Located close to Mt. Lavinia, just three kilometres from Colombo’s city limits, Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya is one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka’s capital, and it has a long and hallowed history. There is a great sanctity attached to this temple due to its sacred Bo tree that, according to ancient texts, is one of the thirty-two saplings that sprang from the Bo tree at Anuradhapura which was planted in the 3rd century B.C. The Bo tree at Anuradhapura is said to have come from the tree under which Lord Buddha sat and attained enlightenment, which is why these Bo trees have such significance. As well as the sacred tree, Bellanwila houses elaborate statues of Buddha and frescoes depicting the life of Buddha from birth to enlightenment.