The Sri Maha Bodhi, also known as the Sacred Bo Tree, is a sacred fig tree located in the city of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is considered one of the oldest and most important trees in the world, and is revered as a symbol of Buddhism and the birthplace of the Buddhist religion.
The Sri Maha Bodhi tree is said to have grown from a cutting of the original bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It is believed that the tree was brought to Sri Lanka over 2,000 years ago by the Thera Sangamitta, daughter of Emperor Asoka of India. The tree has since been worshipped and venerated by Buddhists from all over the world, making it a major tourist destination in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Maha Bodhi tree is surrounded by a sacred enclosure, known as the Maha Bodhi Vihara, which is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. The enclosure is also home to several other important Buddhist sites, such as the Kuttam Pokuna, a twin pond that is said to have been used by the Buddha and his disciples. In addition, if you walk to 1km to the north from Sri Maha Bodhi, you can see Ruwanwaliseya Buddhist temple. The stupa of Ruwanweliseya is considered one of the largest brick structures in the world, with its dome believed to have been gilded with gold. It is said to have been built by King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century BCE to house the sacred relics of the Buddha, following his victory over King Elara.
Visitors to the Sri Maha Bodhi can learn about the rich history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the significance of the bodhi tree in Buddhist teachings. They can also pay their respects to the tree by offering flowers and incense, and participate in traditional Buddhist rituals and ceremonies.
In addition to its religious significance, the Sri Maha Bodhi is also a stunning work of nature. The tree is over 2,000 years old and boasts a massive trunk that is over 40 feet in circumference. Its lush green foliage provides a peaceful and serene environment, making it a popular spot for visitors to relax and meditate.
In conclusion, the Sri Maha Bodhi is a truly remarkable and historic site that should not be missed by anyone visiting Sri Lanka. Its religious significance, stunning beauty, and rich history make it an unforgettable destination that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, the Sri Maha Bodhi is sure to provide you with a unique and unforgettable experience.