(Posted in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Rare)
Last Sunday I was invited for a walk in the World Forestry Arboretum, Jaipur by a forest department official. I have never heard about World Forest Arboretum in Jaipur before. He often sends invites for nature walks but I’m too preoccupied to join. This time however I decided to join in for this jungle walk. On a preliminary discussion, he informed me that the World Forestry Arboretum is home to various medicinal and rare plants. Often, experiments are conducted by the forest department wherein they procure plants from other countries to test them in local climatic conditions for the plantations. They also study their impact on the local environment. Arboretum is where all such activities take place here in Rajasthan state.
On entering this area one can feel the difference in the air quality – fresh and pure; it smells different too, probably it’s the effect of many medicinal plants planted here.
This area is in proximity to a protected forest hence this board warns the visitors about danger lurking around. Panthers! On one of the trails we also found panther pugmark!
We started with one of the popular trails here. The first tree we came across was Acasia Tortilitis. This tree is indigenous to Israel and is well adapted to desert and semi arid region which forms large area here in Rajasthan too. Next we came across a local plant called Pongemia Pinata; also called Karanj in local language.
This tree is well known for producing bio diesel like Jatropha tree & is indigenous to Rajasthan. Following this we came across an area where many Guggul tree or Commiphora wightii were planted. It’s a local tree but has now been declared as an endangered species.
We branched off from the trail to witness huge cactus growth. Initially Cactii was planted inside a metal enclosure but with passage of time they overgrew out of it. The flowering in these cactii takes places after many years. It happens only once the cactii has firmly established itself.
We then ended at a place where there were many Aloe Vera plants. Aloe Vera needs no introduction since it’s widely publicized by almost all cosmetic brands. We were informed that Aloe Vera gel which can be obtained by peeling the upper layer of the plant is good to apply directly on the skin without any second thoughts. One can even apply it to the hair as an alternative to conditioners.
There are many other plants here in World Forestry Arboretum which have also been mentioned in Ayurveda as a medicinal plants and which one doesn’t come across often. Writing about all plants and trees here in World Forestry Arboretum will be quite exhaustive so I’m sharing few pictures for you to take a virtual stroll.
Entry to this forest is prohibited for general public. To access World Forestry Arboretum one needs to get permission from the Forest Departments Office. I’m happy for having attended this unique walk. Even though I might have come across some of these rare plants in the forest around but I wouldn’t have known about them without the detailed explanation at this walk. The beauty of this place is that larger chunk of area has been maintained in it’s natural state -like a jungle! It’s an amazing experience to take a stroll here!
World Forestry Arboretum Jaipur is a treasure trove for nature lovers and people who practice Ayurveda.