11 January 2018

A Tree In A Temple (#ThursdayTreeLove)

The Ram Mandir in Pune's Tulshibag is a heritage site and it was constructed during the peak of the Peshwa rule. It was completed in 1761. The temple has stood the test of time and despite huge changes in its surroundings. 

Beautiful as the temple is, it was the Muchkunda tree growing in the courtyard that caught my eye.. It has a magnificently gnarled trunk (is that possible) and its roots seemed to have surfaced and uprooted some of the surrounding tiles. I have no idea if the Muchkunda is as old as the temple but it has certainly seen many a monsoons...







Muchkunda or Pterospermum acerifolium belongs to the Sterculiaceae family and is also called Kanak Champa in some parts of India. It can be easily recognised by its typical peltate leaves and flowers that are intensely fragrant and look like a peeled banana!  

Notice the leaf shape and the flowers. This image of a Muchkunda located elsewhere
Restoration works at the site have included creating a base of stones around the tree but I am not sure I really like that grey structure. Here are some more images


The newly restored temple and the Muchkunda Tree

Looking up!
Research has revealed that the Pterospermum acerifolium has some mythological importance as well. You can read about it here and here

If you ever get a chance to visit the Tulshibag in Pune, do not forget to admire the magnificent Muchkunda.

I am participating in Parul's #ThursdayTreeLove31. It is a photo feature posted on the second and fourth Thursday of every month. Head over there to see some amazing trees from around the world!

10 comments:

G Angela David said...

sounds so interesting, I admire the way you give so much information about this tree, thanks I am learning here, thank you for sharing!

Alana said...

That is such a magnificent tree - one reason why I enjoy Thursday Tree Love so much - some of your trees are so different from those found in my temporate climate. Not sure I like the grey structure (clashes with the temple!) but if it protects the tree, so be it.

magiceye said...

Loved the picture of the temple with the tree.

Archana said...

@Angela Thank you!

Archana said...

@Alana Yes, this blog hop allows me to see some trees from the temperate region!! So the feeling is mutual :-) The grey structure is an eye sore but I am not an expert in conservation... Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

Archana said...

@magiceye Thank you!

Parul said...

Beautiful tree and the ones in temple complexes are unique. Thank you for joining! I appreciate it!

Archana said...

Thanks Parul! :-)

mahathi ramya A said...

I haven't heard about muchukunda tree before. The shape of the leaves and flower are unique.

Archana said...

Yes Mahathi. The flowers of this tree are quite unique! Thanks for stopping by :-)