Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Located in Anuradhapura and believed to be the oldest planted tree in the world, the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi goes all the way back to the 3rd century BC. The sacred fig tree signifies the religion of Buddhism as the official religion of the country, as it is the sapling of the very tree Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in Buddha Gaya, India.
The Story of the Sacred Tree
After a young King Devanampiyatissa was taught the values and principles of Buddhism by Arahat Mahinda in Mihintale, the young king ruled with the just teachings espoused by the religion. Having good relationships with the Indian Emperor Asoka, the emperor decided to give a sapling of the sacred tree to the Sri Lankan king in good faith. It was eventually brought by the daughter of the emperor, Sangamittha Thera and planted in the Royal Gardens of Anuradhapura. The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya today is visited annually by devout Buddhists to pay homage and perform rituals for good fortune and blessings.
What makes this tree all the more special is the fact it is planted in the Royal Gardens (also known as the Mahamewnawa Gardens), which boasts of a treasure trove of rustic greenery along with many other ancient religious monuments that were once visited by the very Buddha himself during his trips to the country.