banyan tree bajali
Image: Northeast Now

In Assam, the 207 years old banyan tree located at Jalikhata village of Bajali sub-divison in Barpeta district is believed to be one of the second largest living trees in Asia. The tree is now submerged by flood.

As a result of incessant rain for last few days following surging river water of Kaldia poses serious threat of flood. The ‘Kalibari Siva Than’ at Jalikhata which have been constructed alongside of an ancient banyan trees have totally been submerged by river water of Kaldia.

The Kaldia river water is flowing over the embankment and a portion have been washed away and the entire ‘Kalibari Siva Than’ area has been submerged where Siva temple was constructed.

The current of flood water possess serious threat to the ancient tree nearly 207 years old.

The people have been demanding to save the tree from the flood water of Kaldia river from a long time and lack of proper measure the tree is under the threat of flood water yet again.

The locals claim that the tree is second oldest in the Asia and it covers around five bighas of land and is of 155 metres in height.

The tree is one of the major points of attraction for the visitors, especially students of various educational institutions of the State for project work and they have been celebrating the tree’s birthday on World Environment Day since 2012 to bring awareness about its deteriorating condition.

Few days back the nature lovers of the area had celebrated the 207th birthday of the tree. They feel that the tree is the nation’s property and that it should be saved at any cost.

Ananda Khataniar, brand ambassador of Forest and Environment department disclosed that he has already informed the matter to the deputy commissioner and higher officials to take immediate anti-erosion measure to save the tree at any cost.

“We believe that this banyan tree is also the oldest tree in the region. The tree is not only important because of the conservation point of view but also due to the traditional beliefs.  So the authorities should take proper steps to save the tree at any cost,” said some of the people of the area.

There is a tremendous social relevance of the banyan tree to the local people.

Sasanka Talukdar

Sasanka Talukdar is Northeast Now Correspondent in Pathsala. He can be reached at: sasanka140@gmail.com

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