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Ficus Krishnai Tree at Taj Mahal Nursery – This Tree Leaf was used by Krishna to carry stolen Makhan

Ficus Krishnai Tree is believed to have existed during the Dwapar Yug, when Sri Krishna lived on earth. Now there is a single Ficus Krishnai Tree at the Khan-e-Alam nursery behind the world famous Taj Mahal. The Horticulture Department at the Taj, related to Archeological Survey of India also preserves many such rare varieties of tree.
Ficus Krishnai is named after Sri Krishna because Krishna used the leaves of this tree, as it made a perfect utensil for young Krishna to carry his stolen ‘makhan’ (butter).
The variety is called ‘ficus krishnai’, is classified in the rare category, and is conserved amongst other varieties of that age. Botanical varieties including chandan, peelu, kadamb, harsingar, kareel and bhojpatra relate to the Krishna period and are exceedingly rare to find these days.
Despite the lack of awareness regarding these trees, the Horticulture Department at the Taj, related to Archeological Survey of India, has taken initiative to preserve these varieties.
At the Khan-e-Alam nursery behind the Taj, there is just one ficus krishnai. Over the years, 20 to 25 small saplings have obtained from mother plant.
“The shape of leaf is twisted at the lower mid rib. It serves the purpose of a ‘dona’ or a cup,” says Dr SV Singh Chauhan, former Director of Life Sciences Institute. “It is said that the leaf was favorite of Lord Krishna, as it was excellent for holding the stolen makhan, his favorite. The plant is thus named after Lord Krishna,” he says.
“Getting healthy saplings from the lone tree is a tough process. But the hard work has started yielding results at Khan-e-Alam nursery. There is another variety of kadamb at the nursery,” said an expert from Horticulture Department office near Taj.
“Apart from ficus krishnai, there are varieties like kadamb or Peelu (Salvadora) which are still found in the area, but need to be conserved, being rare to find. There was a Russian researcher who was here to study botanical diversity of this Braj. He found that most varieties are facing the threat of extinction,” says Dr Chauhan.
Note – in a 2001 report in Tribune India, Panjab University Botanical Garden had said that they have a Ficus Krishnai tree in their garden and is under the category of rare plant.