of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is associated
with the small town of Bodhgaya. It is one of the four
holiest cities of Buddhist faith. The Mahabodhi temple is
the main attraction of this town and is located near the
spot where Lord Buddha attained spiritual enlightenment.
Bodhgaya is not only an important Buddhist pilgrim center,
but it is also an important center for the study of
Mahabodhi Temple and other monasteries are the major
attractions in Bodhgaya. Places associated with the life
and times of Lord Buddha are located inside the Mahabodhi
complex including the Bodhi Tree and a pond where
according to legends, Lord Buddha mediated for few days.
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per the nature, duration and the accommodation required
during the holiday trip or pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, the
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located at a distance of 105 km from Patna in the state of
Bihar. Buddha Gaya is located 7 miles south of Gaya and is
one of the well visited Buddhist pilgrimage centers of the
The Mahabodhi Temble is located at the place of Lord
Buddha's enlightenment. The temple has a 50m (170 ft)
tower. The present temple was restored around 1880. There
have been several other temples on this site. A previous
temple was destroyed by the Muslims in the 11th century.
Parts of the intricately carved railings to the south and
west of the temple are very old. Some of the railings are
original and parts of the railings are reproductions.
In the inner sanctuary there is a huge Buddha. In the
center of the temple there is also a Siva-linga that was
installed about 860. This temple is also sacred to the
Hindus because Lord Buddha is the ninth incarnation of
The Bodhi tree here is said to be a descendent of the tree
under which Budhha attained enlightenment. A sapling of
the original bodhi tree that the Buddha sat under was
carried by Emperor Ashoka's daughter (Sanghamitta) to Sri
Lanka. That tree is at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. A
cutting from that tree was planted in Budha Gaya when the
original tree died. Under the tree is a red sandstone slab
that is said to be the Vajrasana, the diamond throne, that
Buddha sat on and attained nirvana. The tree is located
behind the temple and is about 80 feet high and about 115
Vajrasana, the seat of stability. Buddha supposed to have
say in meditation gazing east, under the Bodhi Tree, where
the Vajrasana, the stone platform is kept.
This marks the sacred spot of the Buddha's meditative
perambulations during the third week after pious
enlightenment. It is believed that wherever the Buddha put
his feet lotus sprang up.
It is believed that the Buddha spent one week here looking
towards the great Mahabodhi Tree out of gratitude, without
twinkling his eyes.
The Buddha spent one week here, where it is believed that
five colours came out of his body
Mohanta's Monastery, located right next to the Mahabodhi
Temple, is a Shaivite monastery. It is said that Adi
Sankaracharya spent days here in a heated debate with
At the Tibetan Mahayana Monastery (1938) there is a large
Dharma Chakra, or wheel of law. It is believed that you
will be freed of sin if you spin this wheel three times in
succession from left to right. It is a 10m high metal drum
painted gold and red.
Budha bathed in the nearby Niranjana (now called Lilanja)
River after attaining enlightenment. The Niranjana River
is about 250m east of the temple. Prince Siddharta crossed
this river to reach the Bodhi tree.
Jayanti festival in May, celebrates the appearance day of
Buddha, the day he got enlightenment, and the day he left
his body. It is the biggest festival day here.
1953, Bodh Gaya has been developed as an international
place of pilgrimage. Buddhists from Sri Lanka, Thailand,
Burma, Tibet, Bhutan and Japan have established
monasteries and temples within easy walking distance of
the Mahabodhi compound. The site of the enlightenment now
attracts Buddhists and tourists from all over the world.
At any time during the cooler months between December and
March, a visitor to Bodh Gaya can observe a continual
stream of Indian and international pilgrims walking the
roads or arriving in buses, circumambulating the temple,
performing prostrations and offering prayers in a
multitude of languages. For those who aspire to awaken
their full potential, Bodh Gaya today is truly a field
vibrant with the potentiality of enlightenment. Enriched
by devotion of Buddhists of all traditions, this holy site
is emerging as a powerful inspiration to the modern world,
awakening people of all nations to the real possibility of