Legendary Trees of Asia

If you’re planning to tour Asia, try to visit these legendary trees of the continent. Each one has its own interesting stories to share; one of them was even an instrument in one of the most gruesome killings in history.

Strangler Fig Trees (Cambodia) 

Ta Prohm, a modern day name of a temple in Angkor, Cambodia, built in the late 12th and early 13th century has been left much in its original condition in which it was found including the trees with their long endless spreading roots looking like octopus tentacles coiling among the ruins that makes it one of Cambodia’s tourist attractions. The larger species are said to be either silk-cotton tree (Ceiba oentandra) or thipok (Tetrameles nudiflora), and the smaller trees are either the strangler fig (Ficcus gibbosa) or Gold Apple (Diopyros decandra).

Cedars of God (Lebanon)

The Cedars of God (Arz el Rab) is a small forest of about 400 Lebanon Cedar trees in Mount Lebanon. The trees are remnants of what used to be a thick forest in the mountains of Lebanon during biblical times. The Cedars of Lebanon are mentioned in the Bible more than 70 times. The wood was exploited by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians and was valued by historical figures including Herod and Julius Caesar; it was used by Solomon to build the First Temple in Jerusalem. Today, the Cedars of God is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is strictly protected by the Lebanese government.

The Great Banyan (India)

The Great Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) is a 250 year old Banyan tree that is a major tourist attraction in the Indian Botanical Gardens of Kolkata, India. With its 2880 prop-roots that occupies an area of about 14,500 sq m (1.5 has; 4 acres), the tree looks more like a forest than a single tree.

Sri Maha Bodhi (Sri Lanka)

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Fig tree that is one of the most sacred relics of Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is said to be a cutting of the Bodhi tree of India under which Buddha attained Enlightenment. The Sacred Fig was planted in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by King Devanampiyatissa in the year 249 BC. Sri Maha Bodhi is the world’s oldest living human-planted tree with a known planting date

Tree of Life (Bahrain)

The Tree of Life (Shajarat al-Hayah) is a four century year old mesquite tree that stands alone in the middle of Bahrain’s barren desert. How the tree survives in the hot, parched dry land with no source of water remains a mystery. The Tree of Life is one of the top tourist attractions in Bahrain. The locals believe that the site is the actual location of the Garden of Eden.

Chankiri Tree (Cambodia)

Remember Cambodia’s Killing Fields? To refresh your memory, the Killing Fields were several places in Cambodia where at least 200,000 people were executed by the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979) and about 2 million were estimated to have died from the Khmer Rouge policies, including diseases and starvation. The Chankiri Tree or Killing Tree was not only a witness but an innocent instrument of the evil deeds as children and infants were slung against to kill them.