SACRED GARDENS
Though respect for nature and environment is common to all religious faiths, the naming of sacred shrines after species of trees is unique to the Sikh religion.

In his coffee table book TRYST WITH TREES-Punjab's Sacred Heritage author D.S.Jaspal has compiled a pictorial documentation of 59 sacred Sikh shrines in India and Pakistan named after 19 species of trees (www.trystwithtrees.com).

Being the youngest religion in the world, Sikhism is fortunate to have several surviving sacred trees directly related to the Sikh Gurus.

Since most of these trees are very old, the Museum of Trees has undertaken the project of conserving the germplasm of the sacred trees by vegetative propagation through clonal technology. GURUDWARA DUKH BHANJANI BER SAHIB, GOLDEN TEMPLE, AMRITSAR

Reproduction of sacred Beri (Ziziphus jujuba) tree of Gurudwara Dukh Bhanjani Beri Sahib, Golden Temple, Amritsar, by vegetative propagation through clonal technology

Gurudwara Dukh Bhanjani Beri (literally, the tree of healing) is located on the eastern flank of the sarovar (sacred pool) in the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

This beri tree is of Zizyphus jujuba species. This is a species which was at one time commonly found in the plains of Punjab. The tree is associated with the legend of Bibi Rajani whose leper husband is said to have been cured of his malady by having a dip in the old pond which had existed here since ancient times. Guru Ram Das, hearing the report of this miracle, decided to develop the reservoir into a proper bathing tank. He is himself said to have given the tree the name Dukh Bhanjani. People have a strong faith that water in this portion of the tank will heal their ailments.

To conserve the germplasm of the sacred ber tree of Gurudwara Dukh Bhanjani Ber Sahib, the technique of clonal technology was used to produce plants from this sacred tree.

Pencil-thick, hard cuttings from branches of the sacred ber (zizyphus jujuba) tree of Gurudwara Dukh Bhanjani Ber Sahib in the Golden Temple, Amritsar, were obtained by D.S. Jaspal. These cuttings were freshened and washed in distilled water and treated with 4500ppm IBA (Indole Butyric Acid- a rooting hormone) by quick-dip method. IBA treatment was prepared in talcum powder. After treatment, cuttings were planted in root trainers filled with vermiculite (a sterile virgin material free of nutrients).

The roots were kept in the mist chamber where temperature was maintained at 32° ± 4°C and 70-80% relative humidity obtained through intermittent fogging. Out of 20 cuttings planted 10 cuttings sprouted after 30 days, whereas the rooting occurred after 45 days.

In scientific parlance, once the roots develop, plant is said to be successfully propagated. The rooting ability varies from species to species, position of branch on the plant, thickness of the branch used, quantity of the hormones used and the maturity of the vegetative material. Rooting takes place under particular moisture and humidity conditions to which the plant is subjected.

This technique of vegetative propagation produces the true genotype of the parent, which means that the seedlings produced through this method are the genetically true replica of the sacred ber (zizyphus jujuba) tree of Gurudwara Dukh Bhanjani Ber Sahib Sahib in the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

This is the first report of reproduction of this tree through clonal technology.
APRIL 21, 2011: The plantlets (cuttings) of the sacred Dukh Bhanjani Beri tree in the Golden Temple Amritsar are placed in the 'root trainer' filled with vermiculite. Each cutting is (approx.) 15-20 cm in length and (approx.) 1-2 cm diameter.
APRIL 21, 2011: Each root trainer can take 40 cuttings, though in this root trainer 42 cuttings have been placed. These cuttings were obtained on 21st April, 2011.
APRIL 21, 2011: The cuttings remained in the Mist Chamber for approx. 45 days - the time required for 'rooting' of the cuttings.
APRIL 21, 2011: Within the Mist Chamber the cuttings were preserved at a temperature of 30-35 C and humidity level of 80-90%. The temperature and humidity are controlled through a sophisticated, time-controlled panel. Picture shows the sprinklers spraying mist for 10 seconds after every 30 minutes.
After 'rooting' the cuttings were shifted to the Net House (Hardening Chamber) for 20-30 days for acclimatization to the natural environment

GURUDWARA BER SAHIB, SULTANPUR LODHI

Reproduction of sacred Beri (Ziziphus jujuba) tree of Gurudwara Beri Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi by vegetative propagation through clonal technology


Devotees at the sacred Ber (Zizyphus jujuba) tree in Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi
Guru Nanak's faithful devotee, Bhai Bhagirath from Lohian, used to bring twigs of nim and kikar, to be used as datun (toothbrush). One day he brought the twig of a ber tree. Appreciating the fruit bearing qualities of the tree, Guru Nanak planted the twig near the site of meditation which blossomed into a grand tree and bears fruit even today.

The ber tree at Sultanpur Lodhi is associated with the most significant pronouncement of Guru Nanak Dev which forms the bedrock of Sikh philosophical thought – namely the Divine Message or mool mantra. In the mool mantra Guru Nanak Dev announced to the world the message of unity of God who is beyond the religious divides created by humankind.

JUNE 28, 2011: The plantlets (cuttings) of the sacred Beri tree in Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi, are placed in the 'root trainers' filled with vermiculite.
JUNE 28, 2011: Two nature lovers from Canada requested to participate in this event of environmental significance.
JUNE 29, 2011: The root trainers were then placed inside the Mist Chamber where they remained forapprox. 45 days - the time required for 'rooting' of the cuttings. Sprinklers spray mist for 10 seconds after every 30 minutes.
SEPTEMBER 02, 2011 : After 'rooting' the cuttings were shifted to the Net House (Hardening Chamber) for 20-30 days for acclimatization to the natural environment. Thereafter the sacred plant was planted in the Museum of Trees, Chandigarh. (Right) JANUARY, 2012: The exceptionally severe winter of Jan 2012 required protection of the plant with flex material.
GURUDWARA BABE DI BER SAHIB, SIALKOT, PAKISTAN

Reproduction of sacred Beri (Ziziphus jujuba) tree of Gurudwara Babe Di Ber Sahib, Salkot, Pakistan by vegetative propagation through clonal technology

The sacred Ber (Zizyphus jujuba) tree in Gurudwara Babe Di Ber Sahib, Sialkot, Pakistan


In the course of his travels, Guru Nanak visited Sialkot, in Pakistan, several times. During one of his journeys, Guru Nanak arrived here, via Saidpur, from Nankana Sahib, then known as Talwandi, and rested under a ber (Ziziphus jujuba) tree, situated south east of the town, across the Aik stream. Gurudwara Baba Ber Sahib commemorates Guru Nanak’s visit to this city.

Guru Nanak meditated under the ber tree. This beautiful gurudwara was built with great devotion by Shaheed Natha Singh. Sardar Gian Singh wrote his “History of Khalsa” while staying with the mahant of this Gurudwara.

A big well was constructed inside this Gurudwara, which also had a beautiful pool.
Pencil-thick hard cuttings from branches of the sacred ber (zizyphus jujuba) tree in Gurudwara Babe Di Ber Sahib in Sialkot, Pakistan were obtained by Mr D.S. Jaspal. Mr Jaspal was encouraged to visit Sialkot by Pakistan’s Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, who belongs to Sialkot and evinced keen interest in the project. She invited Mr Jaspal to Islamabad who presented her a copy of his coffee-table book TRYST WITH TREES-Punjab’s Sacred Heritage.

The visit to Sialkot was also facilitated by Syed Asif Hashmi, Chairman, Evacuee Trust Property Board, ETPB, Pakistan. Mr Hashmi was gracious to invite Mr Jaspal to his residence in Lahore to discuss measures for preserving the pristine architectural and environmental heritage of sacred Sikh shrines in Pakistan.
SEPTEMBER 08, 2011 : When D.S. Jaspal reached Gurudwara Babe Di Ber, Sialkot, it was dark and the stems of the sacred ber tree were cut by lighting the area with the help of automobile lights.
DECEMBER 28, 2011 : ( Left ) DS Jaspal with former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kuldip Singh.
(Righ) Planting of clonal plant of sacred Ber (Ziziphus jujuba) tree of Gurudwara Babe Di Ber Sahib, Sialkot, Pakistan at the Museum of Trees, Chandigarh.
JANUARY 04, 2012 : The exceptionally severe winter of Jan 2012 resulted in curling up of the leaves which had to be protected by a poly-bag, with a covering of flex material.

    " I am happy to learn about the project of "Museum of Trees" in Chandigarh and hope that your efforts are recoganized and acted upon not only in Chandigarh but throughout India and more."

- Amitabh Bachchan


    "The Museum of Trees is destined to become an international landmark."

- Nek Chand
Creator, Rock Garden
Chandigarh
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