Outreaching Arms of The Great Banyan Tree

great-banyan-treeMy love for nature and adventure led me to Howrah India to view the Great Banyan tree. I visited Howrah which is located in the west bank of River Hooghly. My visit to Howrah would not have been complete without visiting the Great Indian Banyan Tree. The botanical garden that hold the wonder tree is referred to as Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose and it is the oldest in the country.

The tree is rated in the Guinness World Record as being the widest tree in the whole universe. It was first noticed in 1978 .This tree occupies 1.6 hectares and it has more than 3,500 roots. The tree attracts a huge number of visitors from all over the world. The tree is more than 300 years old. Its circumference is 1.15 km and it is the broadest tree in the world in terms of the canopy it occupies. The tree does not have any clear history however it is stated in the nineteenth century travel books.

The most amusing thing was to learn that the tree main trunk was damaged by the cyclones in 1986. However this can hardly be noticed because of the many roots that support it. After the damage by the cyclones the tree was attacked by a hard fungus which led to the decay of its trunk. This means that the tree is being supported by the many prop roots as it lives without its main trunk. From a distance the tree looks more like a forest as compared to the single tree it is. The tree branches are more than 24.5 meters high. The Great Banyan tree is classified as the most interesting Botanical plant of India.

The Great Banyan (botanical name: Ficus bengha...Surprisingly it was also amusing to learn that visiting celebrities that come to India ensure that they visit the Great Banyan Tree. Interestingly the tree is known to evoke huge interest from world photographers. However there is no any big difference between the photos taken in 1850s and those taken today as the tree has not evolved a lot.

Just sitting and watching the world widest and oldest tree brought a sheer feeling in my heart. Amazingly the tree is the only living witness of Howrah city’s history for a period of more than 300 years. It was also interesting to note that the government of India has developed many postage stamps of the tree. Additionally many artists across the globe continue to sculpture and sketch the Great Banyan tree.




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