Why the Ebony Tree is Black

- December 26, 2023


The Tinduka or Tendu tree, also known as Ebony, is recognisable because of its trademark black wood. There is a fascinating legend about how the tree got its characteristic colour.

Ebony tree
Illustration: Ritoparna Hazra

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Life is unfair: the virtuous Kannagi deserves a loving husband, but selfish beauties and foolish kings combine to rob her of happiness. Her patience snaps, eventually. Pure in her love, this gentle woman is transformed into an avenging angel, raining death and doom on all her foes, until the gods are forced to intervene. Ilango Adigal's Tamil classic, Shilappadikaram presents life with all its flaws but also with hope.

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