The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has identified the famous Akshaywat tree located in Akbar fort, the Parijaat tree on the banks of Ganga, the Banyan tree by the Senate hall of the arts faculty in Allahabad University and the Sheesham tree in Ram Shayan Ashram in Shringverpur among the 943 trees heritage trees.
It includes of a total of 28 species, and 53 of these trees are from the Prayagraj district.
All these trees are over 100 years old and have a religious or historical association.
Thirteen from this list are from the neighbouring district of Pratapgarh and seven from Kaushambhi.
Divisional forest officers (DFO) across the state were asked to prepare a list of such trees that are over 100 years old and are associated with mythological events, historical occasions, important events, monuments, religious traditions etc.
Such trees were to be included in the list of ‘heritage trees’.
A team of experts visited all the places from where the tentative list of heritage trees was submitted to the government.
Based on the recommendation, the state government has now announced the list that includes three of the 28 species commonly seen in any city.
Under this first-of-its-kind initiative, there are 21 Banyan trees, 20 Pipal trees, four trees each of Pakhad and Neem, two of Parijat and one tree each of Mahua and Shesham ticked off in Prayagraj.
The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Prayagraj, Y.P. Shukla, said, “It is a known fact that the city of Prayagraj has a rich historical and religious legacy and these trees have been witness to its legacy and have rightly been tagged as heritage trees.
“These include the famous Akshaywat tree located at Akbar fort, the Parijaat tree on the banks of Ganga river, the Banyan tree located beside the Senate hall of the arts faculty of Allahabad University and the Sheesham tree at Ram Shayan Ashram at Shringverpur.”
The other trees are at the Allahabad Museum, Azad Park, Allahabad University and Railway DRM Office.
Among the 943 trees which have been identified as heritage trees, 13 trees are from the neighbouring Pratapgarh district.
These include four Banyan trees, seven Pipal trees and one each of Samel (Bombax ceiba or silk cotton tree) and Kareel.
This Kareel tree is also famous as Kareel Baba Sthan. Locals believe that Lord Ram had rested under the shade of the tree while going towards Chitrakoot on his 14 years of exile.
Similarly, seven trees from the neighbouring district of Kaushambhi are also on the state government’s list of heritage trees.
Among these, there are three trees each of Banyan and Pipal and a tree of Imli (tamarind).
“Now that these trees would be tagged as heritage trees, they will also be included in the list of tourist places,” said the DFO.