Parks

Indian Botanic Garden

locationHowrah

Have You Checked Out This 255-Year-Old Tree That Walks Yet?

Editors posted on 03 October

Shortcut

The Great Banyan has been in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest canopy and covering the widest circumference. And it keeps growing!

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Have you checked out the great banyan tree at the Botanical Gardens in Kolkata yet? It is around 255 years old. and is considered to be the oldest citizen of the city. Covering about 14,500 square meters of land, it is the widest tree in the world.

When you approach it. you won’t be able to figure out at first that this is a single tree. From a distance, it looks like a forest with individual trees. But the ‘trees’ are actually aerial roots – around 3,600 of them!  The Guinness World Records stats say the grand old tree has the largest canopy and widest circumference in the world.

And it continues to grow – it has increased its girth by two acres over the last 30 years. The garden people had had to create a larger boundary railing to hold it in.

A Tree That Walks

It is also called the ‘Walking Tree’ because it is increasing, or `walking’, following the direction of the sunlight. How freaky is that? The curator of the garden MU Sharief {who is also a senior botanist} said that the tree doesn’t like pollution much {no surprises there!}. “Apart from this eternal truth, you also have to remember that on the western side of the tree is also the boundary of the garden, beside which are residential buildings and a busy road, so the tree has avoided moving towards pollution,“ he said in an interview here.

The Banyan Has Been Through A Lot

It has survived two cyclones in the 19th century {that led to fungal attacks}, and destroyed the tree’s main trunk in 1925. Look out for the installation at the centre of the core area which is in memory of the lost trunk.

#LBBTip

Expect a lot of walking as the Botanical Gardens are huge. Wear a cap with a visor and take along some water.

More Information

Parks

Indian Botanic Garden

Location Details
locationHowrah

Shibpur, Howrah, West Bengal

Parks

Indian Botanic Garden

locationHowrah