World For Nature

Haryana ST

Haryana – Peepal Tree


Common Name: Sacred fig, peepal tree, bodhi tree

Local Name: Pipal (Hindi), Ashvattha (Bengali), Anhot (Assamese)

Scientific Name: Ficus religiosa L.

Description: Peepal is a large, fast-growing deciduous tree with heart-shaped leaves. The tree’s leaves also possess a long stalk, wavy margins and are arranged alternatively. The color of the leaves changes from pink to dark green with age. The strong main rootstock of the tree can penetrate the cemented walls and causes damage to buildings and other structures.  The tree is home to many birds and animals such as monkeys, fruit-eating birds, bats, etc.

Distribution: The tree is native to the Indian Subcontinent and parts of Indochina. The tree grows well at altitudes ranging from 10m to 1,520m.

Importance: The Peepal is considered sacred by the followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It is believed that while in deep meditation under a Bodhi/Peepal Tree in the present-day town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar, Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and came to be known as “Buddha.” In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said, “I am the Peepal Tree among the trees.” Ficus religiosa is also used as a traditional medicine in treating various ailments like diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, gastric problems, etc.

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