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Mahabodhi temple complex at Bodh Gaya is a UNESCO world heritage under cultural category which declared in 2002.  The heritage site belongs to Buddha's life, where he attained the “ Enlightenment” called Nirvana which means to attain knowledge under the Peepal tree near the Phalgu river and became Buddha from Prince Siddarth Gautam.
 Mahabodhi literally means "great awakening temple"  and famous pilgrimage for Buddhists since 2000 years. The place is one of four holiest places in Buddhism, spread in the all over the world. 
The holy place is situated in Bodhgaya, 16 km away from the Gaya district, Bihar, India.
 The Mahabodhi temple complex comprises of Buddha temple, Sacred Bodhi tree and other six sacred sites related to Buddha enlightenment with include Lotus pond. The complex area surrounded by the passage in circular form at 2 to 3 ft. level. 

The temple complex is one of oldest ancient Indian architecture and built from brick in Indian style.
Visiting places in Mahabodhi temple complex:


Mahabodhi temple:

Mahabodhi temple complex
            Photo source
  •  The magnificent Mahabodhi temple situated towards east side face with small forecourt (open space in front of main architecture) in front of temple in east has statue of Buddha with niches in sides of Buddha statue.                                         
  •  The main wall of the Mahabodhi temple is 11 M height which has only two entrance gates one in east and other north.
  • The wall is decorated with honeysuckle (a flower type) and geese design
  • A series of niches above the basement of the wall containing images of Buddha, the above mouldings and chaitya niches, and tower of temple surmounted by Amalaka and Kalasha represents Indian style architecture.                                                           Mahabodhi temple complex                                               images
  • The temple consists of a small hall, sanctum (contains five ft. high gilded statue of seated Buddha holding touch earth with one finger is known as famous Bhumisparsha Mudra to show attain enlightenment), Main Hall (above sanctum for meditation to senior monk) and Central path to entrance main temple.                          Images
    Mahabodhi temple complex                                        
  • The temple with fifty ft. Height built by emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BCE from bricks to show the Indian architecture style.
  • The Mahabodhi temple is surrounded by 2 M high decorated walls which were built during different periods, during emperor Ashoka time built from sandstone and in Gupta period from coarse granite.
  • The older rallying carved out images of Laxmi Goddess of wealth, elephants, Surya etc. and newer rallying images of stupas garudas, lotus flowers etc.

Sacred Bodhi tree and surroundings areas:

 There was a Bodhi tree with some other places where Mahatma Buddha was spent seven weeks of his life in this area.

 Bodhi tree:

Mahabodhi temple complex
             Image
  •  The present Bodhi tree is approximately 800 years’ old which is fourth generation descendants of the original tree and had taken a sapling from the original tree from Anuradhapura in Sri lanka.
  • The sapling of original tree was sent by emperor Ashoka to Sri lanka with his son Mahendra and daughter Sungamitra.
  •  The Bodhi tree is a central symbol of Buddhism.

  • Buddha spent his first week here to attain enlightenment and situate west of main temple.                                                               

Animeshlochen Chaitya:

  •  also known as Unblinking stupa.
  •  Buddha remains silently or stared Bodhi tree and statute presented here with his fixed eyes towards Bodhi tree. He spent 2nd week. 

Ratnachakrama:

  •  is also known as Jewelled ambulatory or Jewel walk
  • The area situated on the north side of the wall.
  • Here he spent the 3rd week and walked eighteen places to and forth between Animeshlocha stupa and Bodhi tree. 

Ratnaghar chaitya:

  •  situated in North East side of wall and Bhuddha spent 4th week here. 

Ajapala Nigrodha tree:


  •  Buddha spent the 5th week under this tree and answered the questions of Brahmins.

  •  The pillar installed here to represent the mark of tree.                                                                                                                                                                                Lotus pond:                                                                       

  • Budhha spent 6th week and situated south side of temple. 

Rajyatana tree: 


  • situated south East of main temple and marked by a tree.  He spent 7th week this place.

Vajrasana: 

Mahabodhi temple complex
  • A raised platform attached to the main temple installed by emperor Ashoka which is made from polished sandstone known as Diamond throne at foot of Bodhi tree. 

A belief attached to this throne that Mahatma Buddha seated here and attained enlightenment.

The sandstone balustrade encircled Bodhi tree originally and few pillars are present. The center images of animals and human forms are present.

Archeological society of Indian museum: 


  • It was established in 1956 and has many replicas of Hindu and Buddhist architecture, mainly related to Pala rulers (8th to 12th century).

  • The south of the temple in the central path is a statue of stone Buddha in back and forth footprints (Pads of Buddha carving on black stone dating 3rd century BCE.).
  •  The gateway of the central path was originally built by emperor Ashoka.


Nearby places to visiting in Bodhgaya:

Pragbodhi: 



  •  A hilly area located 7 km away from Bodhgaya.
  • Buddha had spent 7 years as an ascetic here before to attain enlightenment but he was not satisfied with this and left this place and moved to the bank of the Phalgu river.
  •  This place is currently known as Dungeshwari cave and a small temple of Buddha is present.

Barabar caves: 


  • The Barabar caves are a group of four caves carved out in a monolithic granite rock, situated 40 km from Bodhgaya. 
  • The Karan chauper, Lomas Rishi, Sudama and Visvakarma are called barabar caves built by emperor Ashoka for use of Ajivika sects ascetics.


The lomas rishi cave is unique because it is an exact replica of the wood and thatch huts of monks.

Vishnupad mandir: 


  • A 40 cm long footprint of lord Vishnu on basalt rock related to a mythology which explained that lord Vishnu killed demon Gayasur and pushed into earth underground. Then his footprints returned.

How to reach:

By Air: 



  • Gaya airport is the nearest airport and 17 km away from the Bodhgaya. The airport is well connected to Kolkata by flights.

By Train: 


Gaya station is the nearest railway station and 13 km away from Bodhgaya.


By Bus: 


Bodhgaya is well connected to the major city of Bihar state.

Timings:
05:00 AM – 12:00 PM
04:00 PM – 09:00 PM

Entry fee:Nil

Website: www.mahabodhimahavihara.org

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