I know I just wrote about how I don’t give a crap about religious sites, but I happen to be a huge tree fan.
The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was grown from a cutting of the original Bodhi tree, under which Buddha sat and from where he gained enlightenment.
While the Indian original has since died of old age and been replaced, its Sri Lankan offspring has gone on to become the oldest living, human-planted tree in the world with a verified date. It was planted in 288 BC and has had an unbroken line of caretakers ever since – for over 2000 years!
As you can see, golden crutches have been implemented to help support the tree’s branches.
The complex is an unimaginably peaceful place. Monkeys and herons occupy the grounds together in peace, giant ants wrestle eternal in the sand and barefoot Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world come to experience the sense of spirituality. Other, younger Bodhi trees – sacred fig trees – surround the main stupa and protect the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi from the monkeys, bats and storms.
If you want to go, it’s in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.