Barabanki's Parijat tree

Barabanki’s famous Parijat tree has found the promise of protection from unexpected quarters. After concerns being raised over its survival from different quarters, a 5-member panel of experts from the Narendra Deo University of Agriculture and Technology (NDUAT), Faizabad, surveyed the tree . Leading the panel, head of department of crop physiology, NDUAT, Akhtar Hussain Khan, said: ‘‘We travelled to Barabanki to assess the tree and the extent of damage it has suffered due to various reasons. Now we will compile a report citing the problems that plague the tree and ways to protect and preserve the plant variety.’’ In his efforts to save the Parijat tree, Khan will work along with soil scientist TPS Katiyar, entymologist HN Singh, plant pathologist DK Chakravarty and AK Saxena from the department of forestry. The panel of scientists, which collected samples of soil and tissue will also present a report on the types of insects damaging the plant and mineral deficiency in the soil, if any. The Parijat tree, located in Barabanki district’s Kintur village, is believed to belong to the age of the Mahabharata. According to a popular legend, Lord Krishna uprooted the Parijat tree from the abode of Lord Indra after Krishna’s wife Rukmini demanded that the tree be brought to her. Another belief, however, says Arjun brought the tree, laden with fruits and flowers for his mother Kunti, who then offered them to Lord Shiva. Khan added: ‘‘It is believed that this is the only tree of this variety that exists. We will also try to see whether saplings of the tree can be planted elsewhere.’’ Khan and his team spent nearly four hours examining the tree in Kintur, on Monday. A report will be submitted to the vice-chancellor of NDUAT within a week.

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