The Great Banyan Tree is a 250-year-old tree that covers about 14,500 square meters of land (3.5 square acres) in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden near Kolkata (Calcutta), making it the widest tree in the world. From a distance, the tree has the appearance of a forest, but what appear to be individual trees are actually aerial roots, around 2,800 of them.
After the tree was struck by lightning in 1925 it became diseased, and the tree’s main 15.7-meter-wide (51-foot) trunk had to be removed. Fortunately, the tree itself remains healthy.
A 330-meter-long road was constructed around the tree so that visitors could drive around the circumference, but the Great Banyan continues to spread beyond, growing wider with each passing year.