Mangaluru’s iconic Ashwattha tree falls | Mangaluru News – Times of India


MANGALURU: Three vehicles, including a JCB, car and a water tanker were damaged after the upper portion of a huge iconic Ashwattha tree in front of Venkataramana Temple on car street broke off at the bottom of the trunk and fell. The incident happened around 8am on Sunday.
“The centuries-old Ashwattha tree (sacred fig) fell this morning. By God’s grace, no one was injured. Many of us have memories around the tree. It had a different charm during the annual car festival of Lord Venkataramana,” said MLA Vedavyas Kamath.
Environmentalist Jeeth Milan Roche, known for relocating several trees without damaging it, said that concretisation and frequent human intervention led to the early death of the tree. It may have lived for another 100 years if it was given its space, he added.
V Karikalan, deputy conservator of forest (DCF), said that the tree fell due to age. Preliminary examination revealed that its roots were damaged. Termite attack at the bottom has been noticed. “It will take about three days to clear the tree and we plan to plant another sapling of the same species,” he said.
Temple trustee C Lakshman Shenoy said that almost a decade ago they had noticed signs that the tree might not live for long. But no decision was taken regarding the tree because there was opposition from a group. There is another Ashwattha tree in the vicinity planted about five decades ago after performing all necessary rituals.
“Since another Ashwattha tree is there, we are not in a hurry to think about an alternative. All decisions will be taken only after seeking the guidance of Sri Samyamindra Thirtha Swami, head of the Kashi Mutt,” he said.
Meanwhile, locals rescued a juvenile kite that probably fell along with the tree.
‘Mangaluru Darshana’, a book on the coastal city, referring to a peepal tree near the temple, has stated that it was planted by then MP U Srinivas Mallya, the architect of Dakshina Kannada district.
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Sagar Biswas

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