A sacred site for Buddhists, the Kalutara Bodhiya in Sri Lanka is the name of a tree with a rich history that is well worth finding out about.
Planning a Visit
This site can be found by the Kalu River in the city of Kalutara while lies along the sunny shores of the south coast. Ideally, one should look to be based here at properties like Turyaa Kalutara from which you can not only easily visit this attraction and the nearby Kalutara Temple but enjoy beachside bliss too.
The Upper Terrace
Before visiting this site from hotels in Kalutara, you should know there are two trees to see! The Bodhi tree in the upper terrace dates to the 2nd century B.C.; it was grown from a sapling of Anurudhapura’s Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree which itself was from a branch of the sacred tree in India’s Bodh Gaya under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
The Lower Terrace
The lower terrace Bodhi tree dates to the time when Vickrama Pandya, a Pandyan prince, was in power in 1052 A.D. During this period, he had a Kataragama Ashtapalaruka Bodhi sapling planted here. The Kataragama Bodhi tree was one of the saplings of the original Sri Maha Bodhi that was brought down to Sri Lanka.
When the Portuguese were in power in the 16th century, the Kalutara Bodhiya site was turned into a fort. In 1877, during British colonial rule, the Bodhi tree came under threat when plans were made to extend the railway and construct a bridge at this site. However, Buddhist devotees gathered in Kaltura to protect the tree; unable to quell the subsequent riot, the British did away with their plans and the tree was saved!