Here’s Why Red Sandalwood Is The Most Smuggled Commodity In Andhra Pradesh!


Many times you might have heard about smuggling of Red sandal. This exclusive wood is one of the chief smuggled commodity from Andhra Pradesh that generates thousands of crores annually. It is a tale which is filled with greed for money, struggle for survival and apathy from the rulers, all linked with the business of smuggling the red wood.



Pterocarpus Santalinus, which is the scientific name of the Red sandalwood, is mainly found in the Seshachalam hills of Andhra Pradesh.



Why so much demand?

Historically, the wood has been greatly valued in China, particularly during the Qing Dynasty periods, and earlier western authors such as Gustav Ecke, who introduced classical Chinese hardwood furniture to the west wrote about it in his writings.



Due to its slow growth and rarity, furniture made from Red Sandalwood is difficult to find and can be expensive. It has been one of the most prized woods for millennia. This precious wood has heavy demand in over seas countries like China, Japan, Myanmar and other countries in East Asia.



As it is mentioned as the chief medicine in Chinese prescriptions for headache, skin diseases, fever, boils, scorpion sting and to improve sight and for commercial uses like manufacturing costly music instruments and furniture.



The AP government as per an estimate, states that in the past three years alone, the state has lost 40,000 crore worth of red sandalwood. This is around 40,000 metric tones of wood that has been smuggled. Thanks to government at least now some security acts have been made for the preservation of the state’s red sandal reserves.



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