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Mahabodhi Temple Bodh Gaya

The Mahabodhi Temple 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 Lord Vishnu.

Bodhi tree

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 years old.

Gurpa Bodh Gaya

Gurpa is located forty kilometers from Bodh Gaya. Gurpa is a small village, albeit important for Buddhists. According to Buddhist literature Maha Kassap, the disciple of Lord Buddha realized that his death was nearing and he started moving toward the hill where he wanted to take his last breath. The ‘Kukkutapadagiri’ hill was not easily accessible and Maha Kassap faced many hurdles during travel. According to legend, he would face obstacles like rocks that would hinder his further continuation of the journey. He, however, struck all these rocks with the help of his staff which opened up and paved way for his journey. When he reached atop the hill a cavity was formed in the rocks. Maha kassap entered in the cavity and indulged himself into a deep meditation. The rocks closed around him. A popular belief says that he is still inside the cave capped by stones.

How to Reach Bodh Gaya

  • By Air :

    Although Bodhgaya has no airport of its own, there is an airport in Gaya, which is 17 kms away from Bodhgaya.Most airlines from the important cities of India touch Patna, which is 135 kms from Bodhgaya.

  • By Rail :

    The nearest railway station is also Gaya.Trains from all major cities of India stop at Gaya.Indian Railways has introduced a new train, Buddha Parikrama that caters to Buddhist spiritual tour by linking all the places associated with Buddha and Buddhism.

  • By Road :

    Bodhgaya is the main bus stop and is located near Sujata Bridge on the Falgu River on the northeastern edge of the town. The nearest transport hub is Gaya, a major point on historical Grand Trunk Road There are regular direct bus services from Gaya, Patna, Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi. Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation run buses from Patna- Bodhgaya route twice a day.


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