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During 5-6th century B.C, a prince named Gautama Siddhartha relinquish\d his lavish princely life for the path of truth and bliss. He became a monk and tried to increase the divine knowledge through fasting and asceticism but became unsuccessful. Gautama, had been working austerities for six years in the area of the Niranjana River near Bodhgaya. Lastly understanding that this could not lead to realization, he discarded his austerities. He broke his fast by milk made rice by a young woman named Sujata. He then sat in meditation under a Pipal tree (now Bodhi Tree) vowing not to move till he achieves divine enlightenment. Ultimately he received the Divine Enlightenment and came to be known as Lord Buddha.
Gautam Sidhartha had learnt the perpetual knowledge of life and death under this tree. Though the real tree is not alive, however the plantlet of the original tree brought from Sri Lanka is still here. Sanghamitta, the daughter of Emperor Asoka brought a branch of this Bodhi tree and planted it in Anuradhapura in and around the 3rd century B.C. In Sri Lanka, it still grows today. The existing tree is more than 122 years old and quadrangular stone railings of two types representing two different style and material surround it.
Located in the temple premises of the renowned Mahabodhi Temple, the current tree is not the actual tree but a descendant of the original Bodhi Tree. As per anecdote,-the Emperor Asoka's wife named-‘Tishyarakshita’, damaged the actual tree out of jealousy since he devoted too much time on the tree. But the Emperor immediately revived it. King Sashanka of Bengal again deracinated it but the King Purnavarman of Magadha revived it soon thereafter. It is believed that the present tree is implanted by the fourth or fifth generation’s offspring of the original.