Why does the tropical Ficus benghalensis grows in the mountains?
Pokhara is the famous "Capital of hippies" in Nepal, Himalayas. Pokhara is located at an altitude of 827 m in a valley surrounded by high mountains. There is a beautiful view of the Himalayan peaks from the city. Himalayas protect the city from the north winds. Therefore, the climate in Pokhara is quite warm and a lot of tropical plants grows in the town. One of them is this huge banyan (Ficus benghalensis). The photo clearly shows aerial roots growing down to the ground to become new tree trunks. There are some new trunks in the background. They are actually part of the same large tree in the foreground.
Generally, banyans grow not only in the Indian subcontinent. I myself
photographed banyans on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf (Iran). It seems, the
Iranian banyans are Persian relatives of the classic Bengali ficus. They
produce aerial roots that grow down to the ground to become new trunks.
Gradually one tree becomes a whole grove. The Persians call this plant banyan