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Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya

The sacred bo tree renowned as ‘Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya’, in Mahameghavana gardens in Anuradhapura, is believed to be the southern branch of the ancient sacred Sri Maha Bodhiya in Buddha Gaya in India, under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment or ‘nirvana’.

Brought to Sri Lanka by the female priest Theri Sangamitta, the daughter of the great Indian Emperor Asoka, it is considered to be the oldest living tree in the world, with a written history.

One of the most sacred relics for Buddhists around the globe, the acts of worship and ‘pooja’ for the tree are often a colourful amalgamation of beautifully arranged fragrant flowers, brightly lit clay oil lamps and burned incense.  Adding to the ambience is the sound of the synchronised chanting of Buddhist ‘gatha’ and ‘sutta’ by the devotees gathered.  Especially on full moon ‘poya’ nights, it is a truly delightful experience to observe how devotees carry out these Buddhist traditions and rituals.

In addition, excavations in the surrounding area have led to the discovery of several ancient structures constructed by the Sinhalese monarchs.  Well-preserved, these are now open for visitors to view!

Title image by: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

Type

Culture and Heritage

Nature and Outdoors

Tips and suggestions

  • Religious/Cultural Site – Dress Modestly

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