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Sacred Banyan Tree

Place of Worship Madagascar, Madagascar

Nosy Be’s ‘Scared Tree’ is a world within itself Sacred Banyan Tree

Miary’s village is well-known for its sacred banyan which is a fig tree characterized by long descending branches that reach the ground and thus look like roots. Miary’s banyan is repeatedly cited as the most representative of the island’s essence. The village is reachable by road, 10 km northeast of Tulear. Planted over 200 years ago, today this banyan has roots over an area of more than 5000 square meters – which is seriously more impressive than it sounds… It lies on the coast beyond the tiny village of Mahatsinjo, and the sacred tree was planted by the Queen of the Sakalava tribe in 1836. Nowadays, the Queen of Nosy Be makes an annual pilgrimage to sacrifice a zebu and gain benediction. It is a sacred tree with Indian origins and worshipped by its inhabitants. The fig tree is huge and its roots come out of the earth like tentacles. It is within an enclosure and you will be able to visit this magnificent place that has abundant legends and references to the royal ancestors. It a silent dark place really convenient for meditation which gives it a singular charm.

According to an old legend, long time ago, the village was the victim of ceaseless waves from the Fiherenana river that boards the area. Therefore, the villagers tied together a young man and a virgin with banyan leaves in order to sacrifice them as a tribute and thus release themselves from this malediction. The river accepted the gift and withdrew. Afterward, a tree grew where the sacrifice took place and would eventually represent the reincarnation of the two children that were given to the river.

Nosy Be Island
Nosy Be, Madagascar

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This article uses material from this Wikipedia article which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License