2019

2006: A part of Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park chock-full of Baavlia
2006: A part of Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park chock-full of Baavlia

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2009: The same part of the Park with Baavlia uprooted
2009: The same part of the Park with Baavlia uprooted

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2019: Thriving landscape with native rock-loving plants
2019: Thriving landscape with native rock-loving plants

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2006: A part of Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park chock-full of Baavlia
2006: A part of Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park chock-full of Baavlia

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How the Park was made

Rao Jodha Park was created in 2006 to try and restore the natural ecology of a large, rocky wasteland next to Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. It had suffered years of neglect and was overrun by an invasive, thorny shrub (Baavlia) introduced from central America almost a century ago. The challenge was to eradicate Baavlia and create a suitable home for native rock-loving plants that were brought from the desert.

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Clearing the Site

Baavlia (Prosopis juliflora) is known to be extremely difficult to eradicate. After trying several different methods without success, we employed Khandwaliyas - local rock miners - to use time-tested ways of manually chiselling into the hard, volcanic rock. We knew we had to go down at least 45 cm below ground-level in order to "grub out" baavlia. It was hard going and very slow, but it worked! We decided to plant only in pits vacated by Baavlia, because it had already shown us where it was possible for a plant to grow within this rocky tract

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'Ecological Restoration' is the term we use to describe what we do at Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park. We set out to try and restore this tract of land to what it might have been like before it was 'interfered' with by human activity. Our models are rocky, relatively unspoilt hills and scarps in Marwar's desert.