Pterocarpus santalinus, with the common names red sanders, red sandalwood, Raktchandhan, and saunderswood, is a species of Pterocarpus endemic to the Southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India in the Seshachalam mountain ranges of Chittoor, Nellore, Prakasam, Kadapa and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh. 
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raktchandhan

India and Indians have been awaiting this precious cash crop known as ' Red Sanders ' for hundreds of years. India is one of only six countries with favorable soil and climate conditions for Red Sanders to grow and was once a major supplier to the rest of the world. The heart-wood of Red Sanders grown in South India bear excellent quality and can be found only in five districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is a unique and rare form of wood, which can be expressed as ‘Pride of India’.


The demand and popularity of Raktchandhan can be gauged from the fact that a tonne of red sanders costs anything between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore in the International market. Andhra Pradesh in India has some of the most extensive forest areas which are home to thousands of Red Sandal trees. However in the recent past the situation became such that India had to import Red Sander Wood from other countries as the natural resource from the forests had almost come to an extinct. This wild tree yields crores of rupees with minimal human intervention or care for its growth.


Finally in the year 2008, with Government of India amending its act and giving permissions to cultivate Red Sanders has opened doors for individuals and co-operate bodies to relish the rich outcome of cultivating this wild crop. 
It’s time to look into the facts and analyze the scope of Red Sander farming and it’s also time for the Landlords and the developers to get together creating a win – win situation for both the communities. 


The maturity period for Red Sandalwood trees in wild conditions in forest is 20-25 years however under organized farming the maturity period can be expected in 12-15 years. The large scale Red Sander trees can be grown through best farming practices under the supervision of subject specialists to get high quality heart wood.

In South India, especially in land regions near Seshachalam, Veligandla, Talakona, Palakonda, Cumbum forests, due to the favorable soil and climate conditions to grow, Raktchandhan / Red Sanders will yield better results. 
 

Which forests are home to thousands of

Red Sandal Trees?

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Procrastination Won't Help the Next Generation 

 

Beauty of the Wood

Pterocarpus santalinus, with the common names red sanders, red sandalwood, Raktchandhan, and saunderswood, is a species of Pterocarpus endemic to the Southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India in the Seshachalam mountain ranges of Chittoor, Nellore, Prakasam, Kadapa and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh. This tree is valued for the rich red color of its wood. The wood is not aromatic. The tree is not to be confused with the aromatic Santalum sandalwood trees that grow natively in South India.

Raktchandhan is a moderate-sized deciduous tree with clear trunk and dense rounded crown and is a sunlight-demanding small tree, growing to 10 -15 meters (40-60 ft) tall with a trunk 50–150 cm diameter under favorable growing conditions.

It is fast-growing when young, reaching 5 meters (16 ft) tall in three years, even on degraded soils. It is not frost tolerant, being killed by temperatures of −1 °C.

The blackish-brown bark is fissured and resembles crocodile skin. The inner bark when injured or cut oozes red colored ‘santolin’ dye. The wood is extremely hard and dark red in color with a specific gravity of 1.109. 

The leaves are alternate, 3–9 cm long, trifoliate with three leaflets. The flowers are produced in short racemes. The fruit is a pod 6–9 cm long containing one or two seeds.

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Red Sanders

Pride of India - Pride of Indians

Where are Raktchandhan Trees distributed?

​Red sander occurs in the forest formation which is classified as “Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests” as per champion and Seth Classification and falls in the eco-terrestrial region Deccan Thorn Scub Forests and as well as  Central Deccan Plateau Dry Deciduous Forests. It generally found at altitudes of 150-900m. It grows on dry, hilly, often rocky ground, and occasionally found on precipitous hill sides also.

 

It prefers lateritic and gravelly soil and cannot tolerate water logging. In natural habitat the tree experiences hot, dry climate with normal rainfall of 88-105 cm received from north-east and south-west monsoons.

 

Red Sanders has a highly restrictive distribution in the South Eastern portion of Indian peninsula to which it is endemic. The Palakinda and Seshachalam hill ranges of Cuddapah-Chittoor districts of state of Andhra Pradesh are its principal geographical range which extends into the neighboring Anantapur, Kurnool, Prakasam and Nellore Districts of Andhra Pradesh. These forests are found in the inner slopes on Veligonda hills of Tirupati and Srikalahasti ranges.

- [Source: A.Bhagyaraj, Research Scholar, Department of Management Studies,

Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati]

Usage & Benefits of Raktachandhan Wood Bark

Red sandalwood might increase the loss of body water through the urine (diuretic effect). It might also have drying effects that may help reduce diarrhea and break up mucus to make it easier to cough up.

Mainly used for carvings, furniture, poles and house posts. The rare “wavy” grain variant is highly valued in Japan for its acoustic properties and is mostly used to make musical instruments.

Timber is exploited for the extraction of santalin (a red pigment used as dye and colorant in food) medicine and cosmetic. The Red Sander Wood is of high demand in China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, USA, UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Gulf countries.   

 

 
 

Commercial Aspects of Raktchandhan Plantation

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The wood is primarily used for making musical instruments and luxury furniture. It also yields Santaline dye which finds use in colouring foodstuff and pharmaceutical Preparations. Additionally, the extracts obtained from the tree bark and wood are known to have several medicinal properties.

The wood has been historically valued in China who introduced classical Chinese furniture to the west. Raktchandhan has been one of the most prized woods for millennia. The worldwide Standing Market is growing in all countries in faster as gold. The costly Raktchandhan are popular for its extremely hard heart wood which colour is like blood with occasional light yellow streaks. The wood is famous for its medicinal properties and commercial uses.

Raktchandhan had the prominent importance in the business. Research initiatives are under way to exploit its potential application in soaps, dyes, toys etc., Now through the sustained efforts of the Andhra Pradesh State Forest Department, there is hope of it being raised as a plantation species.

In one acre of land approximately 415 plants can be planted at a distance of 9 x 9 ft. The yield from each tree depends on the variety of the plant, type of soil, climatic conditions, water resource and all the more best cultivation practices. 

Due to its slow growth and rarity, furniture made from Raktchandhan is difficult to find and can be expensive. It has been one of the most prized woods for millennia. 

 

The Raktchandhan wood at the center of the trunk (heartwood) is mainly used for medical purposes. It is used in traditional herbal medicine as an antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, tonic, hemorrhage, dysentery, aphrodisiac, anti-hyperglycemic and diaphoretic. Raktchandhan Wood has various medical uses such as fluid retention, treating digestive tract problems, purification of blood and treatment of coughs.

Under these circumstances, promotion of sustainable Raktchandhan wood trade might be a more prudent choice for the conservation of this species. Towards this, in addition to scientifically and sustainably managing public forests for Raktchandhan, strategies such as encouraging the private landowners and small & medium investors to grow Raktchandhan on private lands as plantations may be helpful in reducing the demand-supply gap.

 
 

The Mysterious Wood with multiple medicinal Benefits

Feed The Planet And It Will Nourish,

You Conserve What Our Children Deserve To Flourish.

Low Investment - High Returns

  • Low maintenance and less water requirement is one of the key sustainable factor for cultivating Raktchandhan. The seedlings are incubated for a period of 5 months prior to plantation, thereby reducing water requirement and maintenance cost. 

  • The Herbal Folklore Research Centre in Tirupati, India, estimated that at least 300 kg of heartwood per tree can be obtained after 12-15 years under organic and organized farming techniques. 

  • By 5th year the tree needs very less intervention to grow. Security of the plantation will be tightened from 5th year onwards. By the 10th year, the heartwood formation would have started and based on the sample analysis, yield expectancy is calculated.

  • It is an investment which yields returns higher than Insurance Policy, Bank Interest or Stocks. Low investment and high returns compared to any investment policy. It is perfectly suitable for individuals and also for companies as corporate social responsibility activities.

  • Red Sandalwood being the costliest raw material, the bulk plantation would provide a platform to better manage the market dynamics relating to demand, supply and cost. Red Sandalwood has been valued and treasured for many years for its heartwood, carving, medical and religious qualities. 

  • The Red Sander Wood is of high demand in China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, USA, UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Gulf countries.   

The rates announced by AP Govt. vide APGO No: 256/2015 published on 24/10/2015 are as below:

'A' Grade - 52 Lakhs per MT; 'B'Grade - 38 Lakhs per MT; 'C' Grade 21 Lakhs per MT; 

The above announced rate per metric ton of Red Sandalwood may change as per future Government Policies and Demand in International Export Market.

 
Parvatham Ecoforestry Pvt Ltd
Kanigiri | Prakasam District | South India |
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