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250 Years Old World’s Widest Banyan Tree at Botanical Garden, Howrah !

The botanical Garden in Howrah that is known by the name of Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden has something very unique in it. This is a Banyan tree that is said to be 250 years old.

The uniqueness of this banyan tree lies in the fact that this tree is spread over an area of 4 acres and is the widest tree present.  This banyan tree is also in the Guinness Book of World Records. This tree has an interesting life history.

The 250 Years Old Widest Banyan Tree of the World !

It is said that this more than 250 year old tree has been mentioned in the travel books of many travellers of the 19th century who have described its spectacular beauty and grandeur.

The Great Banyan, Botanical Garden, Howrah
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There are many cyclones that this tree may have seen but surviving the two of the greatest cyclones that came in the year 1864 and 1867 shows the toughness of the tree.  The tree however could not bear the brunt of lightening that struck the main trunk in 1925. This made the main trunk diseased and it could not survive. Therefore the main branch had to be cut in the same year. So, now there are just the subsidiary branches that are standing all on their own without the help of the main trunk.

To show where the main trunk was present there is a monument erected but you cannot reach there as the access of the main trunk area has been closed for the visitors who can just have a look at the periphery of the tree. The crown of the tree at present covers an area of 486 meter and the highest branch of the tree measures 24.5 meter. This huge Ficus Bennghalensis stands on 3772 branches. There was a road of 332 meter constructed around the outer periphery of the tree but its growing branches have set their roots even beyond the road.

World's Wildest Banyan Tree, Botanical Garden, Howrah
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The banyan tree is considered sacred by the Hindus and this is why no one cuts these trees. However this tree has survived a lot to reach this stage. But, many people who are in authority do not understand the importance of this kind of heritage. It is only this tree that has witnessed the history of the city of Howrah. Earlier there was even a turtle that passed away a few years ago in Alipore Zoo.

There have been incidences of the gross negligence by the park authorities as they allowed the shooting of a film near the tree as wells as when there was a marriage party allowed near this great heritage of India. There were postage stamps released in the name of this great banyan tree.

Great Banyan, Howrah
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This tree which was first noticed for its grand size and endurance in the year 1786 has won the hearts of many artists who have sketched it as well as photographed it. The greatest film maker of Japanese films known as Akira Kurosawa made a comparison between this Banyan Tree and contemporary Indian film maker Satyajit Ray. This tree also is the symbol of Botanical Society of India and there has a greater distinction of national level.

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About Anirudh Singh

Anirudh Singh is a passionate blogger and the man behind Amazing India Blog. He has 5 years of experience in the newspaper industry and he founded Amazing India Blog in 2015. Apart from writing and editing articles on Travel, Business and Technology at Amazing India Blog, he also contributes to other well known newspapers and online news blogs.