With a thousand shimmering leaves that rustle gently in the breeze, its branches reach wide against the blue sky; its gnarled trunk adorned by a golden base and embraced by lengths of fluttering flags. An inspiring sight, this is no ordinary tree. Considered to be the oldest planted tree in the world with a recorded history, the Sri Maha Bodhiya is a sacred fig tree (ficus religiosa) located in the historic city of Anuradhapura. Grown from a sapling sent to the island around 245 BC – from the very ‘Bodhi’ tree under which the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment; this living wonder has been devoutly nurtured and lovingly cared for over the millennia by generations of Buddhist monks. Even today, it’s paid homage to by pilgrims from around the world who believe it to be one of the most venerated relics in Buddhism.

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