The Strangler fig

Banyan tree or the Strangler fig growing from a pipe fitted on the wall lining the busy main road.

Probably someone would uproot it before its roots could cause damage to the wall.

Banyan tree which is our national tree, is abundantly found in the rural as well as urban areas .They often use the branches of big trees or fissures within rocks as support, ultimately taking over by destroying the supporting host.

Often, they grow on the sides of buildings with the roots penetrating the walls and are called stranglers. 

The banyan tree enjoys huge cultural importance in India. It is considered sacred among the Hindu population with temples and shrines being built under its shade quite often.

Banyan tree is commonly symbolic of an eternal life as it has a very lengthy lifespan. Married Hindu women often practice religious rituals around the banyan tree to pray for long life and well-being of their husbands.

It is ironic how a tree revered in a culture is also an epiphyte and drains life from its host, whether living or non-living.

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