Nalpathenneeswaram grandpa tree

On the way to Nalpathenneeswaram temple near Poochackal, this wonder-tree stands tall bearing a history of many centuries.  Taking refuge under the tree from the torturing summer heat, Velayudhan, a local from the neighborhood, said a few years ago forest department had conferred upon it the title of Grandpa Tree as it was the oldest tree in the district.

The grandpa tree

In those days when Velayudhan was a boy, there were only village pathways. No proper roads as we have today, he recollects. In their childhood, he and friends used to climb the tree for plucking punnappazham, its fruits. The tree had long hands-like branches that reached out to the ground. Anyone could easily climb up the tree through them. A few decades ago, these branches were cut off to pave way for the Panchayath road. The tree still has marks of the brutal attacks on it as one can still see stubs protruding like a war veteran's missing limbs.

Standing next to the tree is Velayudhan

Not surprisingly, the area has a sprawling population of punna trees, obviously the progeny of the grandpa tree. One of them has its branches spread over a field. It would be fun when the field is filled with rain water when one could dive from the tree and swim.

Silent spectators of time these trees are! A very long time and silence! What secrets would they reveal, if they could talk! What stories would they narrate!

The roads are still narrower here, and let us hope the development mantra will not be chanted here, lest these living monuments of an eventful past will be gone forever!

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