New Stories about Tamarind Tree (Post No.11,905)

Tansen Tomb and Tamarind Tree


Post No. 11,905

Date uploaded in London – –  15 APRIL 2023                  

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,


Botanical Term for Tamarind -Tamarindus indica

Earlier in 2016, I wrote about the stories behind famous and notorious Tamarind Trees. I told you about the trees used by Tansen, Tamil Vaishnavite saint Nammalvar, Tirumangai Alvar and the ghost driven by Anantharama Dikshitar’s family from a garden tamarind tree. Now let us learn about two more tamarind trees.

Sirala in Maharashtra is the site of a gigantic tamarind tree, the trunk of which is scored with lines and cracks. By the side of the tree , a temple has been built to Gorakhnath, a manifestation of Shiva.

Once Gorakhnath had stuck a stick in the ground from which the tree sprung.  It is believed that some unknown writing is on the lines and cracks of the tree trunk.

This small village hit the head lines 15 years ago because of the Nag Panchami (Snake Festival) show. Live snakes were brought on that day in hundreds in pots by the snake charmers. Women used to worship them every year and then the snakes were let  free in the bushes in different parts.

Anti Hindu groups filed a case against the Hindu festival in the name of animal rights. Bombay High court banned it and now every year drones are used to prevent snake catching . The same anti Hindu group filed a case against Tamil Bull Fighting in the courts, but the courts did not ban the Bull Fighting in Tamil Nadu fearing peoples revolt. The anti -Hindu groups spoiled the income of thousands of snake charmers and the Hindu women are also deprived of their age old custom.


Nammalvar Tamarind Tree

Goraknath tamarind tree story is confirmed by the Maharashtra Gazeteer as well:

Sirala, 16. 59′ north latitude and 74. 11′ east longitude, is the headquarters of the mahal of the same name . It lies 14.43 km (nine miles) south-west of Peth on the Varna valley and has sprung up on either side of a stream which flows into the Morna, a tributary of the Varna a mile down-stream. It is surrounded on three sides by barren hills with broken and undulating ground in the neighbourhood.

The brass lamps or samais manufactured here are well-known all over the district. The village was surrounded by mud walls and during the times of the Marathas was fort of some strength.

Gorakhnath Shrine

About three quarters of a mile from the village there is an old shrine dedicated to Gorakhnath situated amidst a small grove of tamarind trees. In ancient days the grove was very large and was frequented by a large number of peacocks whose lives were carefully respected and which fed on the grains thrown to them by the Gosavis inhabiting the math or the monastic house.

The image of the presiding deity is a large mill-stone placed on the north side of a gigantic old tamarind tree of the species known as Gorakh Amli. There is an image of Gorakhnath installed in the math by the Gosavis. A remarkable property is attributed to this tree. Its bark is scored everywhere in every direction by natural lines and cracks. These are believed to be the characters written by the deity in an unknown tongue and every devotee coming to worship there has his name written on the tree. A fair in great local repute is held in the month of Chaitra or March-April. It is attended by many Lingayat Varus, Marathas and other people.

Nagapancami Festival.

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the village is the way the Nagapancami festival is observed and celebrated by its inhabitants. It is celebrated by the village folk of Battis Sirala with a difference in that venomous snakes are made to sport by the village folk. This unique way of observance of the festival has aroused the curiosity of even foreigners. Legend tells us that the village was formerly known as Srigal and the local inhabitants used to worship a clay image of the snake-god. One day while Gorakhnath was on his usual rounds for alms he had to wait on the threshold of a house for quite some time. The woman of the house who came with alms a little later, regretted the delay and told the saint that she was engaged in the worship of clay image of Naga. The saint thereupon produced a live snake by his divine powers and asked her to worship it instead, assuring her and the village folk at the same time that on Nagapancami day the snakes would do no harm. The inhabitants of the thirty-two neighbouring villages following this incident became his ardent devotees and hence significantly enough the village has earned the name Battis Sirala.

Following this practice, even to this day, when the festival approaches, people round-up hundreds of venomous snakes from the neighbouring hilly regions and take them out in a procession on the Nagapancami day. A spacious platform has specially been constructed on which snakes are made to dance to the tune of pebble filled earthen pots which are gently made to roll on the ground. It is. very interesting to note the village folk both young and old going about merrily with snakes round their necks without the slightest expression of fear on their faces. Fights between snakes and wild lizards are also arranged. To witness this unusual spectacle thousands of enthusiasts gather, coming from Bombay, Kolhapur, Poona, Satara and many other places.


One more story about the town is

On the following day of Naga Panchami, i.e Sravana sukla Sashti, a fair held in memory of a banker Siraala Setti, once a king for one and a quarter hours. An earthen image of him is made and worshipped, women dancing round it. It is then thrown into a tank or a well.


One more Tamarind Tree Story

 A certain woman was anxious that her husband should return home soon ,when he was preparing to go on a long business tour. She sought help from an astrologer who is also a medicine man. He advised her husband to sleep under a Tamarind Tree on his way out every night during his travels, and to sleep under a neem tree on his return journey. He did so and he was soon taken ill owing to the unhealthy air given out by the tree and its tamarind fruits. He therefore did not prolong his journey . He had to turn back.

This  folk tale among the villagers instruct the villagers not to use Tamarind Trees for night halt. Since neem leaves are good for health Hindus use them on New Year and  Gudi Padwa festival time. They hang the neem leaves outside the houses if someone is afflicted with small pox.

My Old Article:

Tansen and Tamarind Tree! Ghosts in … › 2016/03/26 › tansen-and-…

26 Mar 2016 — There is a tamarind tree in Gwalior at the tomb of Tansen, the great singer of Moghul period. People believe that whoever chew the leaves of ..

26 Mar 2016 — There is a tamarind tree in Gwalior at the tomb of Tansen, the great singer of Moghul period. People believe that whoever chew the leaves of …


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: