Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya

Pink Mahabodhi Temple Complex Building
Photo by: Wonderlane, Creative Commons

The Mahabodhi temple is located in Bodh Gaya City in the state of Bihar, India. In the year 2002 UNESCO listed the Mahabodhi Temple as a world heritage site. The Mahabodhi Temple is the holiest and oldest shrine devoted to Buddhism. It is the place where Gautama Buddha got his enlightenment. The Mahabodhi temple is the oldest temple and the first temple to be constructed using bricks.

The Mahabodhi Temple was constructed by Ashoka in between 5th and 6th centuries. The idea of constructing the temple came as a result of Gautama Buddha’s Enlightenment at Bodhgaya. In addition a diamond throne was built marking the accurate location of Buddha’s enlightenment. In the 12th century Bodhgaya came under the control of Muslim authorities, at this era the temple was damaged and neglected. The temple was restored in 1880 by the British government under the supervision of Sir Alexander Cunningham. In the year 1949 the temple was handed over to the Buddhists.

The whole temple is built with bricks and is the oldest among the brick structures in India. The Mahabodhi temple tower stands at a height of about 55 meters, which is bounded by four more towers which are built in the same manner. The Mahabodhi temple is bounded by railings made of stone two meters tall. In addition, the ancient railings are made of sandstone around 150 B.C. There are a few structures of Indian gods inside the temple namely “Surya”, the god of sun and “Lakshmi”, the goddess of wealth.

The temple contains several towers which are built by many people from different parts of the world. A large amount of Buddha statues are clad in the Hindu style. In addition, there is the Niranjana River close to the temple, which has a great scenic beauty.
Currently, the Mahabodhi temple is maintained by the government of Bihar state. The government takes care of its protection and management.

Bodhgaya is well equipped by all means of transport. From Patna (the capital of the Bihar state) the temple is about 100 km.

By Air:
The airport is about 16 km from Bodhgaya. Every Friday at 10:00am the Indian airlines operates its services from Kolkata, the Thai airways operates its services daily and the flight services from Bangkok operates weekly once.

By Road:
Bus services are frequently available from all parts of the Bihar state. In addition, the government of Bihar provides daily services to Bodhgaya.

By train:
Traveling by train is the easiest way to reach Bodhgaya. Train services from all the major cities in India are available.

The readers should visit Bodhgaya, as this is the place where one can find the ancient history of Buddhism.

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