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The sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, was the right saplin of the fig tree under which the Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The sapling was planted in Maha Megha Vana Royal Park of Anuradhapura in the month of December 236 BC. The sacred tree is more than 2, 200 years old. It is the oldest tree with recorded history on earth.
Arhat Sanghamitta Theri, sister of Arhat Mahinda Thero and the Daughter of the Mayurian emperor Ashok brought the saplin in the 3rd century. She is also the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. The original tree in India was destroyed by one of the non buddhist consort of emperor Ashoka named Thishyarakkha.
The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was planted by King Devanampiya Tissa on a raised terrace about 6.5 meters high. A range of other fig trees were planted to provide protection to the sacred fig tree, the smaller tree in the middle is the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
Devotees of the Anuradhapura sacred town first pay their respect at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and follow Ruvanveliseya. You will have to wear appropriate clothing and walk barefooted within the temple premises.