UP Yogi-Govt to beautify 948 heritage trees in state
UP Yogi-Govt to beautify 948 heritage trees in state

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh's Yogi-led administration has undertaken a remarkable initiative to enhance the beauty of 948 ancient trees across the state. As part of the Heritage Tree Adoption Scheme, the government aims to preserve the cultural legacy of the region. These heritage trees, comprising 28 distinct species, are more than a century old and can be found in all 75 districts of the state. Notably, Varanasi boasts the highest number with 99 heritage trees, followed by Prayagraj with 53, Hardoi with 37, Ghazipur with 35, and Unnao with 34.

The Yogi government is taking steps to raise awareness among the public by safeguarding endangered tree species, as well as those linked to mythological or historical events, noteworthy individuals, monuments, religious traditions, and beliefs. The Environment, Forest, and Climate Change department have provided guidelines for the selection and documentation of these invaluable heritage trees.

The UP State Biodiversity Board has designated these century-old trees, belonging to 28 species, situated outside forested areas (community land), as heritage trees. The diverse species include Aru, Arjuna, Mango, Tamarind, Kaim, Karil, Kusum, Khirni, Shami, Gamhar, Gular, Chitwan, Chilbil, Jamun, Neem, Adansonia, Pakad, Peepal, Peelu, Banyan, Mahua, Mahogany, Mysore Banyan, Sheesham, Sal, Semal, Haldu, and Tumal.

Of these, 363 trees are of the Banyan species, and 422 trees belong to the Peepal species. The heritage tree category also includes trees associated with spiritual practices and the freedom movement.

In Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's hometown of Gorakhpur, 19 trees have been acknowledged as heritage trees. Likewise, heritage trees encompass the ancestral trees of the famous Dussehri and Langra mangoes in Lucknow and Varanasi, Bachan Imli in Fatehpur, the Imli tree in the Imlitala temple complex in Mathura, the Karil tree in Pratapgarh, the Adansonia tree in Barabanki, the Pakad tree in Hapur and Sant Kabir Nagar, the Bodhi tree of Sarnath, the Peepal tree of Ambedkar Nagar, known as Baba Jharkhand, and the Peepal tree associated with the freedom movement at Ordinance Cloth Factory Shahjahanpur.

Among the notable heritage trees are the Adansonia tree in Jhunsi (Prayagraj) mentioned by the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang, the Peelu tree located in the Ter Kadamba temple complex and Nidhi Van of Mathura, Akshayavat in the Prayagraj fort, the Banyan tree at Valmiki Ashram in Unnao district, renowned as the birthplace of Luv Kush and Janki Kund. Furthermore, the banyan tree located in NBRI Lucknow and the Mahamaya Devi Temple Complex in Ghaziabad, associated with the first freedom struggle, hold significant importance.

In addition to honoring our heritage, the state government seeks the cooperation of the public in protecting these remarkable trees. By fostering a sense of affection, harmony, and affinity towards trees and connecting heritage trees with public sentiment, the government aims to promote biodiversity conservation and eco-tourism in the region.

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