500-Year-Old Banyan Tree In Bulandshahr, UP, Announced As World's Oldest

A team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India have recently determined a banyan tree in Bulandhshahr to be close to 500 years, making it more ancient than the previous record holder tree
An old Banyan Tree. Photo Credit Shutterstock
An old Banyan Tree. Photo Credit Shutterstock

In an exciting turn of events for tree conservation and history buffs, a particularly ancient Banyan Tree has been discovered to be older than any other in the world. Previously, the esteemed title of the world's oldest banyan tree belonged to the magnificent Great Banyan tree, located within the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden near Kolkata. However, the crown has been passed to a banyan tree in Narora, Uttar Pradesh.

During a thorough floristic survey in the Upper Ganga Ransar, a team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India, Babe-Bolyai University in Romania, and a laboratory in Johannesburg, South Africa, stumbled upon this remarkable find. Through radiocarbon dating, the tree's age was understood to be between 450 to 500 years, surpassing the age of Kolkata's Great Banyan. Surprisingly, the main trunk of the colossal tree is supported by a mere four roots, adding to its intriguing nature.

Meanwhile, India holds the record for being home to the world's largest banyan tree, Thimmamma Marrimanu. This remarkable tree in Andhra Pradesh covers an impressive area of 19,107 square meters. Gujarat's Kabir Vad tree comes in second with an area of 17,520 square meters, followed by the Giant Banyan tree in Majhi, Uttar Pradesh, spanning 16,770 square meters.

Banyan Tree And Indian Culture

The Banyan tree holds deep connections with Yama, the god of death, and is often planted near crematoriums outside villages. It is believed to be a dwelling for spirits, with Vetals and Pisachas hanging from its branches.

Indigenous Indians called it the Vata-vriksha. When the British arrived in India, they noticed the Bania community gathering under a large fig tree, which they named the Banyan tree after them. Technically known as Ficus benghalensis and belonging to the Fig family, the Banyan tree is one of many sacred fig trees worldwide. The Ficus religiosa or Pipal tree gained fame during Buddhist times, as Gautama Siddhartha attained enlightenment beneath it. In the biblical story of Adam and Eve, they used fig leaves to cover themselves after eating the Forbidden Fruit.

The Banyan tree prevents the growth of any grass beneath it, symbolizing the absence of rebirth and renewal. While it provides shade, it does not offer sustenance. Therefore, it is not included in fertility rituals like marriage and childbirth, which involve plants that bear fruit and have short lifespans, such as banana, mango, coconut, betel, rice, and grass.


The location of this tree is approximately 8 km away from the Narora Power Plant in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

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