Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Bodhgaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment (pali: bodhi) under what became known as the Bodhi Tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. The history of Bodh Gaya is documented by many inscriptions and pilgrimage accounts. Foremost among these are the accounts of the Chinese pilgrims Faxian in the 5th century and Xuanzang in the 7th century.

 

 

 

 

In the 6th century B.C. Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained Supreme Enlightenment at this Holy place and became the Buddha. In commemoration thereof, Emperor Asoka set-up the Vajrasana (Diamond Throne) of polished sandstone representing the seat of Enlightenment in the 3rd century B.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thereafter he built a stupa in veneration of the Buddha which remained there upto the 2nd century A.D. The original structure of Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple was completed in 7th century A.D. during the reign of Gupta kings. The temple underwent several restorations, renovations and repairs in subsequent period in which the Burmese greatly contributed. In 1883, a very thorough and scientific renovation of the Temple was done under the supervision of the British Archaeologist Sir A. Cunningham and J.D.M. Beglar and the Indian Archaeologist Dr. Rajendra Lal Mitra. Again in 1956, on the occasion of 2500th Buddha Jayanti celebrations, the Govt. of India did some repair works and enlarged the premises of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara.

 

 

 

 

The gold painted statue of Buddha in the sanctum shrine of the Temple is made of Black stone built by the Pala kings of Bengal. The Buddha is seen seated in the Bhumisparsa Mudra or the Earth touching posture. This image is said to be 1700 years old and is facing east exactly at the place where the Buddha in meditation with his back to the Bodhi tree was enlightened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several Buddhist temples and monasteries have been built by the people of Bhutan, China, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam in a wide area around the Mahabodhi Temple. These buildings reflect the architectural style, exterior and interior decoration of their respective countries. The statue of Buddha in the Chinese temple is 200 years old and was brought from China. Japan's Nippon temple is shaped like a pagoda. The Myanmar (Burmese) temple is also pagoda shaped and is reminiscent of Bagan. The Thai temple has a typical sloping, curved roof covered with golden tiles. Inside, the temple holds a massive bronze statue of Buddha. Next to the Thai temple is 25-metre statue of Buddha located within a garden which has existed there for over 100 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mahabodhi Mahavihara has now been declared a World Heritage Property by the UNESCO on the 27th June 2002.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAaJkNfnS34