The Banyan tree (Ficus Bengalensis) is the National Tree of India. The uncommon name of this tree is the ‘Indian Fig Tree‘. It is found in almost all places in India, especially near Temples.
The leaves of the Indian Fig tree are large, leathery, glossy, and dark green in color. The young leaves of the tree have a unique reddish tinge.
Older banyan trees have massive thick and woody trunk which only grows bigger with age. The tree roots grow all over the tree and appear to be spread their reach as far as possible.
Some famous Banyan Trees in India:
- 550 year old banyan tree is in the Indian Botanical Garden in the state of Andra Pradesh.
- 500 year old large banyan tree, Kalpabata, is situated in the premises of Jagannath Temple in Puri and considered sacred.
- 250 year old and the largest Banyan trees are situated in Kolkata and covers around 4.67 acres
- The Thimmamma Marrimanu is the world’s largest Banyan tree and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in the year 1989. It is about 35 km from ‘Kadri Lakshmi Narsimha temple’ which is in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. It is spread over 5 acres and its canopy stretches to about 19,107 sq. meters.
The Vat, Bargad (Banyan tree) is the most worshiped tree in India. It can survive and grow for centuries and is considered to be the shelter that is given by God to his people.
As per Hindu mythology, the tree is referred to as Kalpavriksha.
The Banyan tree symbolizes Trimurti:
- The bark is believed to be Lord Vishnu
- The roots are believed to be Lord Brahma
- The branches are believed to be Lord Shiva
Ancient scriptures mention the Banyan tree as the tree of immortality. The roots emerge from the top of the tree and go down into the soil, forming additional trunks and growing this way for hundreds of years. Hence its symbolizes longevity and represents Bramha, the divine creator.
The leaves, branches, buds, and barks are used for medicinal purposes.
History of Vat Savitri Puja :
Women in India are seen tying cotton threads on the trunk of this tree. They perform this sacred ritual and pooja on Vat Savitri Puja. This is done somewhere around the months of May and June.
This practice is based on the famous belief of Satyavaan Savitri. It is said that Satyavaan was breathing his last breath under the banyan during the full moon in Jyeshta. This is when the God of death, ‘Yama Raja,’ came to take his soul.
Sayavaan’s wife Savitri pleaded to Yama to return her husband’s soul. At first, Yama disagreed, but Savitri managed to convince him to return the life of her husband.
To commemorate this mythology event, women in India fast the entire day and tie a cotton thread on the trunk of the banyan tree by circling it 108 times and praying for the long healthy life of their husbands.
Bodhi tree is the banyan tree under which Gautama Buddha performed his meditation and attained enlightenment.
The banyan tree symbolizes Longevity, Power, Grace, and Divinity and therefore is the National Tree of India.
What is the name of the National Tree of India in various languages?
|Malayalam||Aalu / Peeralu|
|Hindi||Barh, Bad, Baragada|
|Marathi||Wad / Vada|
Also Read: The History of India