Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A 230-year-old piece of history axed

A 230-year-old piece of history axed
Planted by Tipu Sultan
Deccan Herald

The tree which was supposedly planted during Tipu Sultan’s time, nearly 230 years ago, in the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens had to face the axe this weekend. Reason: It had gone dry and dead, and posed a danger to visitors and walkers, say Lalbagh officials.

Long, long ago

Horticulture Director Dr G K Vasanth Kumar says the tree was believed to have been planted by Tipu Sultan in Lalbagh, which was, at that time, maintained as a family garden. The tree is said to have been planted by Tipu between 1776 and 1785.

A mute witness

The tree had a board suggesting that it may have been planted by the Tiger of Mysore, with records in the Horticulture Department souvenirs stating this. But there are no records to prove the exact date. Lalbagh was established in 1760 by Hyder Ali. Later, Tipu expanded it. after the gardens were opened in 1776, the mango tree was a wise-old witness to two centuries of changes at the botanical gardens.

Man prevails

A number of birds like parakeets and green barbets were roosting in the tree, so the authorities were chary of cutting it for fear of displacing the birds. But, for the safety of the visitors, the tree had be felled. The tree’s life was extended by a year with the help of tree surgery.


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