1. The National Tree of India is the ‘Banyan’ Tree.
2. It often refers specifically to the ‘Indian Banyan’ or ‘Ficus benghalensis’.
3. It is adopted as national flower of India in 1950.
4. One can find Banyan trees in throughout the Indian nation.
5. Banyan trees are found all over tropical and sub-tropical parts of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They represent the largest trees in the world by canopy coverage.
6. The name ‘Banyan’ is derived from ‘Banias’, who rested under the trees to discuss their strategies regarding business.
7. The largest Banyan tree in India resides at the Indian Botanical Garden in Shibpur, Howrah in West Bengal. It is around 25 m tall and the canopy cover is around 420 m with over 2000 aerial roots.
8. It is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte (a plant growing on another plant).
9. The leaves of the Banyan tree are large, leathery, glossy green and elliptical in shape.
10. The leaf bud is covered by two large scales.
11. The huge tree of Banyan towers over its neighbors and has the widest reaching roots of all known trees.
12. Its size and leafy shelter are valued in India as a place of rest and reflection.
13. The huge sized tree acts as a shield, protects from hot sun. This is the reason why the tree is planted near homes, temples, villages and roadsides.
14. In the rural parts of the country, Banyan tree is considered as the focal point of the Panchayats and the gathering place for village councils and meetings.
15. The Banyan tree is considered sacred by the Hindus. It is also known as ‘Bargad’, ‘Vata’ vriksh, and ‘Barh’.
16. The tradition of worshiping sacred trees is prevalent among the people following Hinduism, since ages.
17. Married Hindu women worship the Banyan tree to lead a long and happy married life.
18. In many parts of the world, the wood and bark of the Banyan tree are used for making paper.
19. The fruits of Banyan are edible and nutritious. They are also used to soothe skin irritations and alleviate swelling.
20. With high medicinal value, Banyan is often used as a herb to treat and cure many diseases.