Botanical Name: Zizyphus mauritiana Lam.
Common Name: Indian Jujube, Ber (Hindi), Ilandai (Tamil), Badari (Sanskrit)
Distribution: Throughout India
In Religion and Mythology
Sabari offering the Ber fruit to Lord Rama and Lakshmana
The tree is associated with Lord Shiva, whose worship is considered incomplete without offering of the jujube fruit, especially during Mahashivaratri.
The Ber fruit is also associated with Sabari, an old woman who is mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana. She is believed to have tasted the fruits first, and then offered only the sweet and ripe ones to Lord Rama and His brother Lakshmana.
The tree is also considered sacred by the Sikh community. The Golden temple in Amritsar has a ‘Ber’ tree called the ‘Beri Sahib’ in its central courtyard. The tree is also worshipped.