Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator V.P. Singh Badnore on Monday virtually inaugurated the first-of-its-kind Museum of Trees — a unique environmental project here for the conservation of sacred trees of Sikhism after which many Sikh gurudwaras are named.
Extending Gurpurab greetings on the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Governor said this was the most appropriate day and most appropriate manner of remembering Guru Nanak whose hymns are replete with references to nature, environment, trees, plants, and animal life.
The Governor warned that climate change is an immediate crisis for humanity and to meet this challenge people will have to come forward with initiatives like the Museum of Trees to mobilize public opinion.
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He complimented former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) D.S. Jaspal for patiently working for 10 years to clone 12 sacred trees and hoped work on the remaining trees will also be completed soon.
Tarlochan Singh, the former member of Parliament and Minorities Commission of India Chairman, thanked the Governor for supporting the cause of conservation of sacred trees of Sikhism.
He pointed out that Guru Nanak was the most widely traveled religious preacher in the world. The Guru interacted with common people in the open under the shadow of trees which is why most of the sacred trees are associated with Guru Nanak.
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He praised the government of India for supporting this project for the conservation of sacred trees since in many gurudwaras the sacred trees have been cut or have died due to improper care.
Creator and curator of the Museum of Trees, D.S. Jaspal thanked the Governor for supporting the project, which he said will be a source of attraction not only for Sikhs but for all nature lovers.
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Jaspal pointed out that many of the sacred trees also have botanical significance. For example, the Beri tree of Gurudwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodi is unique because it has very few spines.
Similarly, the leaves of the peepal tree in Gurdwara Pipli Sahib have a unique yellow pigmentation.
Jaspal said the trees are protected by an entirely in-house organic spray of garlic, chilies, and heeng mixed with water, which is why the trees are healthy and bearing rich fruit.
Over a period of 10 years, the museum has been successful in reproducing genetically true replicas of 12 sacred trees, including Dukh Bhanjani ber tree of Golden Temple; Ber tree of Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi; Ber tree of Gurudwara Babe-di-Ber, Sialkot, Pakistan; and Peepal tree of Gurudwara Pipli Sahib, Amritsar.
The Museum of Trees has India’s most modern mist chamber facility and a glasshouse conservatory, with 16 air-conditioners, to preserve and propagate rare and endangered species that grow at high elevations. (IANS)