There is abundant fruiting on the historical ‘Dukh Bhanjani Beri’ in Golden Temple Complex after more than a decade. The ‘sangat’ expressed its happiness on seeing the fruiting in the old tree.
The experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), who were assigned for treatment of the ‘beri,’ by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), had made many efforts in this direction, that have now yielded good result.
This beri (Jujube tree) is among the three historical beris in the Golden Temple complex. The other two are ‘Ber Baba Budha Sahib’ and Lachi Ber.’ ‘Dukh Bhanjani Beri,’ on the bank of the holy sarovar on Langar hall side, is here since the forth Sikh guru, Sri Guru Ram Das, founded Amritsar city and the holy sarovar in the 16th Century, and is over 400 years old.
Due to some reasons, including lack of proper care, the fruitfulness of this tree was deteriorating, and many branches had dried up. The SGPC, which manages all affairs of this central Sikh shrine, sought help of different experts, to ensure the tree’s upkeep.
In 2005, the gurdwara body had assigned ‘sewa’ (voluntarily service), of treating the ‘beris,’ to the team of experts, including agriculture and horticulture experts Dr Sandeep Singh, Dr Narinderpal Singh, Dr Karanbir Singh and Dr Jaswinder Singh. Dr Narinderpal Singh is also the in-charge of PAU’s farmer advisory centre in Amritsar.
Treatment of the three ‘beris’ is being carried out under the supervision of the expert team, which pays regular visits to the shrine. “These ‘beris’ fall under the category of native wild trees. Normally, a ‘beri’ starts decaying after 70 years, but these have still survived. It seems that they had been given proper care in the past as well,” said Dr Narinderpal.
“When we were given the assignment, the condition of ‘Dukh Bhanjani beri,’ like the other beris, was no so good. It was attacked by certain insects and diseases. But the SGPC allowed us to take measures required for making the trees healthy,” he said.
“Gradually, the growth of the trees has started improving, thus having a positive impact on the fruiting,” he added.
Other three experts are from the department of fruit science in PAU. “Our team inspects the trees after one-and-a-half month,” said Dr Sandeep Singh, entomological at the department.
“We spray insecticides and other medicines including neem juice, from time-to-time. We will even prune them in the beginning of May. Besides seasonal pruning, dried branches are removed,” he added.
SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh said, “Last year, there was some fruiting on the ‘Dukh Bhanjani Beri.’ But, we are happy to see abundant fruiting this season. Full credit goes to the PAU experts, who have been making efforts since many years.”
As per the story of Bibi Rajni, the trees hold religious importance. According to the tale, Bibi Rajni, one of the five daughters of Seth Duni Chand, a ruler of Patti area, had angered her father by showing her dedication toward God, unlike her sisters, who had expressed their dedication toward their father.
Angered by this, Chand married off Rajni to a leper, whom she happily accepted as her husband. Soon, her husband became healthy, after taking bath in the pond, ohe bank of which, the ‘beri’ was present, when Guru Ram Das was addressing a congregation nearby. Later, the holy sarovar was dug in that place.
Since then, most devotees take a dip in the holy sarovar near the ‘Dukh Bhanjani Beri’. The devotees do not separate the fruits from the branches, they sit under the tree in hope of a fruit falling on them.
“The tree has bore such big quantity of fruits after a decade,” said Sukhchain Singh, a devotee.