In the wake of the declining natural population of plants & trees of the western ghats, Sahyadri Arboretum, a unique conservation project has come up. This ex-situ conservation project was envisaged about 10 years ago by Shrikant Ingalhalikar, a plant enthusiast.
Noted ecologist and the Chairman of Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, Dr. Madhav Gadgil will formally inaugurate ‘Sahyadri Arboretum’ on June 4.
Speaking to Pune Pulse during a press conference, Shrikant Ingalhalikar said, “When I observed that no effort is being taken for the preservation of the plants and trees from the Sahyadri ranges that are on the verge of becoming rare since many of the species take a lot of time to grow. I decided to work towards it in my individual capacity about 10 years ago. I started a collection of seeds and saplings of 200 rare species of Sahyadri since these species were not being raised by anyone here. Many of those seeds and saplings were procured from other states like Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan”.
So, at the Sahyadri Arboretum, visitors can see over 300 plants and trees from Sahyadri along with its botanical name and other related information.
An engineer turned entrepreneur, Shrikant Ingalhalikar is known as an expert on the flora and fauna of Sahyadri mountains. An author of a series of books titled ‘Flowers of Sahyadri’, Ingalhalikar is also known for his effort to practice ‘Paddy Art’, which is created in rich plantations.
Hence, with an objective to create awareness about the rich biodiversity of western ghats, Sahyadri Arboretum is situated at Green Echoes, Ark Wellness Retreat at Nandgaon in Mulshi Taluka of Pune.
Entry is completely free for the visitors.
The project is set up with the help of Laxman Kulkarni and K. C. Malhotra of Sahyadri Academy of Ecological Sciences.
This landmark project will offer opportunities for botanists, ecologists, landscapers, and amateurs to study rare plants at a single location. The germ plasm here will soon provide material for producing fresh saplings of these rare plant species. Some of the rare plants and trees at the Sahyadri Arboretum include Tetrameles, Pittosporum, Myristica, Knema, Walsura, Dysoxylum.
Shrikant Ingalhalikar’s Paddy Art in rice fields near Sinhagad is an attraction for tourists during the monsoon every year. He has been creating art pieces through Paddy Art since the past 7-8 years. Interestingly, he has already created an arboretum of 400 species at his Sinhagad base.