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Mahabodhi Temple

Photos and description

Located in the North-Eastern part of India, in the state of Bihar in the district of Gaya, Mahabodhi temple is one of the most revered Buddhist religious sites associated with the Buddha's name. It is believed he attained Enlightenment.

According to historians, around the year 250 BC, 200 years after the emergence of Buddhism, the Maurya Emperor Ashoka visited this place and decided to lay here a monastery and a temple. It is the ruler Ashoka, is considered the founder of the Mahabodhi. But the temple itself is in the form in which it survived until our days, was built in V-VI century.

The Mahabodhi temple is considered one of the oldest brick structures in Eastern India, which were saved till our time. The Central temple tower rises to 55 meters, it is decorated with geometric patterns and carved panels. Tower surrounded by four towers are much smaller. From all sides the building is surrounded by the original stone railing, with a height of over two meters. On older parts, are made of Sandstone, carved image bathing with elephants the Hindu Goddess of health and Lakshmi and the sun God Surya riding a chariot drawn by four horses. The new part of the railing is decorated with carved figures of Lotus flowers and eagles.
The temple was reconstructed in the late nineteenth century, still under British administration, at the initiative of sir Alexander Cunningham.

Near the sanctuary, at the Western wall is a sacred Buddhist Bo tree, or as it is called ficus religiosa (religious), which is believed to be the meditating Buddha.

The Mahabodhi temple is included in world heritage list of UNESCO.