Today thousands of devotees come to make offerings, particularly on poya (full-moon) days and weekends. Sunset is a magical time to visit.
The faithful believe it was Princess Sangamitta, sister of Mahinda (who introduced the Buddha’s teachings to Sri Lanka) who brought the cutting from India and was planted by the then reigning monarch, King Devanampiyatissa so it has a connection to the geographical heart of the Sinhalese religion.
There is not one but many bodhi trees here; the oldest and holiest stands on the top platform. Railing and other structures around the trees are festooned with prayer flags.