Karanataka is a Large South Indian State which is home to a large number of Enormous and fascinating Tamarind ( English) Trees, Imli ( Hindi), Tamarindus indica.
The English and Botanical name Tamarind has it’s origins in Arabic and literally translates to “Dates of Hind” ( tamar-e-hind) ( India is referred to as Hind in the Arab World) .
Despite the certification by Botanists, it is interesting to note that the Tamarind Tree actually has its origins in the African Continent and not the Indian subcontinent.
The following picture was taken outside the Sriranganathaswamy temple, in the historical capital city of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatnam.
It is interesting to learn that the Tamarindus indica belongs to the Pea family Fabaceae. ( see the fruits and see the resemblance)
All the trees near Bangalore were laden with the leguminous fruits which form an integral part of South Indian cuisine.
The Tamarind trees are very large and grow to over 30 metres or 100 feet in this region. The following picture is of a tree which towers over a Siva Cave temple on the Chandi Hills and seems to touch the clouds above.
The Bean Like Brown fruits called Tamarind in English or Imli in Hindi are a rich source of Amino acids, Vitamin C and Tartaric Acid and form the base of many curries and chutneys in Indian cuisine.
This fruit laden tree was spotted on the banks of the Kaveri River, the waters of which are the basis of many controversies in recent times.
The Fruits are extremely sour and are used to make many delicious sweet and sour candies as well.
The entire Imli Tree; fruits, seeds , leaves and bark have innumerable Medical applications which I am not attempting to enlist.
Next time you are in this region do look up and you could be Enchanted by the small and pretty Pink & White flowers as well.