One of the most prominent and respected sacred places in Buddhism,it is under this tree that Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who later became to be known as the Buddha, attained enlightenment. It is believed that Prince Siddhartha had to sit and meditate under this tree for seven days. Later on, a shrine known as Animisalocana Cetiya was erected on the spot where he had sat down. A small temple was also built near the Bodhi tree in the 7th century.
An interesting feature of this place is the fact that prayer beads are formed using the seeds of the Bodhi tree. Pilgrims consider this act to be sacred because of the rich history and religious sentiment that is attached to this majestic tree. This activity is an opportunity to get close and be in touch with the Buddha and his enlightenment. Devotees mainly feel that by being a part of the bead making process, they are attaining the ethics and thoughts that the Buddha propagated.
The Bodhi Day is celebrated at this spot with great zeal and passion every year on 8 December. This entire day is spent in the dedication of the Buddha, and people from all across the country come together to celebrate Buddha's attainment of enlightenment underneath the sacred tree. Buddhists and followers of Dharma visit this place without fail and greet each other by saying "Budu Saranai!" which translates to "may the peace of Buddha be yours" in English.
Don't miss the sight when a number of monks and devotees worship together around the bodhi tree.