23rd April 2023
Sub: Preservation and protection of the 400 old Nallur Tamarind Grove, Temple & Environs
The first site to be declared a National Biodiversity Heritage Site by the National Biodiversity Authority in 2007, it is a great pride for us in Karnataka. However, despite the efforts of several in the biodiversity committees, forestry et cetera nothing significant has been done and very little budget has been expended on protecting (even fencing, de-weeding ) this iconic and historic site from erosion, vandalism and issues. Being in the highly aspirational area of the Bangalore airport in Devanahalli to look, it has huge tourism potential as well, but the concerns regarding an industrial estate coming up close by is certainly going to damage the green as well as the water levels of this site.
We at Heritage Beku request that a strong committee be formed under the Chief Secretary & Biodiversity Board to focus on this and allot specific funds necessary for the proper upkeep and preservation of this rich ecological treasure. We need to also focus on the additional layers of the Temple and Fort which are so integral to this legacy. An integrated group with a budget needs to be quickly put together before we see an erosion of another magnificent & ancient heritage site that our state could be truly proud of.
We would be glad to offer any thoughts, ideation, or support to ensure that citizens can be made a part of this critical preservation. As an annexure we have also added the suggestions of Prof Githa U Badikillaya who researched extensively on this. We look forward to hearing from you and moving ahead to ensure that Jewel that is our Nallur Tamarind Grove, continues to shine.
CC: Chair, Karnataka Biodiversity Board
CC Dept of Forests
CC: Dept of Tourism
Dr Githa U Badikillaya’s inputs :
Its 53.2 acres with 297 tamarind trees of which 47 are heritage trees. Tamarind trees survive.
long when there is no human intervention.
1- First survey the extent of the land by drones as i am told that nearly 40% of land is
encroached by the villagers themselves. A drone exercise was done and found encroachments. This the revenue dept should do.
2- Immediately fencing the area will be expensive . To rope in Corporates as CSR and by
the forest dept and bio diversity board.
3- Removal of overgrowth and clearing debris
4- There is unchecked grazing, if continued it will lead to Sahara situation.
5- intermingling with the trees are medicinal shrubs- Abutilon Indicum that has to be
preserved. the leaves soothe the alimentary canal, brings down fever, as a laxative, removes
mucous secretion from bronchial tubes, chronic inflammation of urethra and urinary bladder,
Rota are used as nerve tonic. leaves are cooked. They are mistaken for weeds
6-A 75-year-old Kote Kempanna underpaid lone watchman (175₹ per month, when i met him
10 years ago.) takes care of the area erratically.
7-earlier the villagers were taking care and protecting the area and trees in a systematic
manner. for 9 years 20 trees have been cut and sold to contractors by the dept? There was an
affinity between the grove and the villagers that’s missing now.
8-Trees to be Grated,
9- Walking paths to be demarcated
10- No arrangement for toilet and parking facilities.
11- A entrance fee of 70 ₹ to be charged for generating funds for upkeep.
12- Route maps and signboards enroute and at Devanahalli and at airport.
13- Documenting and archiving needed (nearby Agri univ students)
14 Formation of Village Committee as people made care takers take better care of the
property than the govt agencies put together.
15- State archaeology to take over the temple.
16. Can be a repository for original tamarind gene pool. (Has agriculture scientists done
something in this regard?)
17- To involve school and college students and train them to appreciate and preserve this
18- Utility of the medicinal plant to be brought to the notice of the villagers who are unaware.
(As suggested by Der. Githa U Badikillaya, Member , Heritage Beku, and Founder Trustee, Destination Heritage)