The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi holds a unique place among the sacred objects revered by the Sinhala Buddhists. In 246 BC, at the request of King Devanampiyathissa, Emperor Dharmashoka of India sent the southern branch of the Sri Maha Bodhi in Buddagaya to Ceylon by his daughter, Sangamiththa Thero. It was brought to Sri Lanka on the instruction of Ven. Mahinda Thera.
The Mahavansa states that the land where the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is located was consecrated at the feet of the Buddha. For that reason, Mahinda Thera decided that this place was the right place to plant the Bo Tree. Buddhists pay the same attention and respect to the Sri Maha Bodhi as the living Buddha.
Four annual festivals are held for the Sri Maha Bodhi. These are the New Rice Festival, the old year festival, the Nanumura festival and the Karthika festival. In addition, the compound is swept clean daily, the temple is littered with dead flowers, and the flowers saddle is cleaned. The oblation is accompanied by the Hevisi Sound.
Every king who ruled in the past has taken steps to protect the Sri Maha Bodhi. The 1st Golden fence here was made in 1969 by the Sri Bodhi Protection Golden Fence Contribution Council, Kandy. It was done under the leadership of Ven.Yatirawana Narada Thera.
During the Kandyan period, a wall was erected by Ven. Aththadassi to protect the Bo tree. It is 338 feet from north to south, 274 feet from east to west, 10 feet high and 5 feet wide.