Sunday, May 24, 2015

SANDALWOOD- A Blessing for life

Whenever one hears the word Sandalwood,the first thing flashes through one's mind would be the "Prasadam" one gets from famous Temples like Guruvayoor .This Prasadam is made out of Sandalwood paste made by crushing the sandal wood Into a paste.Either sandalwood powder can be made first and adding a few drops of water into it by putting it in the palm of hand & mixing until it turns out in to a paste but, the best method is to make the paste from the wood direct by crushing it on a rough surface using both hands and water.In temples people are employed to do this work.Earlier days in Kerala every house used to make sandal wood paste .nowadays peoplecarecso busy that they do not get time for doing this . Applying the sandal wood on the Temple ofbyour head not merely a custom followed while visiting Templesbut it hasscientific & medicinal effect on your head as well.It gives daylong cooling effect for your head.there are manynpeople who do not know this and even try to hide from doing so for reasons best known to them.Thus applying Sandal wood paste on the temple of your head is not only a religious process followed by Hindus But also a medicinal application from the scientific point of view.The sandalwood paste applies on your head gives cooling and freshness for the entire day. In Kerala ,there is no religious function without the presence of Sandalwood Paste. For Annaprasam (Chorunu or otherwise giving rice for the first time to 5to6 months old child),Threadwearing ceremony for Brahmins,feast on birth days( Pirannal),polkas at home,Marriages & Housewarming Ceremonies ,all need the presence of Sandalwood Paste. The sandal wood trees are generally found more in India& Australia. The places where Sandal wood Trees are found in Asia are India,Nepal,Bangladesh,Pakistan,Srilanka,Australia,Indonesia,Hawail& Pacific Islands. In India the Mysore area in Karnataka is considered to be the the place where best fragrant Sandalwood Trees are found.The fragrance of the trunk is the speciality of the tree.Sandalwood is used besides the use in Temples,asfragrance factor for perfumes and as medicinal factor in Ayurvedas Of late,the Indian Sandalwood has become endangered and with a view to curbing it's extintion ,the Government of India had since a long time considered Limiting the exportation of Sandalwood tree and is in the Government control since many years. The Removal of the tree is prohibited Irrespective of whether on private ground or religious ground until a sandalwood tree attains Thirty years of life.This prohibition has,however,not stopped many PoachersFrom cutting trees down whenever they find free time from the eyes of the Authorities.Smuggling of Sandalwood had become a Socio -economic and Law and Order problem in India especially in the borders of Tamil Naadu. In India,sandalwood is primarily distributed in the Deccan plaTeau.The total Extent of it's distribution is around 8525 SqKM of land in Karnataka,Kerala,Andhrapradesh and Tamil Naadu.Out of this 5245 sqKM is in Karnataka( Mysore And Shimoga).3040 SqKM is in Tamil Naadu,175 SqKM in AndhraPradesh and 65 SqKM in Kerala. Besides, Madhyapradesh,Orissa& Maharashtra have a combined coverage of 299 SqKm of sandalwood cultivation Sandalwood,perhaps, is a Blessing from God as all the Hindu Temples all over India use sandalwood Paste as part of Prasada to the devotees.It is a big source of revenue for the State&& Central Governments. Sandalwood is being used for Medicines,for manufacturing Perfumes and many more purposes. Karnataka State which practically controls the manufacture ,factories,marketing,promotion,sales in India have Framed various regulations & have taken various stringent measures to protect Sandal wood their production & control . They have various organizations law and order arrangements to deal with offenders and poachers of sandal wood. Still the smuggling and poaching continue everywhere despite following the same measures employed by Karnataka. Today the business of Sandalwood,sandalwood oil,sandal wood soaps are being carried out in full swing in all places Where sandalwood is available This is one of the best sources of revenue for Karnataka,Tamil nadu,Kerala,Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra& Orissa. The price level of Sandal wood and Sandalwood products in India is an astronomically bigger a result of this the central & State Governments take every step to ensure it's availability and plantation wherever it is grown. The central andState governments usedvto form expert board and committees to look into the needs of the Industry who often offer their remarks on how to improve the Industry in India.Their proposals are examined at regular intervals and suitable decisionsvare being taken &implemented by the Governments. The farmers are provided with low cost Saplings to promote it's plantation and all other facilities and assistance to the people working in the field. For some time in the past there were no takers for sandal wood & their products in India due to the exorbitant prices prevailed in India and abroad. Of late ,the position is understood to have improved on the higher side. The quantity offered and price fetched in Kerala where the production area is the lowest in the SouthvIndia would give an idea how the Sandal wood business is flourishing in India. In Kerala 65 SqKm alone is the area in which Sadal wood is available This is in a place called Marayur.Every year here Sandalwood is being Auctioned to private,Government and Temple trusts. This year on 5th February 2015 an Auction was held.
The picture above is the classified Sandalwood for Marayur Sandalwood Depot in Kerala The Sandalwood Auction held at Marayur recently in February 2015saw the highest ever quantity sold in Auction and a record collection in terms of revenue. Of the 77.87 tonnes of Sandalwood put up for auction 52 Tonnes were sold.The Marayur Divisional forest Officer Had confirmed that the Auction saw a record revenue collection of Rs46 Crores( including a tax of Rs8.3 crores). Class Three sandalwood Recorded the highest price of Rs13,000/-per KG. In Class three and Class six there was a record increase in sale of 45 to 50 percent as compared to previous years. Both class three and six ie the sandalwood proper and Root wood were sold The most sold items were in Clss six 18.3 tones. This year it was totally e- Auction which found better results. The largest number of participants were from outside Kerala including Kolkatta,Chennaiand Delhi. From Kerala those who participated were Temples,Ayurveda Medicines Manufacturers and Private persons.The private Party had optioned for highest quantity. The Range officer of Marayur division confirmed that Only matured and dried Trees and those fell due to Natural causes were collected for e- auction. The Oil content and quality of Marayur sandalwood Are stated to be one of the best leading to good demand from Ayurvedic Medicine Companies,Soap and Cosmetic Companies. As there is a ban existing in India for the Export of Sandal wood oil, the demand for mixed chips ,from which Sandalwood Oil could be extracted Was at a Low level. From the foregoing ,it is reliably clear that the Sandal wood Industry could turn out to be Blessing for the life of peoplevin India provided proper care is taken to protect the Sandalwood trees from Poachers and e-Auction introduced all over the country where sandalwood is being grown. SreedharanMundanat 24 th May 2015


  1. In line 17 of this Blog the word "Polkas" may kindly be read as " Poojas".

    The error occurred is deeply regretted


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