Śrī Maha Bodhi
The Sacred Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura

Archaeological features

The Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi is situated on the highest of five terraces 21 feet above the ground level. When Walisinghe Harischandra measured the Bodhi tree at the turn of the 19th century it was 30 feet in height and the circumference of the trunk was 8 feet 2 inches. The Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi had three main trunks and by the side of the Maha Bodhi there was another with a straight trunk. There are many other Bodhi trees called Parivara Bodhi on the other terraces.

The Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi has survived while the ancient structure around it had perished in the course of time. Prof. Senerath Paranavithana has observed that later developments have swept away the ancient features of the Bodhi shrine and does not contain any vestige of the architecture of the pre-Christian era nor those of the early centuries of the Christian era.

The stone parapet wall round the Maha Bodhi at ground level was constructed by Ven. Illupendeniya Atthadassi Thero with the permission of King Kirthi Śrī Rajasinghe at the turn of the 18th century with stones collected from the neighborhood to prevent elephants entering the Maha Bodhi premises.

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