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Pradeep Pattanayak

Have you ever seen or heard of any banana tree having a bunch of bananas facing upward, instead of hanging downward? 

No. Then you must visit a temple, dedicated to Lord Ram, located at 1,300 meters above the mean sea level, near Todaghagi waterfall at Koida in Sundargarh district. 

Such a strange banana tree has now been a matter of discussion in the locality with people from nearby villages making a beeline to have a look at the wonder tree. 

The banana bunch with its clusters is straight, looking upwards. Its flower at the top end of the bunch looks like a lotus. 

Local people call this banana as Rama Kadali (banana is called kadali in local parlance), after Lord Ram. And there is a legend behind the nomenclature of the fruit. 

According to elderly villagers, Lord Ramchandra along with his consort Sita and brother Laxman stayed at the place during their exile. It is the same tree that was planted by Lord Ramchandra. 

“We have grown up hearing it that during their exile in the forest, Ram, Laxman and Sita stayed here, and it is the same species of tree that was planted by Lord Ramchandra,” said a local resident Biswajit Nayak. 

Echoing the same, another villager Parameshwar Naik said, “There is a cave here. And in this cave, Lord Ramchandra, Sita and Laxman spent a night during their exile. The fruits grown here are named after Lord Ramchandra. Besides the banana, the mangoes grown here are also called Rama Amba (mango is called amba in local parlance).”

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