51 herbal gardens to blossom near Himachal’s religious, tourist sites

In a move aimed to promote the rich legacy of medicinal plants, Himachal Pradesh is set to establish 51 herbal gardens near famous religious and tourist destinations. The ambitious project, initiated by the AYUSH department, is expected to not only enhance the allure of these sites, but also educate visitors about the diverse medicinal flora.

The AYUSH department has been tasked with setting up the parks in Himachal o grow medicinal plants. (HT File)

The government has entrusted the task of developing these parks to the AYUSH department, with a particular focus on two locations in the Sirmaur district — the Mahamaya Balasundari temple in Trilokpur and the Parashuram temple of Renukaji Tirtha.

The Renukaji Development Board has green-lit the move to set up a herbal garden on approximately 10 biswa of land near the new temple complex of Renukaji. This land, previously unused except during the Renukaji fair, is now poised to become a hub of medicinal plant cultivation.

Renukaji Development Board acting chief executive officer (CEO) and tehsildar Rajendra Thakur confirmed that a no-objection certificate (NOC) for establishing a herbal garden on the land has been granted to the AYUSH department.

Dr Sharadchandra Trivedi, a senior medical officer from the department, expressed optimism about the suitability of the land for a herbal garden. He explained that medicinal plants would be grown according to government guidelines, not only enhancing the tourist experience, but also providing valuable information about the properties of these plants through informative plaques.

The responsibility for maintaining and conserving these herbal parks rests with the AYUSH department, while their construction will be executed in collaboration with trusts and boards associated with religious sites.

AYUSH district officer Dr Rajan Singh said, “The herbal parks would occupy around four biswa of land in Trilokpur and approximately 10 biswa in Renukaji. The necessary land selection and approvals from the respective boards and trusts have already been obtained.”

The initiative holds the promise of multiple benefits for Himachal Pradesh. Tourists will have the opportunity to explore the diverse world of medicinal plants, enriching their visit to these sacred sites. Besides, the local economy is expected to receive a boost as these gardens are likely to attract a larger influx of visitors. The project also aligns with the broader national goal of promoting traditional Indian medicine systems and their associated heritage.

As Himachal Pradesh embarks on the journey of creating herbal gardens near its revered temples, it not only connects the present generation to its rich botanical heritage but also paves the way for a sustainable and health-conscious future. The aromatic scent of medicinal plants will soon infuse the air around these religious and tourist sites, offering a unique blend of spiritual and herbal enlightenment.

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