Biggest Banyan tree in the world – Thimmamma marimanu

22 November 2014

When we planned Gandikota trip, we were asked to visit Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Kadiri. The Temple turned out to be a religious one with little architectural value. Without wasting much time we came out of the Temple. But our search of places near Kadiri had nevertheless resulted in finding a beautiful place!!

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Kadiri
I had always thought the Banyan tree in Calcutta botanical garden was the biggest one in the world. While looking for places near Kadiri I found out that my understanding was wrong. The largest tree was in fact near Kadiri!! That was something new stuff.

The banyan tree
The tree is called Thimmamma Marimanu and it is about 25 km from Kadiri. It is about 600 years old and occupies an area of 2.5 hectares. Entered in Guinness book of world record in 1989 by Regret Iyer (I had met him when he visited my native place couple of years ago. He is an amazing personality!!), it has about 1650 prop roots.

Way to Temple inside banyan tree

Why Thimmamma Marimanu?
Legend says that she stood in the ranks of Sathi Savithri and Sathi Anasuya with respect to her devotion to her husband. Apparently she died by sitting on the funeral pyre of her dead husband Balaveeraiah. The Banyan tree planted near the pyre grew into this gigantic size. A Temple is now constructed at the base of the tree and daily offerings are made. The tree henceforth has got her name.

Several roots

Today a Temple stands below the banyan tree. The rest of the tree is fenced and tourists are not allowed inside it. We had to remove our footwear and pay entrance fees to enter into the banyan tree. The ticketing person tried to pocket some money by not giving receipts for the amount paid. It is hard to argue in such situations if one does not know the local language. I just hurled invectives in Kannada at him for living a life by cheating people. He understood it and started defending his actions. Luckily he did not pick up the fight. Seems that he was embarrassed!!

Looks at support for the tree!!
The tree is big and it looks like the part of it is cut to make way for Temple. We can also see that the tree is growing each year!! One can also walk around the tree.

The tree is growing!!
There is a mini zoo that hosts some birds and a deer. A children play area is also constructed opposite to the tree.

Tanu in happy mood

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