Harar trees of Morni

December 7, 2012

The ‘Harar’ tree or the ‘Haritaki’ (Terminalia Chebula or Chebule Myrobalan) is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows to a height of 100 feet. The trunk is grayish-brown in colour, the leaves are glossy green with tiny silver hair. The tree is known for its elliptical fruit ‘haritaki’ which is over an inch long. The haritaki nuts (fruits) are green in colour and turn blackish on ripening. The tree grows well in the clay of Morni and requires ample sunlight. It bears fruit between November and February and remains leafless from February to early spring in April. The fruit is handpicked when still green.  The seeds are yellowish-brown and ribbed when dry.  The tree blooms in between April and August with pale yellow flowers that have an offensive aroma.

Harar fruit, July, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar fruit, July, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar leaves, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar leaves, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar tree trunk, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar tree trunk, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar tree, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar tree, Mandhana, Morni hills

Harar is of immense medicinal value in the Ayurveda system of medicine and its fruit is used as a laxative, an astringent, an expectorant and even for treating malignant tumours.

The Morni hill ilaqa has always been known for its wealth of Harar trees especially in the areas of Bhoj Naggal and Bhoj Mataur. The Second Revised Settlement  (1915-20) of the Ambala District included a census of Harar trees. There were 1363 trees cultivated by farmers in the fields of Bhoj Naggal and 689 harar trees grew wild in the jungle.  There were 35 cultivated trees in Bhoj Mataur and 320 jungle trees. While calculating the annual revenue demand from the Mir for the jagir of Morni, the cultivated Harar tree was assessed at 4 Annas and the jungle tree was assessed at 3 Annas. The cultivated Harar trees growing in Mauza (hamlet) Hatiya, Bhoj Naggal were of exceptional quality and were assessed at 5 Annas per tree. The British thus made an annual demand of Rs. 557 from the Mir on account of the Harar trees alone! The annual revenue demand for the entire Morni ilaqa was fixed at Rs. 8726 after the Settlement of 1920. This translated to 872 £ in 1920 (as 1 £ equalled 10 Indian Rupees in 1920). This would be equivalent to 40,000 £ or 3.5 million rupees in today’s terms! The Harar trees were assessed at nearly 2.5 lac rupees annually (in today’s terms).

References:

  1. Second Revised Settlement of Ambala (1915-20); R.B. Whitehead
  2. Morni Assessment Report, 1919; J.G. Beazley

Filed in: Trees & Shrubs

About the Author ()

An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

Comments (6)

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  1. Er.M.C.Aggarwal says:

    Reports seems to be very genuine.During the period of nineteen sixties I remember
    HARD and BAMBOOS were the major produce of this area.Traders of Ambala were doing a flourished business of these two items for further supply to Delhi and other areas.
    5-6 years past I met a person in a village near Naraingarh who was doing collection of herbs from this area for further sale.
    He once told me that there some species of hard plant which are so effective,if one sits under the hard tree or grip the fruit of that plant he will feel laxative.We should propagate hard plantation with latest varities developed at Jogindernagar (HP)

  2. Vinod Malhotra says:

    While on visit to Morni have felt that the area has less rainfall but believe that plantation of trees and vegetation should help in bringing greenery. Harad trees could be a good option. And the British would tax the cultivators…. Hope the government of today does not see such postings as officials immediately want to tax everything and getting Rs 2.5 lakh per tree in today’s prices will certainly be too tempting. God save Harad trees….

    • Er.M.C.Aggarwal says:

      Maximum rainfall of Haryana state i.e.
      1100 to 1150 mm prevails in Morni area.But needs water resource management measures.

  3. Er.M.C.Aggarwal says:

    The soils and other agro-climatic condions of Morni area favours the cultivation of HARAR .Some area I visited and observed that if every household plants at least 5-8 plants of harar and 3-5 of kathal in their fields / backyards ,they will certainly earn the suplimentry income.
    Also these are safe from wild animals like monkeys etc.

    • Author says:

      @ Er. M.C.Aggarwal- Yes the trees are very hardy, especially, Kathal that has a large canopy. I have planted some of these but they are very slow growing. Simmal on the contrary has grown very well as have silver-oaks (not of much utility though). Mango is also taking a long time to grow. Have planted some bor and jamuns as well. Amrood grows well though its not much of a tree.

      • Er.M.C.Aggarwal says:

        Very right,the trees might be of traditional variety.Let us think commercially.Number of high yielding and dwarf varieties of HARAR and AONVLA,MANGO have been developed.which starts fruiting after three years. SEMAL is also of geat value.In area of Kashipur/Rudarpur they cultivate semal musli which is one of high value rejuvenator/tonic.Wood is used for making bats etc.

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