Kalutara Bodhiya is a highly venerated Buddhist temple situated in the town which shares the same name. It is surrounded with waters and the white stupa is visible while traveling to Galle from Colombo and it is about 40 kilometres from the capital city. This temple enshrines the sacred Bodhi tree which is of utmost importance to the Buddhists. It is considered to be one of the 32 places where one of the 32 saplings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree located in Anuradhapura is planted.
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree is the most revered and the oldest Bodhi Tree in the world and it is itself grown from the saplings of the original Bodhi Tree of Bihar, India, under which Lord Buddha is believed to have attained Enlightenment. This original tree at Gaya was destroyed and the saplings of this sacred tree was brought to Anuradhapura by Theri Sanghamitta. The kalutara Bodhiya temple also enshrines a statue of Buddha and the inner walls show paintings of Buddha’s life. This temple on the road to Galle is the first stopping point and is visited by all Buddhists.
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