Banyan Tree (batgachh) an evergreen tree, Ficus bengalensis, of the family Moraceae, with spreading branches and numerous aerial roots developing into accessory trunks. A mature banyan tree becomes very large and creates a huge canopy over the whole trunk. The tree is commonly found all over the country.
The wood of the accessory trunks is stronger than that of the main stem. Grey, moderately hard and durable, it is used for making tent poles, bars for palanquins, cheap furniture, cart yokes and boxes. Hindus regard it as a sacred plant. It also has medicinal value.
Bishwabat (The Great Banyan) Situated at the northwestern side of Bethuli village of Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah district. It used to be known as Mallikpur (Suitala) banyan tree but people have now started calling it Bishwabat because of its gigantic size.
The original tree gradually generated 45 smaller trees which cover an area of 2.33 hectares. The original tree is now dead. Of its aerial roots, 345 have penetrated the ground and 38 are still hanging. It is said that the tree grew 200-250 years ago on the wall of a local potter's well. It may be mentioned here that the banyan tree of the Calcutta botanical garden covers an area of 2.22 hectares. [Md Zulfiker Ali Bhutto]