Udayavni Special

India’s first lichen garden comes up in Uttarakhand’s Munsiyari


Team Udayavani, Jun 29, 2020, 5:09 PM IST

The country’s first lichen garden has been developed in Munsiyari, a hill station in Uttarakhand’s Kumaun region

Lichens are the best bioindicators of the pollution levels. They are used as a key ingredient in the famous Hyderabadi biryani to create its distinctive flavour and in indigenous perfumes for its aromatic properties. The garden has more than 80 species of lichen.

The lichen garden was developed by the research wing of the state’s forest department. Munsyari is considered a hotspot for lichens also known locally as ‘Jhula’ or ‘Patthar ke Phool’

Sanjiv Chaturvedi, Conservator of Forests (Research Wing) Uttarakhand said, “Lichen need pure air to grow. If pollution levels increase in a certain area, the lichen species decline there. So it serves as a natural indicator of pollution levels in an area. And they are important to study in the Himalayas, given various threats to Himalayan environment and ecology”

India has around 2,714 species out of which Uttarakhand has 600 species found mainly in Munsiyari, Ashkot, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh, Ramnagar and Nainital

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