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peepal     Sacred fig    पीपल | by dw ork
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peepal Sacred fig पीपल

Sacred fig पीपल

From Wikipedia

The Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa) or Bo-Tree (from the Sinhala bo)[1] is a species of banyan fig native to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, southwest China and Indochina east to Vietnam. It is known by a wide range of local names, such as Bo or pou , bawdi or bawdi nyaung in Burmese, Bodhi (in Thai, though pronounced Po). In Hindi and other Indian languages it is known by various names such as, Pipal (peepal, peepul, pippala, pimpal, etc.), arasa maram or Ashvastha tree,Aal or Arayaal tree. It is a large dry season-deciduous or semi-evergreen tree up to 30 m tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 3 m.

The leaves are cordate in shape with a distinctive extended tip; they are 10-17cm long and 8-12cm broad, with a 6-10cm petiole. The fruit is a small fig 1-1.5cm diameter, green ripening purple.


The Bodhi tree and the Sri Maha Bodhi propagated from it are famous specimens of Sacred Fig. The known planting date of the latter, 288 BC, gives it the oldest verified age for any angiosperm plant.


This plant is considered sacred by the followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, and hence the name 'Sacred Fig' was given to it. Siddhartha Gautama is referred to have been sitting underneath a Bo-Tree when he was enlightened (Bodhi), or "awakened" (Buddha). Thus, the Bo-Tree is well-known symbol for happiness, prosperity, longevity and good luck. Today in India, Hindu sadhus still meditate below this tree, and in Theravada Buddhist Southeast Asia, the tree's massive trunk is often the site of Buddhist and animist shrines.


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Taken on July 25, 2009