A Banian Tree, consecreted for Worship in a Guzerat Village
Plate seventy-two from the third volume of James Forbes' "Oriental Memoirs". Forbes(1749-1819)was given the added jurisdiction of the small district of Chandode in Gujarat 'to which Brahmins attributed peculiar sanctity'. Next to most of the temples in Gujarat, may be seen the 'sacred banyan' or 'Burr' or ficus religiosa, the pipal. 'This tree was sketched, not only for its perfect form, and the ramifications and trunks surrounding the parent stems, (from which they did not then extend to a great distance), but because it gave an exact representation of the village deity...in those small hamlets where no building is appropriated to Hindoo worship. To this stone, sometimes rude and shapeless, and sometimes sculptured into the form of a deity, the peasant repairs to perform his daily devotions'.