Millennium tree to turn tourist treat - The New Indian Express

Millennium tree to turn tourist treat

Published: 15th September 2012 08:20 AM

Last Updated: 15th September 2012 08:20 AM

A centuries-old gigantic Neer Maruthu tree in the Melpattu tribal village in Jawadhu Hills would soon turn into a cynosure of eco-tourism.

Though Neer Maruthus are abundant in the Eastern Ghats of Jawadhu Hills, this particular tree never fails to attract passers-by with its mammoth spread.  Strangers to the hills are often left with their mouths wide open after they are told the circumference of the trunk of the tree alone is around 45 feet. The tree has more than 15 main branches and hundreds of smaller ones. Its roots are spread across 30 metres.

Neer Maruthu or Terminila Ajuna is known for its rich medicinal value in the treatment of heart ailments.  Tribals living in the Jamunamaruthur block in Jawadhu Hills claim the tree is 1,000 years old. However, there are no documents to substantiate this. “We are planning to do carbon dating with the help of forest department officials, to determine the age of the tree,” district Collector Dr Vijay Pingle told Express.

As many as 14 people had to stand around the tree, holding each others’ hands to cover the circumference of the trunk of the tree, said the collector.

“We are planning to promote this tree by developing a park adjacent to it in the government poromboke land and construct bamboo houses with a capacity to accommodate five to ten persons. It will be part of a tourism circuit,” he added.

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