Sacred Bo tree, Anuradhapura (Ceylon). 19 February 1868
Artist: Leighton, Stanley (1837-1901)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of the Sacred Bo tree at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, by Stanley Leighton (1837-1901), dated 19th February 1868. Inscribed in pencil on the mount: 'Sacred Bo tree, Anuradhapura (Ceylon). 19 February 1868'.
Anuradhapura was the seat of government for over 1000 years and is the spot where Buddhism first gained importance on the island in c. 260 BC. As a result, the area contains many ruined Buddhist shrines and monasteries as well as royal palaces and other related ruins. The Sacred Bo tree (Sri Maha Bodhi) pictured here is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world at over 2000 years old. It is believed to be a sapling from the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment, brought to the island from Bodhgaya in India by Princess Sangamitta.