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This Bhojpatra was given as a gift to me by my Son-in-law, from one of his offbeat travels. This is an authentic Bhojpatra dairy from the best of Himalayan Birch.
WHAT IS BHOJPATRA?
● Bhojpatra or Bhojpatram sheet is a bark of Himalayan Birch Tree.
● Betula utilis is the scientific name of The Himalayan Birch or Bhojpatra Tree.
● Bhojpatra is the peeling bark for paper.
● Bhojpatra is used for writing sacred mantras
● The Himalayan Birch tree is commonly known as The Bhojpatra Tree.
● The practice of writing on the Bhojpatra is very ancient and has been around since pre-historic times.
● The Bhojpatra is light brown to whitish in color and very fine.
You can clearly see the beautiful, authentic, natural marks of the bark of The Bhojpatra Tree in the above diary. It is very soft to touch and easy to write on.
It is really remarkable how our ancestors must have discovered this and used it as a medium to write on!
● Though it is still used for writing sacred mantras, it is extensively used as a lucky charm.
● Sacred mantras are written on Bhojpatra and worn in amulets to ward off unwanted situations various evils and for blessings.
WHERE IS IT FOUND
● In India, Bhojpatra Tree or The Himalayan Birch is found at a certain altitude in the Himalayas.
● The Bhojpatra Tree is a deciduous tree found at an altitude of 4500 m or 14,800 ft in the Western Himalayas.
● Though, this has been around for centuries, not many people are aware of it apart from the locals.
WHY SHOULD YOU BUY BHOJPATRA
● Bhojpatra use is eco- friendly as it does not involve detailed processing as in normal paper.
● Do make it a point to pick up Bhojpatra sheets on your trip to destinations in the Western Himalayas. This is a better souvenir than any random item. This will help in supporting the local communities whose livelihoods depend on Bhojpatra processing.
Bhojpatra plantations like the one above are supported by the forest and livelihoods departments and provides employment opportunities to local communities.
● Support local communities and shop ethically. As Bhojpatra is a natural material, it will not lead to environmental pollution and you can contribute to spreading awareness about eco- tourism by your gesture.
● Also, by supporting Bhojpatra, you will spread awareness regarding it and this will help in its popularity.
WHERE TO BUY BHOJPATRA
● If you are traveling to places in the Western Himalayas, local markets sell Bhojpatra sheets at affordable prices individually or in Kilograms.
● Also, many traders sell Bhojpatra online independently.
● You can buy authentic Bhojpatra sheets online on Amazon at a decent price as a lot of traders are using Amazon to sell Bhojpatra sheets.