There is a mulberry tree, said to be 2,500 years old in Joshimath. It is called ‘Kalpavriksha’ or the divine wish-fulfilling tree. It is said that Shankaracharya meditated in a cave under this tree, from the age of 11 years till 16 years of age. He received enlightenment and re-established the idol at the Badrinath Temple which had been immersed in the Alaknanda river by non-believers. He is said to be the avatar of Lord Shiva. There is a temple under this very tree today. There is a plaque which proclaims that the tree is 2,500 years old, but this fact seems to have eluded the world as the list of top 10 oldest trees in the world does not include this tree. Like most under explored places in India, this does not figure in the lists of ancient trees, though that list has trees under 2,500 years old.
It is worth a visit, if only for the serenity and peace that surrounds it. It never hurts to make a wish too.
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