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Bhojpatra Tree: The Himalayan Birch


Recently, the Prime Minister of India, in 103rd edition of ‘Mann ki Baat programme highlighted the business of ‘bhojpatra calligraphy’ by the women of Mana village near Badrinath.


Facts for Prelims

Bhojpatra Tree: The Himalayan Birch

  • Also known as Himalayan Birch, it is abundant in the Himalayas.
  • A deciduous tree native to the Western Himalayas, thriving at elevations of up to 4,500 meters.
  • Possesses high freezing tolerance, enabling it to form a treeline in the Himalayan region.
  • A long-lived species with a survival capacity of up to 400 years, and the dominant angiosperm at extensive sub-alpine altitudes in the Himalaya.


  • Widely distributed in the altitudinal range of 3100 to 3800 meters in the North-western Himalaya.

Ecological Contribution:

  • Plays a vital role in preserving the Himalayan ecosystem by reducing soil erosion.
  • Creates a bio-shield for the remaining forests and sub-alpine meadows below the treeline.
Cultural Significance:
  • The bark of the Bhojpatra Tree has been historically used for writing lengthy scriptures and texts.
  • Particularly prominent in historical regions like Uttarakhand and Kashmir, where it was utilized for writings in Sanskrit and other scripts.

Source: Times of India

March 2024