Where is the Bodhi Tree in India?

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Where is the Bodhi Tree in India?

Bodhi Tree

The Bodhi Tree holds immense spiritual significance for Buddhists around the world. It is the sacred tree under which Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment. The Bodhi Tree is considered the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site, and every year, thousands of devotees from various parts of the globe visit it to pay their respects. While the original Bodhi Tree no longer exists, there are several notable locations in India associated with its lineage.

The Original Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya, a small town in the Indian state of Bihar, is home to the original site of the Bodhi Tree. This is the place where Siddhartha Gautama sat in meditation and eventually achieved enlightenment. Today, the Mahabodhi Temple Complex stands at this site and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The current Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya is a descendant of the original tree. It is called the Sri Maha Bodhi and is believed to be the direct offspring of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. The tree is located within the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, and its branch structure extends over a large area, providing shade to pilgrims and visitors.

To protect and preserve this sacred tree, a 24-hour security presence is maintained around it. Devotees can offer prayers and circumambulate the tree, feeling the connection to the Buddha’s transformative experience.

Other Locations with Bodhi Trees

While Bodh Gaya is the primary location associated with the Bodhi Tree, there are other significant places in India with Bodhi Trees connected to the Buddha’s enlightenment.

1. Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura, an ancient city in Sri Lanka, is home to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, another descendant of the original Bodhi Tree. This tree is said to have been planted in 249 BCE and is considered the oldest living human-planted tree in the world. It holds great significance for Buddhists in Sri Lanka and is surrounded by a beautiful spiritual garden.

2. Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh

Sarnath, located near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, is the place where the Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Although the original Bodhi Tree is not present at this site, a descendant tree was planted in Sarnath to commemorate this important event in Buddhist history. The tree, known as the Mulagandha Kuti Vihara Bodhi Tree, serves as a reminder of the Buddha’s teachings.

3. Anupshahr, Uttar Pradesh

In the small town of Anupshahr, another descendant of the original Bodhi Tree can be found. This tree was planted in 1936 and is known as the Anupshahr Bodhi Tree. It is considered sacred by the locals and serves as a place of worship.

4. Kusinara (Kushinagar), Uttar Pradesh

Kusinara, the place where the Buddha attained Parinirvana (enlightened death), also has a significant Bodhi Tree. This tree is not a direct descendant of the original tree but holds deep spiritual meaning for Buddhists visiting the place where the Buddha passed away.

The Significance of Bodhi Trees

Bodhi Trees represent the wisdom and enlightenment achieved by the Buddha. They symbolize the path to inner realization and awakening. The presence of Bodhi Trees in various locations allows devotees to connect with the Buddha’s journey and experience moments of profound spiritual insight.

Visiting these sacred trees is considered an auspicious act among Buddhists. People often circumambulate the trees, offer prayers, and meditate in their shade. The serene and peaceful ambiance around these trees is believed to enhance meditation and foster a sense of tranquility.

The Bodhi Tree and its descendants serve as physical reminders of the Buddha’s teachings, inspiring practitioners to strive for enlightenment and follow the path of compassion and wisdom.


The Bodhi Tree holds immense spiritual significance in Buddhism, representing the place where the historical Buddha attained enlightenment. While the original tree no longer exists, its descendants can be found in several locations across India, including Bodh Gaya, Anuradhapura, Sarnath, Anupshahr, and Kusinara. These sacred trees continue to inspire and guide Buddhist practitioners on their spiritual journeys, offering a connection to the transformative experience of the Buddha.

To visit any of these locations and to be in the presence of a Bodhi Tree is to partake in a deeply meaningful and awe-inspiring experience. It is a reminder of the potential for enlightenment within us all.

Whether you are a devoted Buddhist or simply interested in exploring different spiritual traditions, a visit to one of these Bodhi Tree locations can evoke a sense of peace and open doors to new understandings.

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Where is the Bodhi Tree in India?