Bael Rejuvenation Program

About Indian Bael Tree

The Indian Bael (Aegle marmelos) tree is Native to India and South East Asia and can be found all over India. It is widely spread across plains, dry forests and even hilly areas thriving even up to an elevation of 4000 feet.

It is a very hardy tree which can tolerate a wide variety of soils, can withstand both drought and water logged conditions and can survive temperatures between -7 to +45 degrees C.

It can grow up to a height of 50 feet. Different parts of the tree have been used in Ayurveda and Siddha systems of medicine to treat various diseases with excellent results. It has also been documented to reduce the pollutants in the atmosphere and also one of the few trees which give out Oxygen even during night time.

Besides, the tree holds a special place in the Religious and Spiritual practices and beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Leaves of the Indian Bael Tree

Aegle marmelos, commonly known as bael is called Bilwa in Sanskrit, Vilwa in Tamil, Koovalam in Malayalam, and Bilva in Kannada.

Need for Bael Conservation

The IUCN list of threatened plant/tree species classifies the Indian Bael as a “Near threatened” species. Before it becomes endangered there is an urgent need to mass propagate this tree. .

Indian Bale Tree is in the Threatened Species List

The Bael Rejuvenation Program

Shanthivanam has embarked on a focussed mission of planting One Million Bilva Trees (Indian Bael) over a period of 5 years. .

We aim at a massive plantation campaign to plant and protect 1 Million Bilva Trees (Indian Bael) across India. This is going to be a pet project of Shanthivanam and we plan to put our more than two decades of expertise which will be complemented by a big list of committed volunteers who have pledged to work with a missionary zeal.

  • Your donation helps and motivates us to continue to work on environmental conservation; helping build a better tomorrow.
  • After the payment, you will be redirected to our website page where you can join us as a volunteer. We will be even more happy to welcome you!

The Execution

  • We identify pieces of lands where trees can be planted.
  • We also identify people around that area who can volunteer to protect and take care of the planted saplings. This way, we ensure not just planting, but the surival of the trees.
  • The project is initially planned to be kick started in open spaces in Shiva Temples to be extended in the next phase to temple lands and other protected public spaces.
We have started identifying large tracts of land and have also received consent to start plantation in such places.
Moments from the inaugural plantation program held at Vaikom Shiva Temple (One of the most important Shiva Temples in Kerala) on 10 October 2021. Adv. Subha (National Project Co-Ordinator of Shanthivanam Charitable Trust and Legal Head of Amrita Group of Institutions) inaugurated the program.

Involving Local Community

Anything which is connected to the socio cultural milieu is bound to be protected and nurtured by the local population. The success of a project of this size requires the active support of people. We identify people from local community who can volunteer to protect and take care of the planted saplings. This way, we ensure not just planting, but the survival of the trees and the responsible and active participation of the local community.

How Can You Contribute

  • Join us and register as a volunteer.
  • Identify places where we can plant the trees and also protect and maintain them.
  • Enlist people in your area who might be interested in this so that we can reach our goal faster.
  • Help us in raising saplings and seed collection.
  • Be our ambassador in your chosen area to carry this message far and wide to a wide cross section of people.
  • Collaborate with other NGOs who work in other areas but who nevertheless are receptive to this project.
  • Fund Raising. People who can connect us to Corporates and who can convince them to take this as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative are most welcome.

Spiritual Significances

  • Bael tree is venerated as a very sacred and holy tree in the Hindu religion.
  • The trifolic leaves represent 'Trinetra' or three eyes of Lord Shiva.
  • According to Bilvashtakam it is known to be lord Shiva's favorite.
  • According to Hindu belief, the leaf also represents the holy trinity--Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva
  • Shiva Purana regards this leaf as one of the six divine articles that are used to worship Lord Shiva.

Medicinal Significances

Environmental Significances

  • Bael plant acts as a 'Sink' for chemical pollutants as it absorbs poisonous gases from atmosphere and make them inert or neutral.
  • It is a member of plant species group known as 'Climate Purifiers, which emit greater percentage of oxygen in sunlight as compared to other plants.
  • The Bael tree is also considered under the category of 'Fragrant' species, whose flowers and volatile vapors neutralize bad smell of putrefied organic matter and deodorizes the bad odor of the air.