There are many moss gardens in the world. The one in Japan is the most famous in the world. But now tourists don’t have to go all the way till Japan to see mosses as it’s now been grown in India as well.
India’s first moss garden is located in the Nainital district of Uttrakhand state. The idea of creating a moss garden was mainly to conserve the mosses and creating awareness about its significance among the people. This would help to mend the relations between humans and nature.
This garden was inaugurated by Ramon Magsaysay awardee and water conservation activist - Mr. Rajendra Singh. It is spread across 10 hectares of land and it almost took 2 years to grow fully. The primary idea to build this was to reduce the imbalance and also to create awareness about its significance besides being just another recreation center for tourists.
Mosses are considered to be the first plants on earth, are non-vascular plants (simple, low-growing species that do not flower) that reproduce using spores. They often bloom in the damp, without much sunlight, and show extraordinary sensitivity to the outside environment. Being more receptive to air and rain, they can act as excellent bioindicators of environmental degradation.
This garden is home to around 30 different species of mosses and various other bryophytes. Two of the moss species are discovered here, Brachythecium Buchanan, Hyophila involuta (Cement Moss) are featured in International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) red list, Chaturvedi said.
A 1.2km long trail is also being made especially for the tourists where they can read about various moss species and bryophytes or any other scientific information. There are also many poems and caricatures related to moss are showed in the garden.
Well, there are some interesting facts about mosses :
The garden has featured the dinosaur model showing that mosses are in existence since the Jurassic era.
Jewelry and ornaments are made out of living moss which is quite popular in Japan.
There is a moss terrarium which depicts the whole moss ecosystem and
Interestingly, even birds use mosses to make the nest for temperature regulation and also for antibacterial purposes.