India is a vast and vibrant continent with a wonderful diversity of plants and trees. I have been privileged to be able to wander through its many parts, and, during my journeys, I am always enormously impressed with the local plant knowledge and everyday uses for their various products, whether it is the deployment of the leaves of Diospros melanoxylon to make Indian cigarettes or the use of oil the seeds of the Pongam tree Pongamia pinnata as engine oil.
The rural economy of India has seen a huge programme of development. Amazing successes have been made in the developing flower industry, and in the area of medicinal and aromatic crops, and in the agro-industries generally. However the urbanisation of India via road development etc. has lead to some deforestation which can be offset to some extent by a programme of planned cultivation. This programme has the additional benefits of giving a handle on uniformity of raw material quality and potency of the active principles.
Hinduism is practiced by as much as 80% of India’s population, and co-exists with Islam (perhaps practiced by 11%), Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism. Parts of India such as East Sikkim, with its close proximity to the Tibetan border, has the centreplace of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism at Rumtek.
Some images of India and the Indian subcontinent are included here in the following pages. This section will shortly be expanded,
but meanwhile here is a taster……
North India Plains
Copyright © 2001 by Tony Burfield. All Rights Reserved.