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Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India


Bodh Gaya is the holiest of Buddhist destinations and a World Heritage Site. It was here, under a pipal, or bodhi tree, that Siddhartha Gotama attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. A simple shrine was built by the emperor Ashoka (3rd century BCE) to mark the spot, later enclosed by a stone railing (1st century BCE), part of which still remains. The uprights have representations of the Vedic gods Indra and Surya, and the railing medallions include carvings of imaginary beasts. This shrine was replaced in the Kushan period (2nd cent. CE) by the present Mahabodhi temple, which was refurbished in the Pala-Sena period (750-1200), heavily restored by Sir Alexander Cunningham in the second half of the 19th century, and finally restored by Myanmar (Burmese) Buddhists in 1882. The bodhi tree behind the temple is believed to be a descendant of the original.   [Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica; July 06]

Mahabodhi Mahavihara

Mahabodhi temple complex

The temple's central tower is 54 m high.

The Buddha

The Bodhi Tree (1, 2, 3)

Temple tower at night (more)

The temple's central tower is 54 m high.

Mahabodhi Temple
(1, 2, 3)


Indian monk (1, 2)


Posing boy monk


One for the family album
(1, 2)


The Buddha (more)


Former "untouchables"

Now followers of the Buddha

Under the Bodhi tree (more)


Mucalinda lake


A stupa


The temple at night (1, 2)

The temple's central tower is 54 m high.

The temple at night

The temple's central tower is 54 m high.

The Buddha (1, 2, 3)


Cloister walk


Bodhi tree leaves


Boy monks (more)


Boy monks (more)


Stone railing (more)


From 1st cent. BCE (more)


Replicas of the original


Originals are in the museum


Meditation garden


Temple tower

The temple's central tower is 54 m high.

Temple wall sculpture


Lizard under bodhi tree


Stupas in the garden (1, 2)


South Indian pilgrims


A source of Bihari pride


Mahabodhi temple entrance

The Town of Bodh Gaya


Bhutanese monastery (more)


Bhutanese monastery


Thai monastery


Thai monastery


Japanese monastery


Inside the monastery (1, 2)


Emaciated Buddha


Sujata brings a meal


Chinese monastery


... inside (more)


Royal Bhutanese monastery


... inside


Tibetan monastery


... inside


The Buddha's life in paintings at the Tibetan monastery

As a young man, prince Siddhartha, realizing the harsh truths of life, left his wife and son and became an ascetic. He did penance and yoga, undeterred by the temptations of Mara, until he found enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. He gave his first sermon at Sarnath and reformed a dreaded robber Angulimal.


Buddha statue


Great Buddha (more


A road in Bodh Gaya


Face of malnourishment


Village dwellings


Shanty house


Village with golden pagoda


Women returning home


Roadside photo studio


Veggie fields


Spraying pesticides


Village shrine


Okra (Bhindi)


Local snack joint


Crossing the Falgu River


Ghat on the Falgu River

       

 

 

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