Even if you want it chopped, it wouldn’t be easy to find someone willing to cut down an inconvenient neem or jack-fruit tree at your backyard. There is religious sanction against felling some species. We worship peepul or banyan as the abode of deities.
But it doesn’t occur to many of us to plant trees around places of worship. Sri Ranganatha Temple at Srirangapatna attracts scores of tourists who rarely look around its immediate vicinity.
Car park contractor here collects Rs.20 per vehicle (exorbitant, by any standard) but it doesn’t occur to those making money from visiting devotees to part with part of it by planting trees for the benefit of their parked vehicles.
This scene around Karibetta, a temple on a Srirangaptna hilltop appears drought-affected, with a lone tree under which visiting cars fight for space. For the off-shade day temperature here could be scorching. The place can do with some greenery. A refreshing aspect is that the temple management has fitted a solar lamp to light up sanctum sanctorum. Solar light was fixed some five years. That its fittings need some looking-into to stop the constant flicker of the solar lamp is quite another matter. The point is the temple authorities may not need much persuasion to adopt the vrisha archane concept, as a means to turn the temple surroundings green.One could see isolated hill slope plantation and also neem planted all along the winding hill road to the temple top. But the road and the place can take in lot more trees.
Vrisha archane. The name first occurred to us while waiting at darshan queue in Nimishamba Temple, Srirangapatna. It is an idea to promote the green message. Devotees make offerings of fruits, flowers, tulsi leaves, coconut and a host of other items through archane at temples. Why not persuade them to offer, along with their archane, saplings for planting in the temple vicinity.
Those who wish to plant the saplings, so blessed by their favourite deity,in their own backyard or neighbourhood park could do so. In case there is no space on the temple premises the saplings collected through archane could be given away for planting in public parks and other open space.
The thought of offering saplings at temple occurred to us during a recent visit to Ambegal Krishna temple, near Chennapatna, on the Mysore-Bangalore road. The ancient temple is located in the middle of a hamlet that had evidently developed around the place of worship.
The street right in front and also the approach road lacked any greenery. The temple attracts devotees from all over the place. They are mostly married couples praying for a child. And those blessed come back with their young one on a thanks-giving visit. The blessed couples offer to the deity tiny little cradles made of wood or silver.
If every such couple offered a sapling to Ambegal Krishna to mark the birth of their child, we would see the area around the temple turning green in a few years.