A Himalayan spice garden, a first of its kind in the entire Indian Himalayan Region and country, was inaugurated by noted historian Shekhar Pathak in Uttarakhand's Ranikhet on Friday.
It showcases major Himalayan spices ranging from Kesar from Kashmir to famed Tejpat, Timoor and Wild Heeng, found in the Bhairoghati area of Uttarkashi District.
The garden has been established over an area of around 4 acres in Ranikhet, with funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) over a period of two years.
It has been developed by the research wing of the Uttarakhand Forest Department. It presently houses more than 30 different spices out of which there are 8 spices from the Allium family (onion) of the Himalayan region.
The main objective of the establishment of this spice garden was to popularize and create awareness about various spices of the Indian Himalayan region, Chief Conservator of Forest (Research) Sanjiv Chaturvedi said.
"These spices are highly nutrient, delicious and have been part of Himalayan cuisine, since time immemorial, however, due to various regions, these could not be popularized as much in other parts of the country. It will also enhance livelihood opportunities by linking it with the Self Help Group (SHG) of women," he said.
Apart from other spices, it has Kala jeera (which grows at very high altitude area only and is more nutrient/spicy than common one), Jakhya (one of the most popular spices of Garhwal region, used for tempering Daal and vegetables), Gandrayani (Pungent spice used as a flavouring agent in vegetable and daal).
The garden has Badri tulsi (Origanum vulgare), Lakhori Mirchi of Almora (having a very distinct yellow colour and unique to Almora, this chilli is extremely hot and has antidiabetic, antibacterial properties and rich in vitamin C) and Jambu (Leaves used for seasoning and also as vegetable and in soup).
The garden has an interpretation centre also where information about these spices has been displayed. (ANI)