Bodhi Tree

Bodhi Tree

Bodhi Tree, believed to be the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, is one of the chief revered locations in Bodh GAYA. Located south of the Mahabodhi Temple, the existing tree is of fifth generation of original Bodhi Tree. Around 80 ft in height, the tree is approximately 115 years old. Under the tree, there is a stone platform on which it is believed that Lord Buddha sat in meditation gazing in the east direction.

According to a popular belief, there is a myth behind the uprooted original Bodhi tree. It is said that the wife of Emperor Ashoka destroyed the actual tree. She did this as a result of jealously as Ashoka used to devote too much time on the Bodhi Tree.

However, as the time passed another Bodhi Tree was planted at the same spot by planting its sapling which was bought from Sri Lanka. According to the chronicles of history, it records that Sanghmitra, the daughter of king Ashoka, even took one branch of Bodhi Tree to Anuradhapur. She planted it there, which can still be seen standing at Anuradhapur.

To get an insight into the history of the tree and surrounding area prior to enlightenment can be obtained from the Buddhist source, Kalingabodhi Jataka. The Jataka also enlightens tourists about 'Asokavadana', the series of events leading to King Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism.

The queen of Emperor Ashoka apparently got angry due to the subsequent worship of Ashoka under the sacred tree. Due to this reason, she got angry to such an extent that she ordered the tree to be felled. After this, Ashoka piled up earth around the stump and poured milk on its roots.

Soon after this, the tree miraculously revived and extended up to a height of 37 m. For its protection, he surrounded the tree with a three metre high stone wall.


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