At the western side of the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodhgaya stands the large and historic Bodhi Tree under which Shakyamuni Buddha, then known as Gautama, attained enlightenment 2500 years ago. For seven days after the enlightenment, Buddha continued to meditate under the tree without moving from his seat. The earliest records on the tree are in the 'Kalingabodhi Jataka', which gives a vivid description of the tree and the surrounding area prior to the enlightenment. The present Bodhi Tree is most probably the fifth descendant of the original tree to be planted at this site. It still performs a very important role to Buddhists of all traditions.