A drawing by Uma Sridhar

Every old tree is a veritable living universe, and collectively these have developed into unique habitats – home to myriad birds and creatures, big and small. Of all the trees we have in India, banyans are probably the most iconic in this respect. Irreplaceable in that they take decades to grow and centuries to mature; wondrous in the way their canopies interlock above the roads; stately and magnificent natural wonders unto themselves. If these gentle giants die, they take with them entire ecosystems, histories, and an important part of Hyderabad’s heritage. Cutting them would be murder most foul.

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