Location in BHU campus : Located along the roadside in the campus.The strong supple branches are not affected by wind and is a hurricane resistant tree suitable for avenues.
Botanical name : Tamarindus indica L.
Family : Caesalpiniaceae
Vernacular / local Name : Assam-Tetuli; Bengali-Ambli, tentul; Gujarati-Amli, ambli; Hindi-Amli, imli; Kannada-Amli, huli; Malayalam-Amlam, puli; Marathi-Chinch, chicha; Oriya-Tentuli; Punjab-Imbli; Sanskrit-Tintrini; Tamil-Puli, amilan; Telugu-Chintachettu, chindapandu(fruit), sintachettu;
English /Trade names : Tamarind
The name is derived from the Arabic tamr-hindi which means ‘date of India’because its pulp resembles preserved dates.
A moderate to large sized spreading tree with a dome shaped crown.30 m high to 5m girth. Bark dark grey,fissured, and flaking off in small patches .Leaves up to 15 cm long,paripinnate;leaflets 10-20 pairs ,about 1.2 cm long,linear oblong.
Flowersin lax racemes, small,yellowish with pink stripes. Petals unequal sized .Only the upper three petals are visible.The central one narrow and hooded,the lateral ones thrown back like wingsready for flight.2 more petals are reduced to bristles. Fertile stamens three,monadelphous. Fruit a pod ,8-20x 2.5 cm constricted between the seeds ,slightly curved,brown covered with a downy felt when young;seeds 3-12,compressed,darkbrown,shiny ,diameter 1 cm
Fruiting: December –February
There are stories told to explain the smallness of tamarind leaves. According to a Sambalpuri tale during a severe fight between Bhasmasura,chief of demon army and lord Shiva ,lord Shiva opened his third eye to kill Bhasmasura who was hiding behind tamarind leaves.The leaves disintegrated into small pieces at that time and have remained so till now!
According to a story in Ramayana during his exile Rama and Lakshmana built a small hut under a tamarind tree.The leaves which were large then gave good shelter to them.Rama was unhappy because he thought he was not coping up with the hardship of jungle as per his father’s wish. When he expressed his thought to Lakshman ,Lakshman shot arrows in to the large leaves which shred into small fragments and have remained so since then.
The tree is considered as an abode of spirits.On a day called AmliAgiras the tree is worshipped.TheGadabas of Andhra Pradesh worship the tamarind tree as Goddess Talupulamma during the festival of Advirajula –panduga for the safety of people when they go to forest. Atree ,personifyingVaruna the rain God is worshipped to have good rainy season during the festival of Pasarupanduga.
Fruit pulp is used as a souring agent for sauces,chutneys,andbeverages.Pulp is refrigerant,carminative and laxative.It is also used in dyeing,tanning as well as cleaning and polishing brassware.Leaves and flowers are also used in dyeing.Wood is used for making agricultural implements,oil presses ,fuel etc.Leaves are eaten by cattle.Flowers are a good source of honey.The fatty acid from seeds is used in paints,varnishes and as an illuminant.Seed is rich in peptin and is used in jams,jellies and confectionary.
It was a major fuel for producer gas -source (gasogen) units that powered Indian trucks during World War II.