Located in Bellawila, Colombo, the temple attracts devotees from every corner of the country. The annual ceremony, Esala Perehera, is the cynosure of the temple.
The temple has a long history pertaining to the Bodhi tree planted in the temple premises. According to recorded history, the tree was sprouted from the sacred Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura, which makes the tree about 2000 years old.
Why this site was selected for the planting of the tree is not clear. There aren’t any records that enable historians to form a hypothesis. It is speculated that the site was a hallowed spot even back then. What came about after the shrine was built isn’t clearly stated in any record either. However, the temple has become a significant tourist attraction and is surrounded by Colombo hotels – the vicinity is speckled with the likes of Berjaya Hotel Colombo.
The festival was initiated in 1947; it now has become a draw for tourists in addition to being a religious ceremony respected by devotees. The festival entails a series of processions coupled with other religious rituals.