December 17, 2007

Excitement of the week — big baobab tree near Golconda!

I first came to know about the Baobab tree when I read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s delightful book The Little Prince. I have known about , and have seen, the baobab tree in Nanakramguda, a small village off the old Bombay-road in Hyderabad. But last weekend, I was elated when I discovered this massive tree, near the Golconda fort. Just look at its girth!

I especially liked the landscape from the top of the fort wall --- the tree against the backdrop of the Qutb Shahi tombs (last photo), a popular tourist spot.


Some facts from Wikipedia: Baobab is the common name of a genus (Adansonia) containing eight species of trees, native to Madagascar, mainland Africa and Australia. Other common names include boab, boaboa, bottle tree and monkey bread tree. The species reach heights of between 16–82 ft (exceptionally 98 ft) tall, and up to 23 ft (exceptionally 36 ft) in trunk diameter. They are noted for storing water inside the swollen trunk, with the capacity to store up to 120,000 litres of water to endure the harsh drought conditions particular to each region.

Interesting trivia
- The baobab is the national tree of Madagascar.
- Baobabs are also used for bonsai.
- The baobab is occasionally known colloquially as "upside-down tree" (from the Arabic legend which claims that the devil pulled out the tree and planted it upside down). This is likely derived from older African lore. The story goes that after creation, each of the animals was given a tree to plant and the hyena planted the baobab upside-down.
- The Little Prince describes the baobabs as "trees as big as churches". The Little Prince is worried that baobabs would grow on his small asteroid, take up all the space and even cause it to explode.
- There is an important baobab tree in Kunta Kinte’s village in The Gambia from Alex Haley’s novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family.
- Rafiki, in The Lion King, makes his home in a baobab tree.

7 comments:

dharmabum said...

interesting!

Anonymous said...

Hi
Sadhana,

please find detail pic of Hatiyan tree thru gigapan.

http://www.gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=19682

Shashi

Jasmine said...

Hello Sadhana,

I saw this tree about 18-20 years ago and it didnt have this fence around it then. We even climbed into the trunk,its like a big room!
:)

desi Traveler said...

Hi Sadhna: Can you please confirm if we are talking about the same tree

http://desitraveler.com/old-baobab-tree-india/

I am trying to create awareness about the same.... Thanks

Sadhana Ramchander said...

@Desi Traveler: Thanks for your comment and link. Yes, we are talking about the same tree, but the one I wrote about is located near Golconda Fort. Good work...trees do need to be cared for and not abused.

Sadhana Ramchander said...

@Desi Traveler: Thanks for your comment and link. Yes, we are talking about the same tree, but the one I wrote about is located near Golconda Fort. Good work...trees do need to be cared for and not abused.

desi Traveler said...

Thanks Sadhana