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Timings : Open 24 hours

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

The Great Banyan Tree, Howrah Overview

The Great Banyan tree, about 250 years old is located in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden in Howrah. It is quite popular because of the gigantic size it has grown into in the past years, expanding to about 4.67 acres of land. The tree continues to grow beyond the 330-metre long road that was built around it circumference. It has been mentioned in many travel books since the 19th century.

More than an individual tree, it appears more like a dense forest. The highest branch rises to 24.5 metres, and the crown of the tree has a circumference of  486 metres. There are 3772 aerial roots that connect to the ground and the height of the majestic tree is almost equivalent to that of the Gateway of India. Botanically called Ficus benghalensis, it bears a fruit similar to a small fig which are eaten by many people.

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The Great Banyan Tree

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History of the Great Banyan Tree

The great banyan tree has faced two major cyclones in the years 1864 and 1867 during which many of its branches were broken and managed to survive it without any major damages. Later on, the original trunk of the tree which measures 51 foot was severely infected with fungus. Thus, it had to be removed in 1925 to preserve the remaining tree.

With the help of many aerial roots that were strong enough to hold the gigantic tree, it began to expand further. It is unknown as to when exactly the tree came to life but references of it can be spotted from travel books dated back to the 19th century. It still continues to attract travellers from all over the world as the humongous size is very much fascinating.

Places to visit nearby

Within the premises of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden there is a lot more greenery to explore. There is a Cactus house just a few metres from the Great Banyan tree which has a lot of cactus plants and other small shrubs. As the botanical garden is located in the banks of the Hoogly river, some time can be spent to enjoy the scenic beauty. Also, there are a lot of temples located closer to the tree.

Best time to visit the Great Banyan Tree

Climate in howrah is quite moderate throughout the year. The climate remains pleasant in the months between October to January when the temperate is mediocre.The peak of summer is during April and May during which the atmosphere becomes quite humid when trip may most preferably be avoided.

How To Reach The Great Banyan Tree

The majestic tree is located at  distance of 12.5 kilometres from central Kolkata. Local transportations are available at ease in different locations of the city. Local buses, trains and metro are accessible at any given time and they connect major parts of the city. Ferry services are also available to connect to the other side of the river. The closest railway station is in Howrah which is 7.8 kilometres away and the nearest airport is in Kolkata at a distance of 29.4 kilometres from the tree. Autos or taxis can be used to commute in comfort to the different places of visit.

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