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Banyan


Botanical Name Ficus benghalensis Linn.
Common NameBanyan, Bargat (Hindi), Aalamaram (Tamil), Nyagrodha (Sanskrit)

Distribution

Throughout India

Religious association

The tree symbolizes the Trimurti – Vishnu is believed to be the bark, Brahma, the roots and Shiva, the branches. Banyan also symbolises life and fertility in many Indian cultures. For this reason, banyan tree is worshipped by those who are childless and also, it is never cut.

Lord Dakshinamurthy, who is revered as the ‘ultimate guru’, is usually depicted beneath a banyan tree. He represents Lord Shiva and is seen as the embodiment of knowledge and the destroyer of ignorance.

The tree is also sacred to the Buddhists. After attaining enlightenment, Buddha is believed to have sat under a banyan tree for seven days.

Uses

The twigs are used as tooth brush. The fruits are eaten by many birds and animals. It is an ornamental avenue tree.

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