts by a social group, National Society of Friends of Trees (FoT), the authorities have done little to clear the mess near the tree, and preserve its scenic beauty.
Banyan tree, Nana chowk
When you enter the little compound in Nana Chowk, you will not miss the huge banyan tree that stands there. After a close look, it will be impossible for anyone to say that this tree has had a second life.
Originally this was a banyan tree. Despite that, a Peepal tree has grown from its branches. This makes it special and this phenomenon rarely ever happens.
Three years ago, this 100-year-old unique banyan tree fell during the heavy rains. 45 days after the tree collapsed, the locals in the area had almost made up their mind to cut the tree. However, the tree received a new lease of life after few tree lovers intervened and suggested that the tree be transplanted.
Due to the rains, almost four-fifth of the tree was cut and only one-fifth was left. The BMC was planning to cut it completely, but we requested them to try transplanting it. They agreed and we transplanted it at the same place. Today, the tree is just like it was before and looks like it has another century to go.
Peepal tree, Kamothe, panvel
The hundred year old peepal tree of Kamothe located on the highway that links Mansorovar railway station and Sion-Pune Expressway, is one of the oldest trees of Navi Mumbai. During the development of Navi Mumbai all the trees in the area were cut except this one. On Vat Purnima many women tie a string around this tree for the long life of their husbands.
Keeping in mind the environmental aspects and the age of the tree, it was not cut at the time of constructing the highway.
Banyan tree, rajawadi, Ghatkopar
In 2010, Mayor Shubha Raul declared the huge Banyan tree at Rajawadi Society in Ghatkopar east as a heritage tree. The tree is over 200 years old and its roots now spread over a vast diameter.
Back in 1948, the area where Rajawadi Society is now located was a jungle. The first society was formed in 1952, after which many trees in the area were felled. This particular tree was home to many birds, but due to the changing environment this old tree has no birds now. People now use the tree as a clothes line and dump waste under the tree. Despite repeated complaints no action has been taken by the BMC.
Banyan tree, Kolshet Rd, Thane
A banyan tree more than 300 years old stands tall at the Clariant Guest house and have been witness to the city's transformation. Rooted on a raised platform it is worshipped by many devotees.
Residents of the area never cut or harm the tree in any way. People believe it is a bad omen. The tree stands testament to the many changes in the city. People worship this tree and because of its huge size people are scared to walk near it in the night.
The tree has seen the reign of the Portuguese, British, Maratha as well as the present era. The tree is more than 300 years old and this is due to its aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks. The roots are so thick that it becomes indistinguishable from the main tree. In the Hindu culture the banyan tree is also called 'Vat Vriksha' and is worshipped all across India.
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