Ficus religiosa or sacred fig is a species of fig native to the Indian subcontinent and Indochina. It belongs to Moraceae, the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the bodhi tree, pippala tree, peepul tree, peepal tree or ashwattha tree (in India and Nepal).
|Leaves and trunk, showing the distinctive heart-shaped leaf|
The sacred fig is considered to have a religious significance in three major religions of the Indian subcontinent: Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. It is the type of tree under which Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. Hindu and Jain ascetics also consider the tree to be sacred and often meditate under them.
- The Plant List, Ficus religiosa L.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). . Encyclopædia Britannica. 21 (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 45.
- Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971, p. 1014
- "Ficus religiosa — Peepal". Flowers of India. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Stephen Forbes 2016. The oldest historical tree in the world. medium.com. Medium. Retrieved 23 July 2018.