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Bodhgaya

Top Attractions

Bodhgaya

Great Buddha Statue:

The main shrine of the Buddha remains enclosed by several spiritual and religious institutes and monuments. The statue of Lord Buddha is 80 ft high. Visitors are drawn to the Great Buddha Statue by virtue of its towering aura and regal presence. The tallest statue of the Buddha in the country, the Great Buddha Statue was inaugurated by the XIVth Dalai Lama in the year 1989. The colossal figure depicts the Lord meditating while seated on a massive lotus in open air. A combination of red granite and sandstone blocks has gone into the formation of an inspirational image close to the Bodhi Shrine.

 

The Bodhi Tree:

A simple touch from the Lord is said to imbibe ordinary objects with permanent longevity and fame. The Bodhi Tree provided shelter to the Lord Buddha and helped him reach his goal. Gautama Buddha sat in meditation below this tree during the first seven days of enlightenment. The plant has been immortalized the current tree is considered to be a direct offspring of the original which was damaged and burned down by kings. Emperor Asoka is believed to have planted a branch from the tree in Sri Lanka. The tree survives even to this day and its boughs still flourish.

 

Mahabodhi Temple:

The Mahabodhi Temple is the major attraction of the city of Bodhgaya. The temple was erected around the original Bodhi Tree which offered shelter to the Buddha. Even though this renowned temple was built in the 7th century AD, it has been continually fixed and renovated, the last being by the Archaeological Survey of India and the Burmese King in the late 19th century. The main temple was constructed in the shape of the original stupa of Emperor Asoka. A massive statue of Lord Buddha is housed within the shrine, seated in a cross-legged position and touching the earth. This place is considered to be the spot where the Buddha attained Nirvana. The temple complex, encircled by intricately carved railings of stone, boasts of seven different areas where Buddha associated a week during the process of Nirvana.

 

Falgu River:

The city of Bodhgaya is situated on the banks of the River Falgu. The river lies to the south of the state of Bihar and is an important pilgrimage destination for Buddhists.

 

Thai Monastery:

The Thai monastery stands out from the rest of the foreign temples and monasteries due to its unique design and breathtaking surroundings. The temple consists of sloping and curved roofs which remain covered with tiles made of gold. The exterior of the temple is a sight to behold. Within the temple stands a magnificently carved bronze statue of the Lord Buddha. The ambiance inside the temple is one of complete peace and relaxation. A statue of the Buddha, measuring 25 m in height, has recently been installed in the garden close to the Thai monastery.

 

Animesh Lochana Chaitya:

It is believed that Lord Buddha spent seven long days during the second week of his enlightenment in the Animesh Lochana Chaitya shrine, staring at the Bodhi Tree. Legend says that he did so without batting an eyelid, out of gratitude for providing him with shelter. He also spent another week walking between the Animesh Lochana Chaitya and the Bodhi Tree. This route is known as the Jewel Walk or Ratnachankrama.

 

Ajapala Nigrodha Tree:

The Ajapala Nigrodha Tree is believed to have been purified by the presence of the Lord. Locals state a simple shepherd boy planted this tree to offer shelter to the Lord. Gautama is believed to have spent the entire fifth week in deep meditation under this tree. The tree situated right in front of the royal Mahabodhi Temple happens to be a major site for Buddhist followers and tourists. The eastern gate forms the entrance to the temple.

 

Cankamana:

The Cankamana pathway was utilized by Lord Buddha for the purpose of meditation during the third week of Nirvana. The site lies towards the northern end of the temple complex. The spots that received the feet of the Lord have been molded into lotuses made of black stone. The entire region and the surrounding areas are peaceful and serene. The path is deemed sacred and is worshipped alongside the image of Lord Buddha.

 

Muchalinda Lake:

Lake Muchalinda is the site where the Snake King Muchalinda protected the Lord from a fearful thunderstorm. The lake is located on the right side of the main temple. A statue of the Buddha, seated in meditation pose on the coil of a snake and protected by the hood is situated in the middle of the Lake. The lake is bounded by rows of lush green trees.

 

Rajayatna Tree:

The south-eastern side of the Bodhi temple complex houses the Rajayatna Tree where Lord Buddha spent the seventh and final week of meditation. This is place where the well-known hymn “Buddham Sharanam Gachchami” was coined by two Burmese merchants who sought shelter under the tree. The tree is indicated by a stone plaque and is believed to be the final stop at the complex.

 

Ratnaghara:

Ratnaghara is one of the locations dedicated to meditation by Prince Siddhartha to attain enlightenment. The luxurious hall adorned with seven precious elements is said to have been constructed by Lord Indra and Lord Brahma for the Buddha to meditate. Huen Tsang, the Chinese traveler in his travel log states that the rare elements had been slowly converted into stone with the passage of time. Ratnaghara is at present a glorious but lonely shrine within the complex without any roof.

 

Chinese Temple:

This beautiful temple was erected by Chinese Buddhist monks close to the Bodhi Temple Complex. The exterior of the temple reflects the rich architecture of the Chinese and has been liberally decorated with many Chinese designs. The stunning statue of the Buddha instated in the inner holy sanctum of the shrine was brought all the way over from China and dates back to 200 years. The temple was renovated in the year 1997 and houses three golden statues of the Buddha.

 

Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple:

A harmonious combination of deep rooted Buddhist doctrines and Japanese architecture, the Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple is located at a distance of 15 km from the city of Bodhgaya. The temple has been composed of wood and is similar to a traditional Japanese shrine. Many delicate Japanese paintings within the temple signify special events from the life of the Buddha. The temple was erected in the year 1972 and is one of the best in terms of attendance and maintenance.

 

Royal Bhutan Monastery:

Due to the large influx of devotees in Bodhgaya, the neighbouring Bhutan government has constructed a monastery for the lLord. The Royal Bhutan Monastery is a unique because of its attractive clay carvings inside that depicts several aspects of Buddhism.

 

Thai Monastery:

The Thai Monastery is another unique shrine in Bodhgaya especially due to its beautiful and serene surroundings. The sloping and curved roof of the shrine has been covered with golden tiles. There is a gigantic bronze statue of Lord Buddha inside the shrine.

 

Vietnamese Temple:

Located near the Maha Bodhi temple complex, the Vietnamese temple is a recent add on in Bodhgaya. The statue of Avalokiteswara (the peaceful Buddha) housed in the sanctum is very impressive and imparts a great mental peace. The temple and its surroundings is an excellent spiritual asylum.