BENGALURU: As we take a stroll down the lanes in Cubbon Park, we are surrounded by giant trees and several species of plants all over. But these trees and plants have a history and a story to tell that many of us may be unaware of.
For example, the banyan tree transfers water and minerals to the rest of the trees to grow. The white silk cotton tree is loved by honeybees who form clusters at the highest point of the tree. These are just some of the nuggets we pick up on the two-hour walk on Saturday morning.
Heritage Beku, a citizen initiative, along with the department of horticulture, is organising a series of events focussing on conserving Bengaluru’s natural and cultural heritage, with the heritage walk being one of them. Kavya Chandra, a naturist, who moderated the walk, feels it is important that people understand the trees in depth and the value they add to our lives.
“Everyone is a naturist in their own sense and we are bridging the gap with the right form of awareness,” she said, adding that the Banyan tree is home to 100 different species of birds and also a shelter for cobras.
“This is actually a sign of a clean ecosystem,” added Chandra. She also stressed the significance of the eucalyptus tree which is known for its medicinal values with healing components that are generally found in pain balms.
“The eucalyptus tree is a major cause of groundwater depletion. The tree always undergoes termite attacks and the leaves of the tree are harmful to the animals,” added Chandra. For Arvind K, who participated in the nature walk, it was essential to know about the ecosystem around us.
“More importantly, the younger generation should also be aware of these details since they are the conservators of tomorrow,” he said. It wasn’t until this walk that Vaibhav Dewan delved into the details of the trees.
“I have been living with trees all my life. But I did not know the details and the depth of qualities of the trees,” he added. The heritage walk aims to bring stories of the unsung trees in Cubbon Park and the value they add to the sustenance of the ecosystem.
“Cubbon Park is public property. People have to adopt and maintain this ecosystem for sustainable living. Let us make our city pollution-free and preserve the heritage,” said RK Kataria, principal secretary, horticulture department. The upcoming events that will be held are a heritage walk by Suresh Jayaram; a park photography contest ‘Picture Parking’; and a memory map initiative.
Originally from Madagascar, this tree is 100 years old. The curling of the leaves of a raintree generally gives an indication of when it rains. The flowering period of the tree is in March and the fruits are edible. Interestingly, the branches do not touch each other, socially-distancing themselves from each other which allows sunlight to go right inside.
White Silk Cotton Tree
This tree is almost 60 years old. The cotton pops out of the bud during summer, which is often used in the manufacturing of soft toys. The honeybees generally form a cluster here because of the altitude of the tree. It stores water beneath the ground and does not allow the water to run out.
This tree is a boon and a bane for the ecosystem. Eucalyptus is known for its medicinal values, but on the other hand, the nature of the eucalyptus tree is a major concern for groundwater depletion. The tree frequently undergoes termite attacks and its leaves are harmful to animals.
African Tulip Tree
This 100-year-old tree at Cubbon Park has roots that are stronger, thereby holding the water together and preventing soil erosion. It is not advisable to grow the tree near residences because of its overarching branches.
For more details, visit heritagebeku.com