Pipal, or the sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) is one of the most revered trees in Hinduism. According to legend it was under it, that the Buddha attained enlightenment in contemplation and meditation, so this tree is sacred to Buddhists too. And though the leaves of the tree can serve as food for the elephants, the trunk and the branches can not be used as fuel, and to cut Pipal is the gravest sin. There is often a lingam or a small temple dedicated to Vishnu or Krishna at the roots Pipal. On Sundays and during the wedding ceremonies believers lay offerings under the tree - rice, flowers, incense sticks. In North India Pipal is honored during each full moon. The ritual is intended to bring love and happiness, to protect women from widowhood - it is believed that on certain days the goddess Lakshmi dwells in the tree.
Often you can see the leaves of Pipal hanging from the doors or the windows to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.
Pipal is one of the most long-lived trees. Ayurveda widely uses its bark, leaves, roots and fruits, all of which have medicinal value.