Monday, 19 March 2018

The History of Apple Farming at Kullu

The entire district Kullu is known as the apple orchard of Himachal Pradesh- a tiny hill state of India. It was the British who introduced apples in the Kullu valley. They found that the height of Kullu ranged from 4000 to 75000 feet, which was ideal for the plantation of apples.

First of all Captain R.C. Lee took the initiative of apple farming in 1860. He purchased a patch of 33 acres of land in Bandrol and asked his father to send the saplings of apple, plum, pear, and cherry from England. He planted eight species of apples in Kullu viz. Waldvin, Stayfad, Pippin, Wine apple, Uthalo, Newton, Green Smith, and Winter. In pears the varieties were William Favorite, Wartlet, Easter Wayvwer, Danny Dew Comis,  etc. , R.C. Lee died in 1912.

Around 1866, Captain A.T. Benin, the friend of R.C. Lee came to Kullu after seeking his retirement from the British Indian Army. This Irish gentleman bought 60 Bighas of land, brought from 200 apple saplings from Devonshire and planted them at Manali.

Thereafter other Englishmen Manikin, Mackie, Henri Donald, and Col. Roenick planted the apple orchards respectively at Aramgarh (Raison), Manali, Kutbai (Naggar), Bajaura/ Naggar.  

in 1880, Col. Roenick purchased Hall State comprising of 98 bighas at Naggar and planted an apple orchard. He sold the land to the Maharaja of Mandi in 1912.  Thereafter the said land was sold by the Maharaja of Mandi to Nicolai Roerich, which is now known as IMRT.

In 1886, Roenick purchased a land from tea Company at Bajaura and planted apple saplings brought from America and Australia. Bajaura is known as Udyan Garh State.

At present, the Kullu district is the chief apple producing area of Himachal Pradesh, where 30.000 hectares of land is covered under apple orchards.

The orchardists at Kullu are planting several varieties of early apples.

History of Apple

The scientists are of the opinion that the apples were first found in the Central Asian region at Kazakhstan. From here the apples spread to the entire world. The first apple plant sprouted in the mountains of Kazakhstan. It is from this wild variety that several species of apples are presently flourishing throughout the world. “Mauls Siaversi”, the first species of apple still grows in the forests of Kazakhstan.  The wild bears eat these apples and spread the seeds, thereby helping in the regeneration of apple plants.   
In the forests of Kazakhstan, the bees help in pollination, due to which several new species of apple plants have developed.

Jim Lube in Minasuti University in the US has developed a species of apple called “Honey Crisp”, the fruit of which is sold at double the price of an ordinary apple. She says that the scientists of the world are trying to add different qualities of the wild apples of Kazakhstan into separate species of apples. Every spring she pollinates her apple species with the seeds of apples brought from Kazakhstan. What the bees perform in the forests of Kazakhstan, Jim Lube does the same in her apple orchard.

So it is certain that the forbidden apple of Adam and Eve was at Kazakhstan.