Banyan Tree Arch - Atlas Obscura

Often, we come across fascinating doors, tunnels, and archways that look straight out of fantasy novels and movies. They feel like magical portals, which will whisk you off to a fairytale place where an adventure awaits.

The sprawling grounds and charming gardens of the University of Pune (now Savitribai Phule Pune University) have continued to delight citizens over the decades. There is something mysterious and enchanting about the lush green landscape surrounding the place. There are artistic streetlamps, stunning fountains, serene stone benches and gigantic old trees peppered all around the campus which add to the beautiful aesthetic. Add to that the chirping of rare bird species and you have a magical fairytale place right here in the heart of the city. 

There are many approaches to the iconic main building which is located in the center of the campus. Out of these, one approach is from the east in the form of a set of stone steps. These steps end up in a cobbled pathway that opens up straight into the gardens around the building. Midway along this path, there stands a magnificent old Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis), which has formed a grand leafy arch over the approach.

From a distance, the archway exudes an otherworldly aura, as if inviting you for a fantasy adventure the moment you step through it. The surroundings around the pathway are lined with trees and there are some buildings of miscellaneous university departments a short distance away. The place is quiet, except for the chirping of birds and the occasional sound of a passing vehicle on the road behind the pathway.

The arch leads the visitor directly into the gardens, offering a stunning view of the main building in all its glory. One can spend a couple of hours here, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the place, and relaxing in the center of nature and history.

Know Before You Go

A short distance east of the main building stands another building called Potdar Sankul. Just south of Potdar Sankul, a cobblestone pathway with stone steps goes west towards the main building. The tree is located on this pathway.

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August 17, 2023

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