Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Bodhi tree Sri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the World with a known planting date. Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world. The other fig trees that surround the sacred tree protect it from storms and animals such as monkeys, bats, etc.
In the 3rd century BC, it was brought to Sri Lanka by Sangamitta (Pali; Skt.: Sanghamitra) Thera, the daughter of Emperor Asoka and founder of an order of Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. In 249 BC, it was planted by King Devanampiya Tissa on a high terrace about 6.5 m (21.3 ft) above the ground in the Mahamevnāwa Park in Anuradhapura and surrounded by railings.
Ancient Models :
Two statues of Lord Buddha can be seen in the image-house; a stone-standing-statue is in the right side of the stone wall. The cobra-stone is a very rare creation, showing the embossed figure of cobra. Several monolith heads with plain incisions are in this religious site.
Ruins of ancient building called Mayura Pirivena (Mayura Monastery) has been found to the south-west of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and the ruins of a stupa called Dakkhina Tupa (Southern Monastery) can be seen nearby. According to the ancient chronicles in Sri Lanka, some walls and terraces had been built surrounding the sacred tree on some occasions in the past. Mahavamsa states that King Gothabhaya (249 – 262 AD) had built a rubble wall and Dipavamsa reports about a rock-laid terrace and a lattice wall built by King Kirthi Sri Meghavarna (302 - 330 AD).
The above facts have already been established. While digging the earth for the purpose of reconstructing the present wall recently, a rubble wall with its foundation created by King Gotabhya and a rock-laid terrace together with a lattice wall constructed by King Kirthi Sri Meghavarna were found. These findings were preserved at places where they were and are now opened to public since January 2010.