Adyar Banyan Tree & Theosophical Society in Chennai

The Adyar Banyan tree (Adyar Aala maram) is located in the campus of Theosophical society, in Adyar, Chennai. This tree is believed to be around 450 years old and is thought to be one of the largest banyan trees in the whole world. The total area occupied by the tree and its offshoots, is estimated to be around 40,000 square feet. Actually, the main trunk was uprooted by a big cyclone in 1989 and only the branches survive today along with a small portion of the main trunk.

Adyar-banyan-tree-1

Adyar-banyan-tree-2

The above two photos provide the view of this banyan tree, as seen from the right side and left side of the viewing point (respectively). Tourists are allowed till this place and since the central trunk of this tree is not there, one can only see its offshoots all around the place.

You can see much better photos and a complete description about the Adyar Aala maram/ Adyar Banyan Tree from this blog page.

This is not exactly a tourist spot, but since I went there anyway, I came to know that there are people from around 55 countries, living in the campus of the Theosophical society. So, I became inquisitive about Theosophical society and Theosophy.

I got the below quotes from the website of Theosophical society:

“Members of the Theosophical society are united by a common search of truth and desire to learn the meaning and purpose of existence through study, reflection, self-responsibility and loving service”

“Theosophy offers a philosophy which renders life intelligible and demonstrates that justice and love guides the cosmos”

Many luminous personalities were involved with the Theosophical society, including Annie Besant, Jiddu Krishnamurti, George Arundale, etc.

According to Wikipedia, the Aims/ Ideals of the Theosophical Society are as follows:

1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.

2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science.

3. To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.

Well, that’s some philosophical search initiative, don’t you think? :) BTW, the Theosophical Society was started in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (among others) and one section of its headquarters moved to Adyar in Chennai by 1883.

Destination Infinity

12 thoughts on “Adyar Banyan Tree & Theosophical Society in Chennai

  1. Loved the place, the pillar looks gorgeous! And a 450 years old tree!
    Would love to know what they understand by, //3. To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.//

  2. It must be an experience to visit a tree that is 450 years old and the largest Banyan tree in the world :)
    Thank you for sharing info about the Theosophical society, it does sound pretty interesting (I had no clue about them till now).

  3. It gives me such a great pride to say that I belong to that city. And at the same time, puts me in shame that I never knew about this so long, and haven’t seen this! Will make sure I visit this place next time in chennai. I knew that theosophical society is a nice campus…a tree for 450 years…oh and those branches are so gorgeous! I read through the link that you shared. The pictures were amazing!

  4. It was thrilling to learn there exists a banyan tree in Chennai which is of 450 years old occupying 40,000 square feet. Its really an amazing and a wonderful thing to learn.

  5. that was an interesting post.

    hey never knew you are in Chennai . are you from this place Rajesh?

    yesterday i moved to Pune forever and you wont believe i was in Chennai last 5.5 years but never heard of this place. damn, i missed it!!!

  6. I had visited this place 2-3 times. Attended a wedding inside the campus too.

    The pictures are really great. I had seen it before 1989 too, but never knew the importance of it at that time.

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures, D.I.

  7. Had always heard about THE BIG BANYAN TREE…finally got myself turned inside the gate yesterday…its an amazing view and awesome experience to be near its offshoots…

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