Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sri Maha Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura

It is hard to believe - but there is no shadow of doubt at all - that this small tree with limbs so slender that they must be supported on iron crutches, is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world (2,250 years).

It has never since been without its hereditary attendants and the care, to the very end, of the country's kings. As lately as the reign of King Keerti Sri Rajasingha, a wall was built around the tree. In 1966 it was enclosed in a golden railing.

The great ancient Sinhalese Buddhist monuments of Anurdhapura are clustered around this Peepal tree (ficus religiosa) called Sri Maha Bodhi, a sapling of the Peepal Tree at Buddha Gaya, Northern India in whose shelter Gautama Buddha attained supreme enlightenment.
The sapling was brought to Sri Lanka by Buddhist nun Sanghamitta, the daughter of King Asoka of India in the 3rd Century B.C. To the north of the well protected and well adorned tree are three great monasteries: the Mahavihara, the Abhayagiri and the Jetavana.

Picture gallery of Sri Maha Bodhi Tree


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