The pipal tree was known as the Tree of Knowledge or Tree of Wisdom in ancient India. The pipal or bodhi tree at the Mahabodhi Temple is said to be a direct descendant of the original Bodhi Tree. When Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment, he achieved it at Bodh Gaya under what became known as the Bodhi Tree or Sacred Fig Tree.
It is considered to be one of the most sacred trees for the Hindus. The religious importance of this tree is that it represents the presence and blessings of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.
The sacred fig tree is an evergreen tropical plant with an irregular and spreading form. It grows quickly and develops into a large and vivacious tree when planted in a good location with adequate water and sunlight. The use of its leaves, fruit, seeds, bark, roots, and woody stem have been documented since ancient times for their medicinal properties. This has led to it being called "the plant of joy".
The Ficus religiosa is a species of Ficus native to central, south and southeast Asia. The plant varies from 5–25 m (16–82 ft) tall, with large leaves carried on stems that are more-or-less erect. The leaves are heart-shaped with 3–7 lobes, 6–18 cm (2–7 inches) long and 4–13 cm (1 1⁄2–5 1⁄4 in) across.
The fruit is a small fig 2–3 cm (1 inch) in diameter, purple-black in color, containing a single seed; it is sweet but astringent until fully ripe.
Box plants grow best when planted in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Plants do not require any serious amount of maintenance other than watering when dry. They can tolerate any type of soil including sandy soils or alkaline soils.