Renowned as the spot of enlightenment of Lord Budhha, Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple in Bodhgaya.Bihar is considered as the most sacred site for Buddhists all across the world. In fact ‘Mahabodhi Temple’ itself means ‘Great Awakening Temple’. The temple was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2002.Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
Outsides of the temple have scenes depicting Buddha’s life. Also there is a 180 feet tall tower known as the central tower. In the main hall of the temple is a statue of seated Lord Buddha in bright orange clothes in ‘Bhumisparsh Mudra’- touching the floor with his right hand. It is believed that he had attained enlightenment in this very posture. This statue is made up of black stone and plated with gold. Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
The courtyard has numerous statues of Buddha as well as small stupas. Some among these are believed to be more than a hundred years old. Adjacent to the temple is the famous Bodhi tree, a descendent of the one under which Buddha attained enlightenment. Also close-by is Chankramana Chaitya- Jewel Walk, the area where as per popular beliefs Buddha did walking meditation for seven days after his enlightenment. Neighboring the shrine is a lotus pond where it is believed that Lord Buddha carried out his ablutions. Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
Mythological and historical connections
Originally built by the great emperor Ashoka in 3rd Century, the temple was his gesture to commemorate enlightenment of Lord Buddha. The present structure however belongs to some time around 5th or 6th century. A unique fact about this place is that it is one of the earliest brick-made Buddhist temples that has managed to survive well till date. Jatakas believed that Bodhgaya is the navel of the earth and the only place on the planet which could concede the power of Buddha’s attainment. Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
The way in which edifices exist indicate that initially a monument was built here, and not a holy construction. All the four sides have railings made with stone out of which some of them supposedly belong to 150 B.C. Others date back to the period of Guptas. There are images of Hindu Gods & Goddesses and images of Stupas & Garudas.
Festivals and fairs
There are a few festivals that are celebrated here every year with lots of enthusiasm and participation. The most prominent among these is Buddha Jayanti celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Vaishakh (falls mostly in May). Other festivals that are considered important here are Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
- Buddha Mahotsav organized from 4th to 6th February every year
- Ambedkar Jayanti on 14th April
- Kathina Civra Dana in the month of October
- Monlam Puja and Peace Ceremony from November to February
Temple prayers and timings
Open on all days of the week, the Mahabodhi Mahavihara is opened for visitors at 5 in the morning and shuts at 9 in the night. In between, from 5:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. is the time for sutta chanting and meditation. Kheer as offering is presented before God at 10 a.m. In the evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. again sutta chanting is done.
- Location → Bodhgaya, Bihar
- Dedicated to → Lord Buddha
- Main Attraction → Architecture of the World Heritage Site, Bodhi Tree
- Best time to visit → The pleasant weather between the months of October to March make it the best time to visit Mahabodhi Temple Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
How to reach
- By Air → At Patna is the nearest airport which is 96 kms from Bodhgaya. This airport enjoys a good connectivity with all the major airports of the country and a few international cities as well.
- By Rail→ Bodhgaya is easily accessible by train as well since the city of Gaya which is only 12kms from Bodhgaya owns a railway station having regular trains to and from all the parts of India.
- By Road → It is well connected will all parts of Bihar and other states of eastern part of the country by highways and fine roads. People can easily find private or state transport buses that will take them to Bodhgaya comfortably. Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya
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Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya