Worshiped by hundreds of devout Buddhists every day, the Kalutara Bodhiya, or the sacred Fig tree of Kalutara stand proudly in all its glory right on the side of Galle road, the same stretch that takes you to numerous hotels in the area including Mermaid Hotel & Club. Although located in the middle of a busy urban area, the temple where Bodhiya is home to, provides a rare sense of tranquillity of peace, aided by the sound of wind rustling through the Bo leaves. The historical and cultural significance of the location has made the Kalutara Bodhiya a top recommendation for tourist visits by all the hotels in Kalutara.
The history of the Kalutara Bodhiya extends back in history to the times when Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment to become Lord Buddha, regenerating Buddhism as it is practiced today. The Buddhist literature states that it was under a Fig tree that this feat was attained, elevating the Bo tree to sacred status. An offspring of this tree was then brought to Sri Lanka by Their Sanghamitta and was planted in Anuradhapura. The tree stands to date, receiving respect from all devotees and is known by the name of “Sri Maha Bodhiya”. It is a sapling of Sri Maha Bodhiya that was brought to Kalutara and planted in the temple there, thus creating the Kalutara Bodhiya. As the original Fig tree in India was destroyed during wars and ravages of time, the mother tree of Kalutara Bodhiya, Sri Maha Bodhiya, remains the oldest tree in the world with a documented history.
If you happen to visit Kalutara Bodhiya on a Poya Day, i.e. a Full Moon day, you will meet with a sight unlike other. The sound of pirith or Buddhist chants will fill the air while the Moon rays would filter through the leaves of the Bo tree, creating an atmosphere that emanates tranquillity and serenity to all who are there to experience it.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+