Footprints Of African Baobab Trees In India

For thousands of years, India has remained as a constant source of muse & inspiration for explorers. This time, it’s the famous African Baobab Tree’s traces.

Baobab Trees are highly useful for mankind and anyone living in Africa would be able to tell you that. Other than being generously hospitable to several species, Baobab facilitates pulpy nutritious seeds that remain edible for a long time.

How did they reach India?

The first discovery shows that the Baobab trees found in India are thousand years old. Since no really knows how they landed here, it is believed that either the fruit pods floated from Africa to India through ocean currents pelting the Indian shores or they were brought by traders (Arab).

Researchers describe the arrival of these trees in India by understanding the combined genetic analysis of these trees from Africa, India, the Mascarenes and Malaysia. Thorough cognizance of years of trade and history of Indian periods served as a major source in comprehending the dispersal of the trees.

The study shows that the Baobab trees found in India are of the same species that are found in Africa. However, the expanses covered in India are comparatively low than that in Africa. This has resulted in the belief that Baobab trees are not originated in India, but brought here by extrinsic force. Also, that their placement is more likely to be done by humans than the ocean currents.

Secondly, the kind of Baobab trees that are found in India do not just belong to one but innumerable biogeographic regions of Africa, resulting in the assumption that they were brought here much earlier than assumed.

These Indian trees show the closest relationship with the trees that are found in the coastal and inland Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, and West Africa.

Bridging relationship between the trees around globe

The earliest interaction between the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia and Africa goes back to 4,000 years ago. Several traders travelled from Africa to India with the chief credits going to Swahili-Arab networks. 18th and 19th century also serve as a promising period for bringing the African Baobab tree to India.


In India, Baobab trees can be found in Gujrat, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur Dhar and Mumbai.

About the author:

Shewali loves to cook. She is mostly travelling; if not blabbering or gorging. That’s all folks!