Botanical Garden Kolkata Banyan Tree
The Famous Banyan Tree
One of the many talked about aspect of the Kolkata Botanical Garden is the Great Banyan Tree which you can chance upon just when you enter into the garden. It has a huge trunk, so huge that you can’t locate the main trunk or its origin. However, what you see is a cloned colony as the main trunk of this banyan tree was struck by the lightning and got infected. To keep the rest of tree healthy, it was separated and burnt. The management built a 330 m road around it to keep it contained but the tree continues to grow and spread so much that it is now the largest tree in the world. The Great Banyan Tree of Kolkata Botanical Garden also features in Brian Aldiss’ Hothouse.
The origin of this 250-year old tree is yet unknown, however, some books from 19th Century mentions it. It is also believed that the tree suffered severe damage by the cyclones of 1864 and 1867, rendering its main branches broken and exposed to the fungus. The aerial roots of banyan tree have spread extensively and make it look like a forest itself even without its main truck that was disposed of in 1925.
The Great Banyan Tree facts
It is also believed that the tree was born by the poop of a bird and it started as an epiphyte on a date palm. The host tree was gradually killed as the strong roots of banyan tree sabotaged its growth.
- The number of aerial roots touching the ground is over 2,880.
- It covers an area of 1.5 hectares.
- The area occupied by the tree is more than 14,428 square feet.
- The circumference of the canopy is 450 m and the highest branch rises to over 24.5 m.
Ladies and gentlemen, this Great Banyan Tree is a living legend of Mother Nature and holds a place in the Guinness Books of Records as well.