Our Walkers on Sunday the 8th of January were deeply saddened by the sight of the splendid Talipot Palm which had been brought down by the Authorities as a safety measure. This 75 ft, 75 year old Palm tree had already started dying after it had fruited. The magnificent 25 ft. infloresence was silhouetted against the sky like filigree work. Once the Talipot Palm flowers it produces oblong hard marble like fruits and then the spent Palm starts dying - the process may take upto 9 to 10 months.
This Palm had been the centrepiece of our Walk till January.
There are other Talipot Palms in Lalbagh, but the largest of them may still take many years to flower. The Talipot /Fan Palm (Tali palm) is indigenous to India and Sri Lanka. It is found naturally growing in the evergreen forests of Kumta in Karnataka. The finest collection of Talipot Palms today is in Surinam in South America having been brought there by Indian immigrants. There is a grand avenue of Talipot Palms in Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
Over the centuries our writing materials have changed. It would have been appropriate to have written the obituary of this grand Palm on a palmleaf prepared from a frond of the Palm itself, which was the manner in which manuscripts/books-documents in South India were prepared for centuries.