Vadodara social forestry department hopeful endeavor to increase the number of Ravantad trees
Plant a nursery by planting the entire fruit of Ravantad trees
Straight tall palm-like trees are found in Vadodara and in the forest area of Halol, Chhotaudepur, Jambughoda. Nero, which is obtained by cutting on the top of it and the fruit that gives coolness to it, is mostly liked by everyone.
In Sayajibagh in Vadodara, just in front of Baba Saheb's monument and behind the Raj Mahal, at the end of Navlakhi ground, on the banks of Vishwamitri, there are trees called Ravantad of the palm clan. There is only one top on a palm tree while more than one top on Ravantad and the twigs grow in such a way that when you look at it, you remember ten heads of Ravana. At one time these trees were in good numbers in Vadodara but now it has fallen. Also, this tree is included in the list of endangered trees so Vadodara should take care of these surviving trees of Gaekwadi period.
In this atmosphere of despair, the Department of Social Forestry, Vadodara has undertaken a hopeful endeavor in which the number of these trees can be increased if successful.
Informing about this, Kartik Maharaja, Deputy Forest Conservator, Social Forestry Department, Vadodara, said, "We have collected about 500 fruits the size of a tennis ball from this tree, planted the whole fruit in the ground and made a nursery bed. This is how we are working to grow the seedlings of this tree."
This tree is also known by other names like Hoka Tree, Doum Palm, Ginger Bread Tree. Its fruit has a very hard crust on top. However, its fruits are not widely used for eating like palm pods.
He further said "We have to wait for six months for success in this experiment. We are hoping to sprout from the seeds after the cocoons of the fruits buried in the ground rot. If they succeeds in raising its seedlings in this way, its number can be increased by the new trees of Ravantad. We are currently patiently waiting for a good result."
He further states that at present most of these trees are found around Ajwa and Palace. There are no such palms in the forests near Vadodara, so it seems probable that this is a legacy of the Gaekwadi period. This is almost the first attempt to plant Ravantad plant in the area of Lower Gujarat and if successful, the trees can be grown.
Instead of the attitude that only deity trees should be saved, so it is necessary to cultivate the attitude that God resides in all trees and it should be saved in the society. The enduring trees of Ravantad are the splendid heritage of plant diversity. It is everyone's responsibility to save it.
Photo and information: Department of Social Forestry, Vadodara