Best time to travel to India

Great Banyan Tree in India

A complex system of aerial roots makes this tree look like a forest

Best time: October–March (all year round)

Great Banyan Tree
Great Banyan Tree
Great Banyan Tree
Great Banyan Tree

The Great Banyan tree is a 250-year-old Ficus benghalensis, located in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, in the town of Howrah, not far from Kolkata (Calcutta). The tree has over 3,500 aerial roots which occupy the territory of a small forest. The tree currently covers about 18,918 sq meters (14,500 sq. miles) which makes it the widest tree in the world.

The Great Banyan is the main attraction of the botanic garden, which also boasts a collection of exotic plants from five continents. The main trunk of the tree was contaminated with fungi after it surviving two cyclones, so it had to be amputated in 1925 to keep the remaining parts healthy. The “clonal colony” of the tree continues to expand. A 330-meter road was built around the tree for the visitors to drive around, but the Great Banyan managed to spread beyond it, reaching 450 m.

The Great Banyan Tree attracts visitors year-round. The best time to visit the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden is from October to March, during the cooler and drier winter months. While visiting the gardens, don't hesitate to take a boat ride to enjoy the scenery from the water.

Practical info

Where can you find the Great Banyan Tree in India?

Located in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden near Kolkata, the Great Banyan Tree is a must-see for all visitors to the garden. Show more

What makes the Great Banyan Tree stand out, and how old is it?

The Great Banyan Tree is the world's widest tree, covering an area of 18,918 sq meters, has over 3,500 aerial roots, and is over 250 years old. It owes its unique appearance to a 'clonal colony,' caused by the tree's vertical stems growing roots that develop into multiple trunks when they touch the ground. Show more

What is the complex system of aerial roots that the Great Banyan Tree uses to maintain its size and shape called, and how big is it?

With a coverage area of 18,918 sq meters, the Great Banyan Tree is the world's widest tree. The 'clonal colony' is the term given to the tree's vertical stems' network of aerial roots that descend towards the earth forming multiple trunks. The system enables the Great Banyan Tree to maintain its expansive canopy, living decades, if not centuries longer than other trees. Show more

During which months is it most pleasant to visit Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, and why?

From October to March, the weather is cooler and drier, making it the ideal time to visit Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden. These months offer the most comfortable conditions to explore the impressive collection of exotic plants from around the world housed in the garden, including palms, bamboo, cacti, orchids, and ferns. Show more

What are the other features that make Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden worth visiting besides the Great Banyan Tree?

Beyond the world-renowned Great Banyan Tree, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden hosts a range of exotic plants from five continents, including cacti, palms, orchids, and ferns. Additionally, the garden features a library, an art gallery, a herbarium, and a lecture hall, providing an educational and cultural experience for visitors with interests spanning horticulture, botany, and art. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin