Fabled Jand Tree

There are many references to “Jand” tree in Punjabi literature. Foremost it is connected to a place called Danabad the village of Mirza in the legend of “Mirza-Sahiban”. After getting Sahiba from her home on the day of her marriage to someone else, and sneaking on his mare-called Bakki in local language, he decides to take rest under the cool shade of Jand tree. He was overconfident that even after taking rest for the summer noon, he will make it easily to his native place before the end of the day. Rest is well known. He was killed by Sahiban’s …

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How clean was water of Sukhna Choe once upon a time 

“Choe” in local language in Punjab means a stream or a rivulet. Sukhna choe is the name of stream after which the lake in Chandigarh is named. The choe passes through areas of union territory Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab before merging into Ghaggar river. Many unauthorized settlements have mushroomed along it particularly in Union territory of Chandigarh. Some industries have also come up near it. There was a time about 50 years ago when the clean water flowed from the dam but these days if you pass by the gates of Lake hardly any water flows there. At that time …

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Why Water is Different from other Liquids

Three fourth of the surface of the earth is covered with oceans. Water sustains the life on our planet. Salts and many organic compounds like sugars are taken by our bodies in the form of their solutions in water. Water is the medium in the cells of our bodies and salts conduct their business of sending the electrical signals to intended parts of the body from the brain. If you lose the water from your body through perspiration or other processes you have to replenish the deficiency by drinking the water else the solutions inside your body and blood will …

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Short but Beautiful Life

It is not necessary that a long age is always full of eventful life. Sometimes a short life can be eventful and spread happiness within a short span. One such case is the flowers of Barringtonia tree. These trees bear red colored jellyfish like tiny flowers in bunches from the racemes. There are about ten trees near our home and in every morning a great spectacle unfolds. These flowers have a very short lifespan. They are on the branches for 4-5 hours only. They bloom in the night. The buds bulbs swell in the evening and flowers come out. By …

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Golden Flowers: Amaltas

Amaltas is a tree which blooms during the onset of summer. It is called Cassia Fistula in the botanical language. The trees hardly bear any leaves when the plant flowers. From the skeletons of the branches hang the beautiful bunches of golden colored flowers. Before becoming the full fledged flowers, the buds are like “Ghungroos” of gold. Normally maximum flowers are seen in the spring season when the winter is slowly receding giving way to the most pleasant season of spring which transits to the hot weather. In fact with each passing day, the heat is building up and vegetation …

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Cannonball tree

Whenever I see these trees in my neighborhood, I am surprised by their odd features. These are Cannonball Trees. They are very upright and very tall trees. There are four or five trees in our area at Panvel near Mumbai. There are big ball like fruits of khaki color hanging just below the main canopy, very near to the beginning of the trunk. Some of them are as big as muskmelons. I am sure that if it hit someone who happens to be under the tree, it may cause a grievous injury. Ants gather on these fruits. Big shoots come …

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Devil’s Tree

There are rows of these trees in our colony. Tree is called Devil tree, Alstonia Scholaris. These are in prime condition, quite tall. They become very much noticeable during flowering season. The flowers have very strong scent. It becomes very difficult to breath because of intense fragrance. Fragrance of flowers from so many trees is so overwhelming that many children develop the breathing difficulties. This elegant evergreen tree is found in most parts of India. The generic name commemorates the distinguished botanist, Prof. C. Alston of Edinburgh, 1685-1760. The species name scholaris refers to the fact that the timber of …

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Freshwater Dolphins

We will talk about 3 fresh water dolphins that are native to the Ganges, Indus and Irrawaddy rivers. They have adapted themselves to live in these rivers and scoop the food from the bottom of the shallow rivers. Gangetic Dolphin First one is the Gangetic Dolphin, known scientifically as Platanista Gangetica Gangetica. As the name suggests it is found in river Ganga down to Sundarbans delta. But they are also found in Brahmaputra river. Locally they called Susu and has been declared national aquatic animal of India. The females are larger than the males and the size of these dolphins …

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Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary

It is situated in the Dhubri and Kokrajhar of Bodoland Territorial Council. It is situated in the North East India. The area is still pollution free and is full of wildlife both flora and fauna. Chakrashila wildlife sanctuary is home to many endangered species of birds and animals like Golden Langur, Assamese Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, Leopards, Barking Hyenas and Wild Boars. Golden Langur (Presbytis Geei) which is on the verge of extinction is found here. It was spotted here in 1986. There are bats, rodents, mongoose & flying squirrels. It is home to 34 species of animals, 272 species of …

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Bishnois: The First Environmentalists of India

Bishnois are a community living in Rajasthan of India. They live in complete harmony with nature. In the old times, the womenfolk sacrificed their lives protecting the hacking of trees. Bishnoi means twenty nine: Bees meaning twenty and nao meaning nine. They live their lives according to the 29 principles. All these principles are to live in perfect harmony with nature. They protect plants, trees and animals. They get everything for sustenance from mother nature taking only that much what is required.  Bishnois consider it their ‘Dharma’ to save lives of animals and trees. Many animals like peacocks and antlers …

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