Banyan tree species are found mainly in tropical and semi temperate areas. The species native to India is known as Indian banyan/bargad/vad/vat or Ficus benghalensis. Here are some interesting facts about the Banyan tree(Bargad ka ped).
- Indian banyan trees are the largest trees in the world by the area of canopy. Some of these trees are so huge that you will not believe their size unless you see them.
Thimmamma Marrimanu is a banyan tree in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. It is the largest tree in the world by the area of canopy.
Area: 19,107 square metres (4.721 acres)
Age: more than 200 years
It is located in Bharuch, Gujarat.
Area: 17,520 square metres (4.33 acres)
Age: more than 300 years
The Great Banyan
It is located in Howrah, West Bengal
Area: 18,918 square metres (4.67 acres)
Age: more than 250 years
- Banyan tree has a lot of cultural, religious and medical significance. They are considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism, the reason why you generally find a banyan tree in the vicinity of a temple.
- Once the aerial roots of Banyan tree reach the ground, they grow into trunks.
- Lord Krishna is sometimes depicted resting on a Banyan leaf.
- There are even festivals dedicated to Banyan trees such as Vat Purnima.
- In Ayurveda, different parts of the banyan tree are used for so many different purposes.
- Banyan trees play a very important role in balancing the ecosystem. They are considered as the keystone species. Their fruits are consumed by small animals and birds. Many birds build their nest around these trees. Their roots and trunks are home for microorganisms(mainly endophytes).