Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya

I took these photos of the Maha Bodh Temple in the town Gaya town in Bihar. Bodh Gaya is an extremely historical place in Bihar. This is where Lord Buddha got his enlightenment. It is here that he sat under the banyan tree now called the “Bodhi Tree” for 40 days and used to think about life. The photograph below shows the exact spot where he used to medicate. Although the tree may not be exact tree but it certainly seems to have been derived from it.

Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple

While sitting under the tree, enlightenment came to Siddhartha and from then onwards he was called the Buddha, the enlightened one. The enlightenment was the root causes of sorrows and how to overcome them and attain Nirvana. He then gave his first sermon in a place called “Sarnath” where he taught others how follow the path to enlightenment.

The Bodhi Tree
The Bodhi Tree

On my way back we crossed some villages. I did not stop to take a closer look but it seems as if its market place. Village vegetable markets like these are very common. You can see that there are no shops and most of the sellers are selling their products on baskets. Markets like these will start in the morning and finish at night. At the end of the day, you won’t know that there was a market here.

Looking at this, India appears extremely poor and wouldn’t blame you at all for thinking that. You can read more about the poor people in India. In fact, Bihar happens to be one of the poorest places in India but it has been doing well economically. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have made any difference to the lives of these people. It doesn’t seem to have changed much since the Buddha walked these fields. What amazes me most is that, Bihar despite having such great historical heritage, it still remains backward. To be honest, this village could be anywhere in India. Most of the tourists to India do not even see these villages. But the truth is that the real India lies in these villages. You can read more about poverty in India.

Village Vegetable Market
Village Vegetable Market

Focusing on the Mahabodhi Temple, it can be reached via Patna the capital of Bihar by train and coaches (110km) organised by the ‘Bihari Tourist Department’. There are frequent trains from Varanasi. There is a Bodh Gaya International Airport but it’s only connected to Sri Lanka (Colombo) and Thailand (Bangkok). Thai Airways flies to Gaya daily. Indian Airlines flies from Kolkata (Calcutta) on Fridays at 10.00 in the morning and returns on Mondays from Gaya airport at around 15.00 hrs. In addition, there are flights from Delhi and Mumbai.

Inside of Mahabodhi Temple
Inside of Mahabodhi Temple

The town of Bodh Gaya has many guest houses and hotels. In recent years, tourism in Bodh Gaya has increased. Walking around the town, it seemed as if I was in Burma and not in India. I highly recommend this place for those seeking spiritual upliftment.

Some of the most important places to see in Bodh Gaya include:

Bodhi tree, Mahabodhi stupa, the Thai monastery, an 80 foot Buddha statue, Japanese temple (Indosan Nippon), and archaeological museum, Bodhgaya multimedia museum and the Barabar caves (the oldest surviving rock caves in India).

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28 thoughts on “Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya”

  1. Ah…I used to marvel at the Bodhi tree when I was a child Shalu!

    I’v been to the temple and when my parents used to tell me stories of Lord Buddha, it used to such an experience, especially to visit and be at those very same places he had been too as well. We used to travel a lot as kid’s and explore such historic places.

    I agree, the real India, which is often missed by tourists, lies in the villages, where the real people live. Seeing the poor live like they do, makes us appreciate all that we have in our lives as compared to their’s – isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

    • Hi Harleena
      I am thrilled to know what you have been there. Its one of those places that must be visited by the spiritually inclined and those who are simply interested in historical events. Its a real shame about the villages but things are getting better.

  2. I have not been there but I was in Sarnath where he gave his first sermon after enlightenment. That was such a peaceful place. And I completely agree, real India lies in its villages.

  3. Wow the above temple seem to be really great. Actually i was also looking for some kind of place to go to for these holidays.I will definitely be looking for this place in my plan.Thanks a lot for the information and pictures.

  4. Nicely written. I haven\\\’t been there, however, I agree that there are many places which help in giving us peace. I hardly visit temples. However, when I was trekking in Ladakh, I had an amazingly spiritual experience. I am happy to know that you had a nice experience in Bodh gaya.

  5. HI Shalu jee

    Great information shared!
    I have read about this place in the history books only, never got a chance to visit this place.
    Char Dham Yatra and this temple is on my list now.

    Thanks Shalu jee for sharing this.


  6. I’m really a big fan of the Indian culture. But with my busy and extremely hectic life I have no idea when I’ll ever get the time to visit. Thanks to your site, I’m able to see India in the comfort of my own home! Thanks for the excellent posts.

  7. Great post, lof of thanks for this post. I wasn’t more aware about Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya but due to this post. I came close for Mahabodhi Temple.

  8. I believe this is the most important religious site for any Buddhist in the world. It’s wonderful how India has such historical sites dating back to thousands of years, and preserving them. It’s also amazing how cultures develop and fail. Back in the day when kings ruled India, it must have been well developed although the new economy is challenging.

    • Salika, this is perhaps the most important of all Buddhist sites in the whole world since it was here where Buddha used to meditate. Thanks for your comment and hope to see you again. Best wishes.

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