Sunday, May 19, 2019

Baobab Tree, Mannar

Baobab Tree, Pallimunai, Mannar
The Baobab tree located in Pallimunai, Mannar District is said to be one of the oldest and largest trees in Sri Lanka. It is believed to be planted in 1477, by Arabian sailors who visited the island (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). The tree is about 7.5 m in height and has a girth of about 19.51 m (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018).

Baobab in Sri Lanka
Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is not a native to Sri Lanka but several baobab clusters are found mostly on Mannar and neighboring areas (such as Delft, Wilpattu, etc.) in the north-west of the island. They are believed to be introduced to Sri Lanka by Arab traders (Vandercone et al., 2004). Baobab is called locally as "Aliya-gaha" (elephant-tree) by Sinhalese and as "Perukka" by Tamils (Vandercone et al., 2004).

According to Vandercone et al. (2004), about 40 baobab trees survive in Sri Lanka, of which 34 have been identified on the island of Mannar (Vandercone et al., 2004). Due to its rarity, antiquity and limited distribution, baobab is a protected tree in Sri Lanka (Vandercone et al., 2004).

An archaeological protected tree
The Baobab tree in Pallimunai village situated within the Grama Niladari Division of Pallimunai west-84 in the Mannar Divisional Secretary Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 28 April 1955.
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Attribution
1) Mannar Baobab by David Stanley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

References
1) Asanga, M. V. G. K.; Nishantha, I. P. S., 2018. Mannarama Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-10-9. p.68.
2) The Gazette notification of Ceylon. No: 10758. 28 April 1955.
3) Vandercone, R., Sajithran, T.M., Wijeyamohan, S. and Santiapillai, C., 2004. The status of the baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) in Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Current Science, pp.1709-1713.

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This page was last updated on 15 September 2019

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