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‘ಗಂಧದ ಗುಡಿ’ ಅಂ. ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ವಿಮಾನ ನಿಲ್ದಾಣಕ್ಕೆ ಸ್ವಾಗತ

By Staff

Sandalwood, Synonym with Karnataka

Santalum album is a small evergreen tree reaching a height of 7 to 20 metres and girth of up to 1.5 metres. Natural strands of Indian Sandalwood take 60 to 80 years to reach maturity and their greatest oil content. This is in great contrast to Indian Sandalwood trees grown under plantation in the ORIA, which can reach a height of approximately 8 metres in 15 years and may be harvested from year 13. These plantation trees are expected to weigh between 70 to 80 kilos at harvest and contain approximately 2.25 litres of oil.

While the wood is highly sought after for sculpture, religious ceremonies and incense, it is the oil contained within the heartwood of the trees that is most coveted. The majority of the heartwood is contained within the central core of the trunk and roots.

The oil itself is extremely viscous with a heavy, sweet, woody and fruity aroma that has been described as pungently balsamic. Besides these obvious fragrant characteristics, it contains high amounts of alpha and betaSantalol. These compounds are much prized for their fixative, antibacterial and sedative medicinal properties.

Karnataka State in India is synonym with Sandalwood. Sandalwood trees grow in natural surroundings in vast stretch of forests in Karnataka. The state is known for Sandalwood carvings, Sandalwood oil and the artisans of Karnataka are renowned for carving images in the wood. However, poachers and smugglers like dreaded Veerappan (shot down in the year 2004) looted valuable Sandalwood trees for personal gains.

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