Presence of Bamboo in most of the South Indian wild life sanctuaries like Bandipur, Madumalai, Bhadra, Nagarhole, Tholpetty, and Kabini has played an important role in sustaining the wild and avian life of these regions.
Bamboo belongs to the grass family Poaceae. There are around 1,450 species of Bamboo found across the world. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants depending on the soil and climatic conditions.
The plant can grow to a height of 100 feet and the diameter of the stem can be as wide as 8 to 10 inches. Bamboo grows in clumps from rhizomes.
The stems are divided into nodes and the regions between the nodes are hollow. Due to the hollowness when the wind blows, you can hear a whispering sound mingled with faint drum beats as the Bamboo stems brush against each other.
The leaves are tapered and add a contrasting color to the yellow stem. Flowering is rare and it might take at least 65 to 120 years to bloom and the seeds thus produced hang from the end of the branches. The seeds are collected and is known as Bamboo Rice. Many delicious dishes like payasa / pudding is prepared using this rice.
Bamboo is extensively used in landscaping to give an oriental look to the garden.
Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese, Vietnamese, and East Indian states use Bamboo to prepare delicious dishes like pickles, soup, pancakes, side dishes, and so on.
The staple food of giant Panda and red Panda is the Bamboo. Elephants, Gaurs, and Deer feed on leaves and young shoots of the Bamboo.
Many myths and legends are associated with Bamboo throughout Asia.
Bamboo is used to treat respiratory diseases, infections, and menstrual pains.
Following are the other uses of Bamboo:
- Houses / Tree Houses
- Weapons like bow, sword, and sticks
- Plant support
- Containers for growing plants
- Containers for Ikebana / Flower Arrangement
- Fishing rods
- Firecracker in Malaysia
- Musical instrument
- Printing and writing papers
- Make paper in China
- Screen / Room divider
- Cooking and serving utensils
- Long sticks to help put up wet clothes on lines near the ceiling
- Mats / Table Mats