Giant rubber tree top tourist draw in Arunachal

A giant rubber tree over 100 years old in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh is emerging as a tourist attraction after being declared by the Forest Department as the largest tree in the state.

Locally known as "Atang Ane", the rubber tree (Ficus Elestica) with a girth of 59.3 metres was located near the remote Kallek Village in East Siang district's Kebang circle under Yingkiong Forest Division.
The tree is situated in the sub-tropical forest range at 28 degrees north latitude and 95 degrees east longitude. Its elevation is measured up to 648 metres.

The identification of the largest tree in the state was made under a plan, mooted by state Governor J J Singh, to add to the tourism potential of the Himalayan state.

According to State Forest Research Institute scientist R K Taj, "Such trees are traditionally important for religious purpose also. The plant is also important in decorating avenues and lawns."

Situated in the northern side of Kallek Village, one can visit the tree after a three-hour trek from the nearest motorable road.

"The tree was planted in the early part of the 20th century, much before the Anglo-Abor War of 1911, by villager Sibeng Tamuk," Kallek head gaon burah (village elder) Tamang Tamuk said.

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