The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa) located in the city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most venerated and oldest living trees in the world and holds immense religious and historical significance for Buddhists worldwide. The tree is believed to be a direct descendant of the original Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, attained enlightenment.
History: The history of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi dates back over 2,300 years. According to historical records, in the 3rd century BCE, Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty in India, after embracing Buddhism, sent his daughter, Princess Sangamitta, to Sri Lanka as a Buddhist missionary. Along with her, she brought a sapling from the original Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya to be planted in Anuradhapura.
The sacred sapling was planted in the Mahamevuna Park in Anuradhapura during the reign of King Devanam Piya Tissa (307-267 BCE). This event marked the formal establishment of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The tree has been carefully preserved and protected by successive Sinhalese kings and later by the Sri Lankan government and Buddhist clergy.
Details: The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is not only revered for its religious significance but also for its age. It is estimated to be more than 2,300 years old, making it one of the oldest known planted trees in the world. The tree stands approximately 32 meters (105 feet) tall and has a large canopy with numerous branches that provide shade to the devotees and visitors who come to pay their respects.
The site of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is an essential pilgrimage destination for Buddhists from all over the world. The temple complex surrounding the sacred tree is called the Mahavihara, and it is one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. The complex includes various stupas, ancient ruins, and other significant Buddhist monuments.
The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is continuously protected and cared for by a team of custodians, and rituals are regularly conducted to honor the tree and its spiritual significance. The devotees offer flowers, light lamps, and burn incense as offerings to express their reverence and gratitude to the Buddha and his teachings.
Over the centuries, the tree has faced numerous challenges, including natural disasters and threats from human activities. However, through the dedicated efforts of custodians and authorities, the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi continues to stand as a symbol of strength, resilience, and spiritual significance for Buddhists and visitors alike.
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"We came for a wedding and then embarked on an amazing holiday. Cyril show us magnificent sights and scenery of Sri Lanka. To do the country just we need to return with more time. Many of the sites we visited just made us want to know more about them, even though Cyril was a fountain of knowledge. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Cyril and his excellent company, and it was so nice to go home a guardian angel looking after us. He is consistently courteous & good humored and now fe..." Andy Powell UK
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"Dear Cyril, Thanks for taking care of the Dr.Sethukavalar and his wife very well. They were indeed very happy for all the care you have shown during your tour. They were very impressed of your patience and kindness. I look forward to see you soon and maintain this good relationship we have developed in a short period of time. We will not hesitate a second to recommend you to all our friends who would like to visit Sri Lanka. Taking this opportunity of wishing you all the best. Thanks fo..." HARIDAS KANDASAMY