Sri Mahabodhi – Veneration Paradise

Temples of Asia | | June 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm


The Sri Mahabodhi Tree or the sacred Bodhi Tree which is more than 2000 yrs old and holds the longest mention in history scripts, is located in the primeval, sacred city of Anuradhapura which is situated nearly 130kms from Kandy in Sri Lanka. The Mahabodhi temple is considered the first of the eight pious sites in Anuradhapura.

According to Buddhist scripts, Siddharta Gautama performed severe penance under the Bodhi Tree which is the right branch of the Sri Mahabodhi Tree in Gaya. After 49 long days of meditation withstanding several unwanted illusions, Siddharta attained enlightenment and became Buddha. After achieving enlightenment, he continued to meditate for a week under the tree and then walked nearby for a week while meditating. Chankramanar, the jewel walk, situated on north end of the Mahabodhi temple, commemorates that event with several lotuses lining the path.


In the 3rd century, on the request of the Sri Lanka king, the Emperor Asoka sent this sapling here through his daughter, the Buddhist nun, Sangamitra. To every ardent follower of Buddhism, the Bodhi tree symbolises the nucleus of the world and the site where every Buddhist achieves spiritual illumination and one can always find a Bodhi tree planted in every Buddhist monastery. With no vehicle entry in the premises, after a long walk along a widened tree covered path is small temple in front of the Bodhi Tree, where one finds a massive platform or chabutra built on three sides of it.

The sights of 20-odd brass-covered props supporting branches of trees have been erected by several kings to preserve the greenery and prevent them from bending and falling over. Many devotees, mostly women and children are known to lay offerings of coconut saplings to the Bodhi Tree, many believing that if expecting women or the family member do this ritual they will be blessed with an enlightened child. The place comes alive during the full moon night in June, when countless devotees gather to offers prayers to their antecedents who fought countless troubles of vagaries of nature and wild animals to preserve this pious tree.

On any given day, streaming crowds line up on the platform surrounding the mighty Bodhi tree, which is encased in brass rails to avert any stress, where people come to make offerings and pay reverence. No one is allowed to wear any head gear on the platform or touch the tree or come near the tree. The priests stand near the brass rail of the tree and accept devotee offerings and put them near the tree and then remove them.

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1 Comment

  1. Ah this is a great place to be in, the picture is simply amazing! Really makes me want to travel there…

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