In India, each of the 28 states and each of the 8 union territories has its own set of symbols unique to them. Usually, the state/union territory chooses animals or plants that are native to the particular state and showcase the individuality of that state. But did you know that each state has its own state tree? Yes, you read it right, state trees. Here are some of them-
Maharashtra – Mango Tree
Mango is the most popular fruit in India, with over 500 varieties of mangoes being grown in various districts in Maharashtra. It has also been used in traditional medicine to deal with ailments such as night blindness and diarrhoea. The wood of the tree is a popular choice for making furniture, chests and packing boxes. Mangoes are a delicacy across India and Maharashtra is no exception, with mango farming supporting a number of farmers. To summarize, the mango tree offers a cure for illnesses and helps the economy, all while providing us with fresh air to breathe.
Andhra Pradesh – Neem
Neem is one of the most respected trees in India due to its innumerous benefits. It is drought resistant and is the primary ingredient in a lot of ayurvedic medicines. It is an anti-bacterial and can be used to clean small cuts and bruises, controls pests, and boosts your immune system. In olden times, when you walked into the threshold of a traditional household, the first thing you would see was a neem plant. So, preserving neem trees is as much about preserving a medicinal tree as it is about preserving our past.
Gujarat – Banyan Tree
The Banyan tree has a lot of religious significance, as well as cultural significance, in our country and is also our national tree. The most attractive feature of a banyan tree is its ability to survive and grow for centuries. The tree is of immense medicinal value, helps to lower cholesterol, diabetes and is used in a lot of ayurvedic treatments to boost immunity, treat diarrhea and tooth decay. Banyan trees are the world’s biggest trees in terms of the area they cover. They produce vast crops of figs that sustain many species of birds, fruit bats, primates and other creatures.
Himachal Pradesh – Deodar
With the festive season just passing us, we had to include the iconic ‘Christmas tree’ looking Deodar. Deodar cedars can live to be hundreds of years old. The trees conserve soil and stop erosion to preserve surrounding vegetation. They also provide a home and food for many species such as crows and squirrels.
Kerala – Coconut tree
Kerala is actually named after the coconut tree, with “Kera” meaning Coconut tree and “Alam” meaning land – “Land of Coconut Trees”. The tree supplies food, drink and raw material to a number of industries intimately connected with domestic as well as economic life. Coconuts are also good for your heart, can help you control your blood sugar levels and has powerful antioxidants. When we talk about an all-star fruit, nothing beats the mighty coconut.
Andaman & Nicobar – Andaman Redwood
The Andaman Redwood is a deciduous tree endemic to the Andaman Islands. Plant parts such as flowers and young leaves are edible while the bark is used medicinally and as a source of tannins. The timber is highly prized as it is strong, durable, and beautifully grained orange-red wood, while being completely naturally resistant to termites. Overall, not only does the tree provide aesthetic beauty and fresh air, but it also provides nutrition and very high quality timber.
Jammu & Kashmir – Chinar tree
Called Booune in the Kashmiri language, the Chinar tree is an integral part of Kashmiri culture. A deciduous tree, Chinar traces its origin to Greece. This tree is at its most elegant during autumn, when its leaves acquire varied colourful hues of blood-red, mauve, amber and yellow in a short period of time. With a strict ban on their being cut, the Chinar is grown in the Mughal gardens and the colleges and universities too. Highways and homes host mighty Chinars, which in turn host migratory birds that come all the way from Siberia and Russia.
All of these trees are deeply connected to the state that they represent. The most famous variety of Mangoes in India – The Alphonso Mangoes are obtained from a town called Devgad in Maharashtra. In Kerala, coconut is an unavoidable part of the cuisine. Preserving these trees should be our primary concern! Do you know what your state tree is? Tell us in the comments below!