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BANYAN

TREE
Locations

Thimmamma Marrimanu

Thimmamma Marrimanu is the name of a Banyan tree in Anantapur district, located


about 35 km from town Kadiri in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is present in the Indian
Botanical Gardens and is more than 200 years old. It is reported to be the world's biggest
tree with a canopy of 19,107 square metres. Its branches spreads over 8 acres, and hence
was recorded as the biggest tree in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989

One of the largest trees, named the Great Banyan, is found in Kolkata in India. It is said
to be more than 250 years old. Another such tree, named Doda Alada Mara, is found in the
outskirts of Bangalore. Doda Alada Mara has a spread of around 2.5 acres.[14]

One of the most famous of banyan trees was planted on the island of Kabirvad in
Gujarat. Records show that the Kabirvad tree is more than 300 years old.

Maui, Hawaii has a Banyan tree planted by William Owen Smith in 1873 in Lahaina's
Courthouse Square. It has grown to cover two-thirds of an acre.[14]

In rural India many villages and towns have a traffic circle, a bus stop and a community
gathering place around a big old banyan tree. At night many people come to sit, relax and
chat around it. There is usually a small deity placed and worshipped at its foot. [citation needed]

Ta Prohm in the Angkor Wat temple complex of Cambodia is well known for the giant
banyans that grow up, around and through its walls.

Several banyans can be found near downtown Hilo, Hawaii. Some of them were planted
by celebrities throughout the 20th century and form Banyan Drive.

Banyans also occur in areas of Australia such as the Daintree rainforest in Queensland's
far north. Well known is the Curtain Fig Tree on the Atherton Tablelands.

The first banyan tree in the continental U.S. was planted by Thomas Alva Edison in Fort
Myers, Florida in an attempt with Henry Ford to find a more cost-effective way to produce
rubber for car tires. The tree, originally only 4 feet (1.2 m) tall, now covers an acre of land on
the estate.

One large Banyan tree called Kalpabata is there inside the premises of Jagannath
Temple of Puri. It is considered sacred by the devotees and is supposed to be more than 500
years old.[15]

Famous Banyan Treea in Chennai where Theosophical[16] Society is established. Also


called as Ala Maram [17]

A large Banyan tree (Which kind is uncertain by this author) lives in Cypress Gardens, at
the Legoland theme park located in Winter Haven, Florida. It was planted in 1939 in a 5gallon bucket. [18]

In culture[edit]

Religion and mythology[edit]


Banyan trees figure prominently in several Asian and Pacific religions and myths, including:

In Hinduism, the leaf of the Banyan tree is said to be the resting place for the
god Krishna.

In the Bhagavat Gita Krishna said "There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and
its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the
knower of the Vedas." (Bg 15.1) Here the material world is described as a tree whose
roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots
are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that
the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the
roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The
material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality,
but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality.
The banyan tree is also considered sacred and is called "Vat Vriksha" in Sanskrit,
in Telugu known as: '
' ; Ala
' ; Marri Vrikshamu and in Tamil known as: '
Maram. The god Shiva as Dakshinamurthy is nearly always depicted sitting in silence
under the banyan with rishis at his feet. It is thought of as perfectly symbolizing eternal
life due to its seemingly unending expansion.

In modern parlance in the Hindi language, it is known as Bargad, Vatavriksh, and


Barh.

In Buddhism's Pali canon, the banyan (Pali: nigrodha)[9] is referenced numerous


times.[10] Typical metaphors allude to the banyan's epiphytic nature, likening the
banyan's supplanting of a host tree as comparable to the way sensual desire (kma)
overcomes humans.[11]

The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees () are banyan, and are a popular shrine
in Hong Kong. They are located near the Tin Hau Temple in Lam Tsuen.

In many stories of Philippine Mythology, the banyan, (locally known


as balete or balite) is said to be home to a variety of spirits (diwata and engkanto)
and demon-like creatures (among the Visayans, specifically, the dili ingon nato,
meaning "those not like us"). Maligno (Evil spirits, from Spanish for 'malign')
associated with it include the kapre(a giant), duwende (dwarves), and
the tikbalang (a creature whose top half is a horse and whose bottom half is human).
[12]

Children at a young age are taught never to point at a fully mature banyan tree for

fear of offending the spirits that dwell within them, most especially when they are
new to the place. Filipinos would always utter a respectful word or two to the spirits
in the banyan tree when they are near one, walking near or around it to avoid any
harm. Nearly every Filipino believes that provoking the spirits in a banyan tree can
cause one great harm, illness, misfortune, untold suffering and death.

In Guam, 'Chamorro people believe in tales of taotaomona, duendes and other


spirits. Taotaomona are spirits of the ancient Chamorro that act as guardians to
banyan trees.