Highest herbal garden in India flourishes at 15,000 feet in Leh

LEH — A herbal garden has come up at an altitude of close to 15,000 feet above sea level in mountainous ranges at Phobrang village in Leh.

His Holiness Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche (Religious/Spiritual leader) founder and chairman of Go Green Go Organic, a non-profit organization working on environmental and biodiversity conservation through mass plantations in Ladakh and other Himalayan regions, commenced the initiative.

The initiative is supported by the Councillor of Chushul constituency Konchok Stanzin, who is also the chairman of High Altitude Herbal Garden. Besides, Dr Konchok Dorjey, the vice chairman of the herbal garden is also an expert on medicinal plants in the region.

The medicinal herbal garden aims to serve the well-being of the environment, ecology, biodiversity and mankind. The herbal garden is now India’s highest-located herbal garden.

Talking to the news agency KNO, medicinal plant expert Dr Konchok Dorjay said that the garden aims to preserve the natural heritage of the region. “It also aims to conserve rare species and maintain the flora and ecological significance.”

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Dorjay said that the saplings and seeds of medicinal plants have been sown. “The medicinal plants are of high importance for the Buddhists. These medicinal plants are used for different treatments in Ladakh and Tibet,” he said.

He added, “These rare medical plants are only grown in higher altitudes. A specific group of plants like herbs or medicinal plants have been planted. Apart from medicinal uses, these plants also hold great cultural and religious importance.”

He said they planted these saplings and seeds and are taken care of by the people of the closest village and the aim is to be used for research purposes. “This garden has taken over the herbal garden located at Badrinath Uttarakhand at an altitude of 11,000 feet, thus becoming India’s highest-located herbal garden,” Dr Konchok Dorjay said.

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He said that medicinal plants are perennial plants. “These plants can even survive the minus 30 cold conditions. The maximum temperature they require is 20 to 25 degrees Celsius,” the medicinal plant expert said.

He stated that this is now India’s highest-altitude herbal garden. Following this, the group aims to start the research centre there as well. It is believed that the garden has come up with a lot of future-oriented purposes.

Ladakh region, known as the cold desert, has very meagre plant production. The region witnesses sub-zero temperatures during the winter season every year.

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