Ode To Abu

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

N for Nizhal

This blog post is part of the A to Z Challenge. This challenge involves writing a blog post on any topic/theme in the order of the alphabets from A-Z. The blog posts have to be written each day through the entire month of April, excluding Sundays. 

My chosen theme is the city of Chennai - sights, sounds, tastes, its happenings, events, and my memories and experiences connected with this place.
Indians are essentially the original tree-huggers, in a non-bohemian sort of way. We loved our trees and greenery until we went consumeristic and ballistic with it.

About 8 years ago, a group of people in Chennai decided to band together and promote tree culture in urban areas, particularly those with a dwindling tree population. Nizhal focuses on tree-planting, conducting workshops and camps, organizing tree walks, greening spaces, spreading awareness - all their efforts aim towards conservation and  regenerating biodiversity.
They expect to achieve this by community involvement, locals, children, the youth and work in tandem with other like-minded organisations. They en courage volunteering and call themselves "Friends of Trees". The word "nizhal" means 'shade' in the Tamil language.

Going on a tree walk is fun, spotting and identifying them, their Latin names, marvelling at the roots, trunks and leaves fills the heart with a different kind of joy when amidst the lap of nature. It is not the same as hiking or walking through the woods although that brings a different pleasure too. 

Here, one is truly one with the trees when focused on them. A very rooted experience. 

The Lalbagh Gardens in Bangalore are well-maintained. The most photographed tree is almost 300 years old. It is said to have been planted in the Tipu Sultan era. It is a mango tree that still continues to yield fruit! Remembered this while writing the M post of this A-Z challenge.

Below is  picture of a friend and I seated in front of this truly magnificent tree.
Try going on a exclusive tree walk some time, focus on the trees for a change! Join Nizhal in their noble endeavours and contribute your bit to conservation. 

Along with the birds and the bees, do teach your kids about the trees. The way the world is headed, trees might well be the only legacy that future generations would inherit.

P.S. Sharing an interesting article I read recently: Chennai's Canopy


  1. Ah, what is Nizhal?
    A - Z Challenge

  2. Beautiful ! I love trees, and I love to take a walk, I had gone to lalbagh with my family few years ago, and enjoyed walking in the garden, very well presented, thanks for sharing !