Buddhists around the country visit the Kalutara Bodhiya which is situated in Kalutara along the Galle Road. The Kalutara Bodhiya has been in existence ever since the 2nd century BC. Legend is that a bo sapling as brought from India when Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka and is believed to be one of the 32 bo saplings of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi which was brought from India.
The historical bodhiya became a much-visited place after a Pandyan prince named Wickremapandya planted the Bo tree in the current location during 1042 AD. After the colonization by the Portuguese, the specific location was used for maritime purposes.
During the British era it was decided to move the tree from its present location to build a railroad, but due to protests by Buddhists laymen, the decision was shelved.
After the independence of Sri Lanka, the modern developments took place where the first prime minister of Sri Lanka declared the area as a cultural heritage where took measures to remove all other establishments in the area and up to date no establishments carried out in the area.
This holy place is a must visit in Kalutara. It is a place where both young and old, tourists from different countries stop by to worship this sacred Bo-tree. Trains operate from Colombo Fort Railway Station and witness the beauty of the coastal belt of Sri Lanka on your way to Kalutara.
The fragrance of burning josh-sticks and the aroma beautiful Nelum Flowers of White and Pink hues brings a different atmosphere to this beautiful sacred place. It is a belief among most people that they have been protected immensely by the sacred bodhiya as it brings protection and solace to those afflicted by different sorrows and happenings in their lives that have brought misery.