Baobab Tree

By snonymous on May 15, 2009. Gallery: snonymous's photos.

Baobab Tree

Strange looking Baobab Tree - A few are to be found in Mumbai city and along the Maharashtra Gujarat coast.

Comments for Baobab Tree

May 15, 2009
RWeHavingFunYet says:
. . . . Nice picture. I've never seen a baobob tree in India. Can you specifically give some locations where I can find'em.
May 15, 2009
machadinha says:
They're common around Mandu, MP. According to Lonely Planet, that would be about the only area in India where they naturally occur. If that's correct I can't tell you. Nice shot, Snonymous :)
May 16, 2009
shahzahid says:
nice pic.
May 16, 2009
snonymous says:
Lonely Planet notwithstanding [and I'm not a fan], from my own experience, I can say that in Mumbai there are 3 baobab trees at the Byculla zoo, 1 opposite Metro, 1 on SV Rd nr Santacruz Station, 1 on SV Rd nr Vile Parle Station, there may be more. You will also find them on the coastal Gholwad road all the way to Gujarat and in the Murud Janjira area. The one in this image is at the Byculla zoo, Mumbai.
May 16, 2009
machadinha says:
Hm? Yes, I wasn't suggesting you'd photoshopped your (fine) Mumbai exemplar together :D I think what they, and hence I, are talking about though is where they occur in the wild in India (if they're indigenous even in the Mandu area, so Dhar district really, I have no idea). Since they don't seem otherwise very common, chances are they were introduced at some point in time; Wikipedia would suggest the tree is native (only) to Madagascar, Africa and Australia. It's nice though to hear they grow along the coast up to Gujarat; would those be wild or planted you think?
May 16, 2009
RWeHavingFunYet says:
May be they're transplanted by the british from africa, since there are so few. It is possible the trees on the gujarat coast could be some seeds, drifted from the african waters to the indian west coast :confused: I've another question. Why do they paint the bottom couple of feet of the tree. I've noticed these on the highways too, which to me looks ugly, rather than leaving it natural looking.
May 16, 2009
machadinha says:
My impression (and little more than that) is the colors are a sign of devotion, I think possibly to Shiva. They're the same colors (red and white) to normally adorn a Hindu temple wall. And many trees (presumably of particular kinds) will be made into shrines, usually more adorned even -- but red and white seem to be popular in doing so. However, I know to put a band of white paint at least on a tree's stem deters snails, and possibly other pests. It's possible the red serves a similar function. My humble and uninformed assumption is the mundane and the sacred got somehow intertwined here, in typical pragmatic Indian fashion.
May 16, 2009
RWeHavingFunYet says:
. . . Thanks. May be you're right about the sacred getting interwined with similar looking trees like the sacred fig tree (pipal tree) to other trees on the roadways. :)
May 16, 2009
snonymous says:
The baobabs along the coast are supposed to be wild from drifting seeds. I dont believe there are any religious connotations about the red and white paint, all trees planted by the authorities in public places, avenues, highways etc have these markings. Certainly this is the case in the state of Maharashtra.
May 16, 2009
RWeHavingFunYet says:
[QUOTE] [B]snonymous:[/B] I dont believe there are any religious connotations about the red and white paint, all trees planted by the authorities in public places, avenues, highways etc have these markings. Certainly this is the case in the state of Maharashtra.[/QUOTE] As [B]machadinha[/B] mentions: [I]They're the same colors (red and white) to normally adorn a Hindu temple wall. And many trees (presumably of particular kinds) will be made into shrines, usually more adorned even -- but red and white seem to be popular in doing so.[/I] It could be purely for uniform decoration purposes on the roads, similar to hindu temple walls :confused: I don't think it serves any purpose as insecticide, as most of the insects fly and pollinate, any way. I wonder why the indian highway department takes so much effort to paint all those trees on the roads. :confused: Why can't they leave them looking naturalè. .
May 17, 2009
machadinha says:
Hm; I really didn't mean to get into a whole sub-debate on this, poor Snonymous's, picture; which isn't on in the photo galleries anyway. Anyway on the Caribbean island where I partly grew up it's very common to see at least palm trees adorned with a broad band of white paint just above the roots yes;* again, this is said to be helpful against pests, and again, notably snails, which come up from the ground of course. (Strewing chalk or white pebbles or crushed shells around a plant is likewise said to deter snails; you'd think this would have to do with the substance or texture, but maybe the color comes into play then.) That's about all I know about it. It could be interesting in that there has been plenty of immigration there of people of Indian descent over the course of colonization; but it might well lead us a little too far ;) But I don't know; it could similarly just simply mean "these trees were municipally planted." I'm quite sure I've seen it beyond Maharashtra yes, it's very common all over India I think. (Saffron and white are of course an integral part of the Indian flag, I assume not by coincidence.) * Come to think of it, I'm quite sure I've now commonly seen this again in rubber plantations in India, as I've seen elsewhere in Asia before. It's interesting though, in that one of my many post-trip questions would have been to ask how this would be so indeed. It's the kind of thing where you observe, and wonder how did it come to be this way. So maybe we should just start a thread on it :) ( --> In fact I will now; see here: http://www.indiamike.com/india/yoga-spirituality-and-religion-in-india-f54/red-and-white-bands-on-tree-stems-t80583/ .)
May 17, 2009
snonymous says:
Just out of curiosity, I had a good look at all the planted roadside trees today on my way to work, all had brick and white paint on them, some had bands of brick white and brick again, some just brick and white.



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