One of the
most important places of worship at
Anuradhapura is The Sri
Maha Bodhi, the oldest historically
documented tree in the world, dating
back to over 2000 years with clear
This Bodhi Tree (Ficus Religiosa) has been grown
from the same tree under which the Siddhartha
Gautama, meditated until he attained
enlightenment and Buddhahood, more than 2500
years ago, at Buddhagaya in India .
sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to Sri
Lanka as a gift from the Emperor Asoka of India ,
shortly after the introduction of Buddhism to the
country by the Arahat Mahinda, the son of Asoka.
The person chosen to bring the bodhi sapling was
Sangmittha, the daughter of Asoka.
the centuries the Sri Maha Bodi has been
venerated by Buddhists in Sri Lanka and
the world over. Successive kings have
taken steps to protect it, as seen by
the several retaining walls around it.
Today it is looked after as a national
treasure by botanists, specially
appointed by the Government. The gilded
fence around it known as the Ran Veta,
is a recent offering made through public
make many offerings to the Sri Maha Bodhi. The most
common are the prayer flags which are hung on its
Sri Lanka 's
ancient cities are also the centres of the irrigation
works of the past. Massive reservoirs built to collect
rain water, river diversions, giant aqueducts and miles
long irrigation channels are proof of a civilization
highly developed in the science of irrigation, hydraulics
and water management.
these ancient irrigation works such as the Tissa Wewa, Bas
–Awakkulama ans Nuwara Wewa at Anuradhpura : the massive
Parakrama Samudra or Sea of Parakrama , Giritale and
Minneriya in the Polonnaruwa region, the Kalawewa and
Balaluwewa still provide water to irrigate the rice fields
of the rice farmers of the dry zone in Sri Lanka .