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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