Vaagai Tree: The Tree that Bees chose as their Adobe
Nature makes you gasp many times. This is one such experience, where a tree houses bee colonies.
It is quite easy to miss this spot as you are driving on the highway. On your way to Mattupatti dam, about 4 km from Munnar, there is a tree with many beehives hanging from it. On a busy day, you can see a beeline of tourists standing around the tree, trying to take selfies with the hives. It is quite intriguing to see so many beehives colonised on just one tree when there are many more trees around. It must be a special tree that they have chosen as their home.
This tree is known as Vaagai Maram (Vaagai Tree), commonly known as East Indian Walnut or Sirisha. This species of trees do not grow close to each other and are scarce. There are many myths and legends about it. Goddess Durga is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva under a Vaagai tree to gain the energy to kill the demon Mahishasura. Warriors of ancient Tamil kingdoms wore Vaagai flower garlands to symbolize victory. Ayurveda uses the flowers, leaves and bark of the tree as a cure for several ailments.
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