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By MANEKA GANDHI

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The name Pipal has an interesting origin. The Pipal tree has a resemblance to the Poplar tree in that its leaves also shake. Aryan immigrants, seeing the tree for the first time, gave it the name of the Poplar or Pappel, a tree they were familiar with in the northern latitudes. Even now in Italy the transplanted Pipal is called Populo delle Indie or the Indian Poplar. In the earlier discriptions of Indian flora it was called the Poplar-leaved fig tree. The Pipal is the oldest depicted tree in India.

The male flowers grow in long white, very fragrant spathes. The female ones are short and yellow. The fruit is a round mass of drupes first yellow and then red when ripe. The leaves of the Keora are woven into mats and are also used for making paper. The leaf fibre is used for fishing nets and lines and brush bristles. hats and brushes. Perfume from the male flowers is used in perfumes and in sweets. Keora is grown as a soil binder in the canals of Kerala. 21 POMEGRANATE Latin Name : Punica granatum English Name : Pomegranate Indian Names : Bengali: Dalim Hindi: Anar Gujarati: Dadam Kannada: Dalimba Malayalam: Metalam Marathi: Dalimba Sanskrit: Dalima, Dadima Tamil: Madalai Telugu: Darimma Family : Punicaceae Pliny called it the Apple of Carthage, Malum punicum.

Spirits of dead ancestors are supposed to live in this tree. Baji Rao’s ancestors had murdered the Maratha PeshwaNarayan Rao in 1772 and taken his throne. Baji Rao believed himself to be haunted by the spirit of Narayan Rao. He ordered several thousand Mango trees planted around Poona to give shelter to the angry spirit. In aboriginal India, the bride and bridegroom walk several times round the Mango tree before the actual ceremony of marriage takes place. The groom smears the Mango bark with vermilion and embraces it.

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