Mandu: Baobab trees and the Palace of Love

Massive Banyan tree enroute to Mandu
Massive Banyan tree en route to Mandu

In an attempt  to discover this magical  and mysterious country I take you  to the “HEART of INDIA”,  Mandu in Madhya ( “madhya” literally translated from Hindi means centre) Pradesh .

In this write-up I speak exclusively  of the stories our  flora reveals , specifically the Baobab trees here.

For travel write-up on Mandu  please  read http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com

Mandu tells you tales of romantic love stories of an era long gone by.

The intense love of the past  however has left behind beautiful palaces which sing romantically as the rains caress them during  the monsoons.

Along with the palaces ( now in ruins )  you see flourishing giant  mysterious trees with their girth in excess of 10 m ( 35 feet) and a height of 25 m ( 75 feet)  .All is strange or extraordinary about them.

Enormous football sized fruits swing from   their branches.The flowers hang upside down. They  flowers bloom at night ( after sunset)  and fruit bats pollinate the flowers.

These are the magnificent and strange  Baobab trees , are some older than the palaces? They are supposed to have a life of  up to 3000 ( three thousand)  years.

Baobab fruits available only in Mandu
Baobab fruits available only in Mandu

What is mysterious is the presence of the gigantic  Baobab ( Adansonia digitata ) trees which crown the landscape of Mandu. Amazingly  Baobab fruits are sold on the streets of Mandu  even today.

Native to faraway AFRICA  they can be only  seen near the palaces ( now in ruin) only  at MANDU .Thats why they are also called “African calabash.”

How did they migrate from these faraway lands, who brought them ? Whats the link between these romantic palaces and these gigantic foreign trees ?

even the monuments turn green
even the monuments turn green

Baobab trees are native to sub Saharan regions of Africa with very little precipitation. Yet they flourish in Mandu where the rains are bountiful and humidity levels very high turning the landscape into one colour “GREEN”.

Mysterious baobab trees from the past
Mysterious baobab trees from the past

Very little information is available with the locals guides and people about these trees.

Most tourists  are not even interested and unfortunately a large number would not have even seen them. I wish to show you what you are missing.

Many books link them to Arabian traders, but Mandu is no trading port. Its 1000 kms from the nearest sea port. By this logic Kerala ( the first trading ports  with Arabia)  should be littered with Baobab trees, but find  me ONE Baobab tree in the state.Where are the Baobab trees in Delhi, once capital of “Mughal India “?

Why is it that not even  ONE TREE  exists outside the ramparts of ancient  Mandu? You will find not one tree on the hills that surround Mandu,

What stories do these enormous  ancient trees hide? Lets unravel these mysteries as we travel to the HEART OF INDIA.

the fruits are the size of watermelons.
the fruits are the size of watermelons.

Do write to me at chandmukul@gmail.com if you have a viewpoint. Lets discover the magic of our flora as we traverse this ancient land.

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

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