Ficus benghalensis

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Sep 17 2017

Tags: ,

Category: Asia, India

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Focal Length:14.3mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Why is the Indian fig tree with its characteristic hanging aerial roots called banyan? That’s an interesting story, which has nothing to do with its sacredness about which I contemplated in last week’s post.

Banya seems to be the Gujarati word for merchant. Via the Portuguese and later the English in India the word banyan acquired first the meaning of Hindu merchant and then, secondly, Indian fig tree, because the Hindu merchants could invariably be found doing their business in the villages under the large and shady foliage of these monumental trees.

Photos of the week: Banyan tree, Lucknow, India 2017

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