The majestic island of Sri Lanka contain many treasures, to beautiful landscapes to incredible heritage sites, and one site in particular that encompasses both natural beauty and historical heritage is the site of the Kalutara Bodhiya, which is a tree that has mythical roots in the foundations of Sri Lankan cultural history, as well as the overall history of Buddhism. It is located in the town of Kalutara, one of the largest towns on the island, and considered to be a scenic resort town due to its unspoiled beaches and cultural components.
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The Kalutara Bodhiya bears incredible historic significance due to it being the result of one of the thirty two saplings of the Maha Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura which in turn is a result of the planting of a branch taken from the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree in India, underneath which the Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. The sacred tree in India no longer exists today. This tree in Kalutara is one of the oldest trees in the world, and according to the great chronicle of Sri Lanka, the Mahavamsa, the sapling was planted sometime in the second century BC, under the behest of King Devanampiya Tissa. During the time of subjugation by the Portuguese, the tree encountered no harm, despite the sacred site being turned into a Portuguese fort.
The Kalutara Buddhist Society, upon its formation in the 1930s, took measures to remove all establishments from the key areas within the sacred sites, effectively restoring the tree and her immediate surrounding areas to a heritage site. So if you’d like to witness something magnificent from the distant past, take a visit to see the Kalutara Bodhiya.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.