Sri Maha Bodhi
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Sri Maha Bodhi information
The sacred bodhi tree is central to Anuradhapura in both a spiritual and physical sense. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodhgaya in India and is said to be the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world; tended by an uninterrupted succession of guardians for over 2000 years, even during the periods of Indian occupation.
Today thousands of devotees come to make offerings, particularly on poya (full-moon) days and weekends. Sunset is a magical time to visit.
The faithful believe it was Princess Sangamitta, sister of Mahinda (who introduced the Buddha’s teachings to Sri Lanka) who brought the cutting from India so it has a connection to the geographical heart of the Sinhalese religion.
There is not one but many bodhi trees here; the oldest and holiest stands on the top platform. Railing and other structures around the trees are festooned with prayer flags.
April and December are particularly busy months as pilgrims converge on the site for snana puja (offerings or prayers).