Mahabodhi Mahavira

Why To Go

The Mahabodhi Mahavihara is very famous throughout the history. This is the place where Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, as we know him achieved enlightenment. It was built by Maharaja Asoka in the 3rd century BC. Presently it has been honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Mahabodhi temple is said to be substantially similar to the stupa initially built here by Emperor Ashoka. The temple enshrines a huge Buddha statue, seated in the cross-legged, earth-touching pose, over the spot, the place where Budhha had attained Nirvana. Mahabodhi statue is believed to be an exact likeness of the Buddha himself and is the most revered statue in the Buddhist world.

The Holy Bodhi tree (the Peepal tree) under which Buddha attained enlightenment, stands on the west of the temple.  The Vault of Mahabodhi temple is being coated with gold plates as heavy as 290kgs, as offered by the Government of Thailand.

The Mahabodhi Temple standing in the east of the Bodhi Tree, continues to amaze people from the very time it made its presence in the earth with an unworldly beauty and architecture. The 170ft tall temple with ‘chatras’ on the top of it exemplifies supremacy and a significant influence of religion. The four towers rising from the four corners of the main temple also give enough equilibrium and countenance to the whole atmosphere. This consecrated and blessed erection seems to be the proof of nothing but the large endeavor of the great Buddha to free the world from all of its affliction and angst and give it a touch of supreme bliss and perfection only to help the people vanquish every kind of unhappiness and misery. In the main sanctum, there are also various votive stupas, the artistry of which still happens to startle the visitors worldwide.

Travel Tips

The pilgrimage season starts mainly from September; and reaches its peaks in January. Although the best time to visit Bodh Gaya is November to February. June and September should be avoided due to the monsoon season. The weather tends to get very aggressive. The other times are very hot and thus are not suitable for visit. Even so, many pilgrims visit Bodh Gaya during May to celebrate Budhha Purnima. The temple is open from 5 in the morning to 9 in the evening. Entry is free here, although camera and video camera are chargeable. It’s a great sight to behold when the monks and devotees pray and worship together, so don’t miss this wonderful scene. No mobiles are allowed inside the temple premises. Due to regular power cuts, keeping a torch would be handy. Both veg and non-veg foods are available at roadside stalls, which are quite tasty.

Things To Do

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is not only a sacred place but also a significant one. That was the foundation of their faith. It is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations. Over the years, the number of pilgrims has risen considerably. The best part about Bodh Gaya, as stated by many, is the vibe of the whole place. It is said that the essence of Buddha attaining his enlightenment is still there in the pure air. The peace and tranquillity of the area is very famous. One could visit the Kundan Bazaar while visiting Bodh Gaya. It is a very famous book; clothing and gift shop and have few of their best collections. With the correct strategy of bargaining, one can have a pleasant buying spree in the bazaar. The Mahabodhi Temple complex bookstore has a vast collection of books on Buddhism. So if you wish to learn more about Buddha and Buddhism you can invest upon some books.

Getting Around

The Mahabodhi Mahavira is a temple that takes up a vast area. Inside this temple, one must go by foot to explore the various parts of the temple.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The nearest airport to the temple is the Gaya airport. It is 17 kms away from the temple. One could also land in the Patna airport that is 135 kms away from the temple. From there, you can take a bus, taxi or a train to reach the temple.

TRAIN

The nearest railway station is the Gaya station located around 16kms away. The rail station is connected to various major cities around. Get a taxi or an auto rickshaw from the station and reach the temple.

ROAD

Bodh Gaya and Gaya are connected by a main road. The Bihar State tourist development corporation runs deluxe bus services on a daily basis. They run buses from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya, Bodh Gaya to Nalanda, Rajgir, and Kathmandu. The roads here are very narrow and rough. Do avoid the Gaya market would be best while coming by car from the Patna airport.

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Surrounding Attractions

The Prestshila Hills are one of the most beautiful sites offered by the Bodh Gaya. It is situated 100kms to the south of Patna. It is of much historical and mythical importance. It is situated in close vicinity of the Phalgu River. The interesting fact about this river is that the water in this river always remains under a thick layer of silt and sand. The Vishnupad Mandir is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is marked by the Dharmashila- a footprint of Lord Vishnu. With the Bhumihar Brahmins as the traditional priests, this temple has been the object of devotion for a lot of pilgrims. This place is also believed to be where Lord Buddha meditated for six years. Pagodas and shrines – Several Buddhist countries have built pagodas and temples in Bodhgaya. The Chinese temple was built in 1945 and had three golden statues of the Budha. Among other attractions, there are Lotus Tank, Rajayatana, Archaeological Museum, Thai Temple & Monastery, Buddha Kund, 80 ft Statue of the Buddha, Japanese Temple, Brahma Yoni, Burmese Temple and Tibetan Monastery, etc., which are worth mentioning.
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