We have seen some beautiful Banyan trees, and especially on the Taj property Goa. The Banyan tree is the National Tree of India and actually is a fig tree. As the trees get really old, they develop aerial prop roots that grow into their own woody trunks such that on really big trees it can be hard to tell where the tree begins and where it ends.
Many rural villages in India have a banyan tree as a focal point for relaxing, chatting, having chair, and often a bus stop is there. Often a small deity is present at the base of the tree. The trees are breathtakingly beautiful. They remind me of the big redwoods in California in that they make you feel so small. And that I don’t think photos really capture just how giant they feel!
Not surprisingly, Banyan trees have spiritual significance. Buddha was said to have found enlightenment while meditating under a Banyan tree. The leaf of the banyan tree is said to be the resting place for the God Krishna. After consuming all the universe during the time of destruction, Krishna absorbs everything created and turns himself to a child small enough to fit into the tiny leaf of the banyan tree, until Krishna decides to recreate everything back out from him.
The kids had a blast swinging at the biggest banyan tree on the property. The limbs were so high that the ropes of the swing were super long, making for a long and thrilling ride. Kaden said it reminded her of the pirate ship ride at Del Grosso’s park.
On our way out of town this weekend, we stopped to see theDoda Alada Mara (translated as the Big Banyan Tree, located in the village of Ramohalli. The single plant covers three acres and is one of the largest in the world, rumored to be over 400 years old.
Even cooler for the kids–they counted 31 monkeys living in this tree!
Plus two more monkeys is 33!
little girl in front of the Shiva temple located at the center of the tree