Ficus Krishnae at Karnatak University, Dharwad

Like the Baobab tree, Krishnae Ficus is also a rare tree. Until few years back I did not even know such a tree existed, until a colleague told me that Botanical Garden at Karnatak University, Dharwad has one. During my numerous visits to the Botanical Garden, I must have passed by this tree few times but never paid attention to it. One day I went closer thinking that the tree must be chalakaaygida. No it wasn't chalakaaygida, the leaves are were cup-shaped. Wow, finally I saw the rare Krishna Ficus!

To my knowledge this is the only tree in Botanical garden with a brick boundary marker around the stem. Special status to a special tree.

Stem is ash colored with dark patches.

Arial roots emerging from the branches.

I feel the wood is not the strong type. It's kind of delicate.

A new born leaf.

The leaves turn greenish-brown as they develop. The cup-shape is well defined.

The leaves turn green and the veins turn red. The leaves turn thicker and stronger as they grow.

A fully grown leaf. 

Ficus Krishnae - the leaf which connects this world to the Hindu mythological world. It is believed that Lord Krishna was very fond of butter and would even steal it. Once when he was caught by his mother, Yashoda, he tried to hide the butter by rolling it up in a leaf of this tree. Since then, the leaves of these trees have retained this shape.

Fruits grow in the month of June.

Dry leaves on the ground below the tree.

Months later I discovered two more Ficus Krishnae here. One is quite close to this tree and the other one is a two year old sapling in the nursery.

Karnatak University is more than just buildings of various departments. Few departments have taken steps to make education enjoyable and interesting. History, Zoology and Geology departments have museums. History museum has a some rare artifacts such as prehistoric burial urns, Stone-age tools, delicate paper cuttings, wooden sculptures, etc. besides it's large collection of hero-stones and inscriptions. The zoology museum is opposite history museum. The collection includes preserved animal bodies and skeletons. The geology department museum has an amazing collection of rocks, minerals and rock fossils and even a wood fossil. Some months back Dharwad Regional Science Center was inaugurated. Its a see-n-learn educational set-up for children and elders alike. The science park is created on the lines of Visvesvaraya Museum of Bengaluru.

I think kids should be encouraged to visit museums and parks. What kids fail to learn in classroom, museums and science parks teach in an enjoyable way.

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