Udaipur's Only Kalp Vriksh in Danger


Udaipur's Only Kalp Vriksh in Danger

Dark clouds of danger are looming large over the only icon of Udaipur district’s forest asset, which is much alluded to in the ancient fables of India – the Kalp Vriksh.

 
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Udaipur's Only Kalp Vriksh in Danger

Dark clouds of danger are looming large over the only icon of Udaipur district’s forest asset, which is much alluded to in the ancient fables of India – the Kalp Vriksh.

This mythological tree has come into the grips of the expansion of the General Hospital building where a structure is being constructed behind the Outdoor Department. This tree has stood firm for hundreds of years, looking at centuries passing by. The estimated age of this tree is said to be 400 years, the diameter of its trunk is 26 feet and height is 40 feet.

Kaam Dhenu symbolises prosperity and Paras Mani mineral wealth. In the same way, according to ancient beliefs, Kalp Vriksh is the symbol of rich forests and is also believed to grant wishes. In Magliavas town in Ajmer district, there are two Kalp Vrikshes. These are worshiped daily and there is also a fair that takes place around them.

Udaipur's Only Kalp Vriksh in Danger

The only Kalp Vriksh of this area has been shrouded by dark shadows of death and annihilation. It is only the public at large who can try to leave no stone unturned to compel the government to save this rare and significant tree.

Editor’s Note:

When Dr. Tehsin noticed that this tree was going to be cut down with the extension of the Outdoor department, he went to the Collector and explained the scenario. The Collector, after hearing him out, phoned the Principal of the Medical College, Dr. Sethi.

Tehsin met the Principal and presented the case to him and explained how important it was to save this tree. This 400 year old tree was the only Kalp Vriksh of Udaipur district. The Principal asked if Tehsin was educated enough. He answered that he was a bit. So him what was more important, asked the Principal – the hospital or the tree? Tehsin said that there was a lot of space in the General Hospital for the building expansion but none for the tree. On being asked if there was any scientific value to this tree, Tehsin asked in turn if the Principal had imagined in his childhood that man would go to the moon. That had happened and what more, the moon might become a picnic spot in future. There is a fluid found in the eyes of humans, which is also found in the trees. Tehsin said that with the development of science, maybe the trees could see and present to us the history of centuries seen by them. Also, if there was no value to these things crores of rupees should not be spent every year on museums and the security of the artefacts therein. The Principal said this was nonsensical talk and told him off.

Left with no other option, Dr. Tehsin gave the above news in the local media. Public started to pour to the tree for darshan. For seven months the construction work was stopped at the site. Finally, under pressure, the government had to change the expansion plan of the General Hospital of Udaipur and leave the tree as it is. It was declared a protected tree.

This Kalp Vriksh still stands proud right in the middle of the Emergency Ward. Now there is a small temple built at the base with a Pandit to take care of it.

This news item appeared in Dainik Navjyoti (1 February 1980), Udaipur Express (1 February 1980), Rajasthan Patrika (1 February 1980), Jai Rajasthan (31 January 1980) and a few other newspapers.

Photos by Ayush Devpura – UdaipurTimes.com

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