Indra then used his psychic powers to create a forest hermitage in the Himavana Forest, a mystical place not far from the Himalayas, for Prince Vessantara and his exiled family to stay in the future. Furthermore, Indra created 16 Makaliporn (Makkaliphala) trees around the hermitage. They were magical trees created for 2 purposes. The first was as a Dhamma-riddle. Yogis, Gandhabhas (heavenly musicians) and other deities residing in the forest who have not overcome their sexual lust would be tempted to make love with the beautiful Makaliporn. If they do so, they would sink into a 4-month long coma, after which they would wake up and lose all their cultivation and powers. The second was to protect the royal family. Vessantara's wife Lady Madri would be able to pick fruits in the forest without being harassed, as the lust-filled group would be totally absorbed with the 16 fascinating Makaliporn trees. As such, the Makaliporn trees did not bloom seasonally, but only when Madri went out to pick fruits. When the tree blossomed there would be many bunches of Makaliporn fruits, with 5 girls in a bunch. In 3 days the Makaliporn would start to menstruate, a sign that they were already "mature". They would then sing and dance on the tree the whole day, attracting those lust-filled group towards themselves. These people would fly up to the bunches of Makaliporn and have a good time with them, only to be made unconscious after having sex. Those Yogis who have not attained the power to fly would not be able to do so, but they could wait below the trees for the whole bunch of Makaliporn to ripen and drop down in 4 days time, after which they would be able to pick them up. Altogether from blossoming to ripening and dropping the Makaliporn lasted for 7 days. These 16 Makaliporn trees along with the hermitage are still there today in the Himavana Forest, but only Yogis who have attained the Jhanas could gain access into this mystical place. They would continue to be there until the teachings of the Buddha disappear from the world. Besides those in the Himavana Forest, there are also other types of Makaliporn trees existing in other parts of the world, as some of the Forest Monks have seen during their Dhutanga wanderings.
Above and below we can see the dried, shrunken remains of 2 Makaliporn kept by my Master, LP Jarun of Wat Ampawan. These are the original ones from Himavana Forest, given to him by the son of an abbot of a temple in Lopburi. The abbot have received these 2 Makaliporn as a gift from a wandering Yogi who have been to the forest. He has since passed away. Besides these 2 LP had also seen a freshly picked-up Makaliporn in Sigiriya Hill, Sri Lanka, kept by a black-robed monk living in a cave there. He gave a detailed account of how the Makaliporn looked like in his book, which I shall not elaborate here. But most interestingly, he mentioned that at that time it was as big as a 16-year old human girl, very pretty, completely naked, has long blond hair and large bluish eyes with golden pupils, perhaps not unlike a Westerner. It also has a stalk on the top of its head like a mangosteen. This was how it looked like while still on the tree. But apparently it would start to decay soon after dropping down to the earth, slowly shrinking and drying up until all that is left is what we see above. These 2 highly decayed Makaliporn are now the size of our palms. Strangely enough, despite its condition, the Makaliporn still possess organs like the heart, intestines, lungs and stomach inside their shrivelled bodies, just like a human being. This was discovered by a doctor from Siriraj Hospital, who asked permission from LP to operate on one of the Makaliporn. You can see a Youtube video of these 2 Makaliporn at Wat Prangmuni (close to Wat Ampawan) here: