Less than an hour’s drive from Bangalore, India’s third largest city, and almost unnoticed by tourists, extends the tree that aspired to become a forest or, at least, one that many would mistake for one. It is the Thimmamma Marrimanu, a specimen that is among the largest in the world, with more than 19,000 square meters.
The merit, in addition to the specimen itself since its species – the banyan tree – is the national tree of India, from which no one dares to remove a single leaf, is also due to the place on which it sits and the work they do on it local workers who guide its roots through posts, reinforce the heaviest branches and ensure that your tree does not run out of water and continues to grow. At the moment, it does so at a rate of about 6 inches a year.
With this growth, the extent that its crown has reached is better understood when the longevity of this tree is known : more than five hundred years. Moreover, the Hindus in the area put a date and reason for his birth, creating a legend about the Thimmamma Marrimanu. It is said that it originated in 1433, and that it did so from one of the masts of a funeral pyre to which a woman, Thimmamma, threw herself after her husband died.
From that mast, following the legend, this tree would emerge that today has more than 4,000 roots and that is confused with a forest due to the physiognomy of the species, also known as the Banyan tree and associated with the Hindu deities Brahma, Visnu and Siva. In addition, in homage to Thimmamma, in the nucleus of this banyan tree, under its foliage, there is a temple.
Thus, the banyan tree does not grow from the ground, like most species, but does so the other way around after germinating on a wall or in another tree on which it spreads braids until it reaches the ground. Then, it clings to the ground, it hardens and ends up swallowing the specimen on which it grew to continue expanding its branches horizontally and repeating the same operation, with new trunks that cling to the ground creating the illusion of being before a great grove.
With all its legend, Thimmamma Marrimanu continues to grow slowly in a clearing between mountains in the vicinity of Anantapur, where Hindus continue to approach it to plague its branches with ties, as tradition dictates, and even make it a place of pilgrimage. And it is that in this banyan tree, one of the many that grow in India, the locals see magical properties so that curses fall on whoever cuts a leaf or, in the opposite sense, to increase the fertility of couples without children.
Photos holidayiq.com – theworldofinterestingfacts – avalokarts