The Indian Fig Tree in Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha

Ficus racemosa is the biological name of the cluster fig tree. Also popular as the Indian fig tree or Gular in the local language, the tree belong the Moraceae botanical species under the Mulberry family. The unicity of this tree is that the figs or the fruits of the tree grow in close proximity to the trunk that is savoured with great liking by the common Indian macaque or monkeys and birds.

In India, the Indian fig tree is quite popular in the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; northern state of Uttar Pradesh and is found in plenty in Maharashtra, Gujarat and parts of Madhya Pradesh. Considered to be quite sacred in the Hindu religion, the tree also known as Udumbara in Sanskrit finds mention in ancient historical and Hindu religious books. It is also famously known as the Blue Lotus amongst Buddhists.

A deciduous tree, the Indian fig tree grows to a height of about 10 to 16 meters. Green coloured leaves grow close to each other from January to April providing shade to passers-by. Fruits are elliptical in shape and are edible. Green in colour when young, the fruits become orange coloured on ripening.

Different names of the Indian fig tree in India

Ficus Racemosa or the cluster fig tree, also known as Gular in Hindi, has different names in different parts of the country.

Names Across India:The tree goes by different names across the country, reflecting its cultural significance:

  • Bengali: Udumbara
  • Hindi: Gular or Dumar
  • Marathi: Umbar
  • Gujarati: Goolar
  • Kannada: Atti Mara
  • Malayalam: Aththi
  • Oriya: Dimri
  • Tamil: Atti
  • Telugu: Bodda
  • Urdu: Dumar

Cluster Fig Tree Benefits

All parts of the Indian fig tree contain different phytochemicals that make it extremely helpful. The fruit is a power-house and storehouse of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin B2, potassium and iron. All parts of the cluster fig tree have plenty of medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Here is a synopsis of the same:-

  • Latex extracted from the tree trunk acts as a great healing agent and works exceedingly well on wounds, inflamed parts, boils, mosquito bites and even mums.
  • Juice of the fruit is great to relieve thirst.
  • Juice prepared from the bark of the tree is exceedingly effective in treating mouth ulcers.
  • Eating the seeds of the fruit on a regular basis helps in keeping the skin looking young and beautiful.
  • Specially prepared concoction of the fig fruit helps in cleansing the liver and the spleen.
  • The leaves are also known to heal liver-related infections.
  • For diarrhoea, a decoction prepared from the bark of the tree provides relief to patients.
  • The fruit of the tree is used locally to heal stomach ache, constipation and piles.
  • The fruits are recommended to people suffering from diabetes as it helps in keeping the blood sugar levels to normal.
  • For ages, Indian sages and Ayurveda specialists have used different parts of the tree to treat leprosy.
  • The fresh fig juice is considered extremely effective for treating fever.

There are innumerable benefits of the Gular tree and its parts. No doubt most Indian households even today have an Indian fig tree in their home compounds or in a nearby park.

Gular Tree Kanha

The Kanha National Park has been truly blessed by nature in terms of the flora and fauna of the place. The dense forest has 200 pus species of flowering plants and more than 70 different species of trees are found here. Amongst all the various trees in Kanha, the Gular Tree Kanha is also a common sight. It is known as Umar in the native language here.

Surwahi Social Kanha and the Indian fig tree

The premise of Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha proudly boasts of few Indian fig trees, of which two places have been exclusively dedicated to the Gular trees.

  • The Umar tree is very dear to the owners of the Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha and taking into account that the tree is highly revered in India, the property is proud to have one such Gular tree that has been fondly named as Uncle Umar. It is more than 100 years old and due to its thick foliage and dense growth, it is one of the largest trees in the premises of the upcoming home-stay. Here, underneath the huge sacred tree, the shaded area was the first part that was covered with a structure and named the Cobb Guard House. The management took care that the construction underneath this centurion Uncle Umar was done with natural elements that include a hundred percent natural mud mixed with rice straw. The place has been built by the local masons based on the native construction style called the cobbed wall construction technique that is a safely guarded secret of the region for ages and decorated by the native artisans manually. Other than the sustainable construction, items like wooden logs, bamboo doors and windows were procured from the local people when they shifted from their kuchcha houses to pucca houses.
  • In the water well of Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha stands tall and graciously three India fig-trees, attached to the wall of the well. This well is the homestays’ only groundwater well. What is unique is that the well structure and the trees have co-existed for years here with not even the locals sure about their age. While the water from the well serves many purposes; the trees form a part of the upcoming site’s adventure activities where visitors can climb up and down and enjoy the sight of the water from the well hitting the lower parts of the trees. Fig fruits from the trees are also relished by birds that come here to drink water at the well and are treated to the fallen fruits on the walls of the well.