Express News Service

DEHRADUN: The research wing of Uttarakhand forest department on Sunday inaugrated the biggest aromatic garden of India in Lalkuan of Nainital district. Established in an area of over 3 acre, the garden has 140 different species of aromatic species from across India.

2002-batch Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who heads the research wing of the state forest department said, “Our whole team has worked hard fir over three years to see the fruition of this project. Plants were source from all over India followed by propagation efforts. I congratulate the entire team for this accomplishment.”

The project was initiated in the year 2018-19 after approval of the Research Advisory Committee in June 2018 with objective of conservation of various aromatic species, to create awareness about these species, promote further research about these species and to link it with livelihood.

Veena Rao, who has been working in the field of aromatica and medicinal plants for over two decades now said, “As a consultant, with the help of the state forest department we are planning to expand the garden to 45 hectares. Next phase involves developing a conservation and training center where the farmers can learn to grow and con serve the species which jane commercial viability.”

The project has been funded under CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) scheme of the central government. Lalkuan was selected as the site because it is known for perpetual problem of foul smell due to the stench that comes from certain industrial units.

The aromatic garden has a Tulsi vatika which contains more than 20 species of Tulsi, including Rama Tulsi, Shyam Tulsi, Van Tulsi, Kapoor Tulsi as well as African, Italian and Thai Tulsi.

Aromatic garden has 8 different sections, apart from Tulsi Vatika- aromatic leaves ( Lemon balm, Rosemary, Kapoor and various mint species), aromatic flowers ( Chameli, Mogra, Rajnigandha, Kewda); aromatic trees (Chandan, Neem Chameli, Naglingam, Parijat); aromatic rhizomes (Aama Haldi, Kali Haldi); aromatic seeds ( Kasturi Bhindi, Badi ilachyi, Timur, Ajwain); aromatic grasses (Lemon grass, Java grass, Khas grass); aromatic bulbs (Red ginger, Sand ginger) and aromatic roots (Pattharchur,Vach) . 

The garden also includes Chandan from South India, Agarwood from North east, kewada from Coastal areas and Parijat from Tarai Zone, apart from Neem Chameli, Hazari Mogra, Sontaka, Cahmeli, Raat ki rani, Din ka raja and Anant are some of the most fragrant popular species present in the aromatic garden.

It also has nine different species of jasmine, four different species of four different species of haldi and three different species of ginger. The extracts of these aromatic plants are used in cosmetics for flavouring and fragrance purposes. Likewise, these plants are of great utility in spices, pesticides and repellents making.