Mahabodhi Temple Complex – A Quick Glimpse
Known as one of the prominent Buddhist Temple of Bodh Gaya (Bihar), the Mahabodhi Temple is a sacred place where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. The name of this temple means "Great Awakening Temple" and has been declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple comprises a descendant of the Bodhi Tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment, and has been a major pilgrimage destination for Buddhists for well over two thousand years.
Architectural Significance of the Temple:
This temple holds amazing architecture along with its legendary history associated to Lord Buddha. The main temple's survival is impressive as it was mostly made of brick covered with stucco (materials that are much less durable than stone). But this means that very little of the original sculptural decoration has survived. The oldest sculptural elements have been moved to the temple’s museum and the carved stone railing wall around the main temple has been replaced by replicas.
The temple complex includes two large straight-sided shikhara towers, the largest over 55 meters (180 feet) high. This is a stylistic feature that has continued in Jain and Hindu temples to the present day and at the same time influenced Buddhist architecture in other countries.
Bodhi Tree – A sacred point where Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment
The Bodhi tree present at Bodhgaya is beautifully associated with Buddha as it believed that Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment when he was meditating under this tree. The temple was built directly to the east of the Bodhi tree, supposedly a direct descendant of the original Bodhi Tree.
Interesting facts associated with the Bodhi Tree:
- According to Buddhist mythology, if no Bodhi tree grows at the site, the ground around the Bodhi tree is devoid of all plants for a distance of one royal Karisa. Through the ground around the Bodhi tree no being, not even an elephant, can travel.
- According to theJatakas, the navel of the earth lies at this spot and no other place can support the weight of the Buddha's attainment.
- Another Buddhist tradition claims that when the world is destroyed at the end of akalpa, the Bodhimanda is the last spot to disappear, and will be the first to appear when the world emerges into existence again.
Top attractions near the Temple:
- Thai Monastery: It is located at walking distance from Mahabodhi temple. It comprises a beautifully decorated Buddha statue coupled with the serene surroundings and marvelous Thai architecture. Every year, lots of devotees from Thailand visit this monastery.
- Royal Bhutan Monastery: This is one monastery not to miss. Every inch of wall and ceiling of the temple is beautifully showcasing the life of the Buddha. Beautiful paintings and clay carvings in beautiful deep colors have been used for the same. Plan accordingly if visiting during Buddh Purnima because of the tremendous rush and advance booking run in months ahead.
- Great Buddha Statue: The is one of the most important and most visited places to visit in Bodhgaya. The great Buddha statue behind of Japanese temple. It has a unique grandeur.
- Metta Buddharam Temple: This is a newly build temple with a spectacular statue of Lord Buddha made of white marble. One gets lots of peace while visiting this temple. Within the temple, there are two more small temples out of which one has wind chims.
Know the timings of the Temple:
Opening of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara (main shrine): 5:00 AM
Sutta chanting and meditation - 5:30 am to 6:00 am
Offering of Kheer - 10:00 AM
Sutta chanting & Meditation - 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Closing of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara - 9:00 PM
The temple is open all days throughout the week.
Points to Remember:
- Don’t carry with Mobile phones, iPad, Laptop, Tablet, heavy luggage/ bags inside the temple premises. One can deposit the luggage and mobile at the deposit counter.
- Butter Lamps House situated in the south side of the Temple premises.
Contact Number: +91 91994 67609