Shri Maha Bodhiya

Shri Maha Bodhiya - the oldest recorded tree in the world

The Sri Maha bodhiya is perhaps the oldest living tree in the world. Around 245 BC, Sanghamitta Theri brought with her a branch of the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya (India) under which the Buddha attained enlightment. This tree has grown and flourished under much care in these precincts and is revered by pilgrims from all over the Buddhist world.

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is in Mahameuna park in Anuradhapura. It was planted in 249 BC, the regal period of king Devanampiyatissa. This the southern branch of the Sri Maha Bodhi at Boddagaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. Theri Sangamitta brought Sri Maha Bodhi to Sri Lanka.

It happened on Esala full moon day in 249 BC. After that many kings built walls and gateways to protect the Sri Maha Bodhi. And also bodhi terrace and statues of Lord Buddha built by kings. Nowadays there are two golden fences around the Sri Maha Bodhi. This is the oldest surviving historical tree in the world.

The tree was planted on a high terrace about 21 feet (6.5 m) above the ground and surrounded by railings. Today, the tree is one of the most sacred relics in Sri Lanka, respected by Buddhists all over the world. A wall was built around the tree during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha, to protect it from wild elephants.

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