Culture & Legacy

the sacred hidden treasures of mahabodhi temple Complex |Theindology| part 2


The Mahabodhi Temple or the Mahābodhi Mahāvihāra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ancient, but rebuilt and restored Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Bodh Gaya is 15 km from Gaya and about 96 km (60 mi) from Patna. The site contains a descendant of the Bodhi Tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment and has been a major pilgrimage destination of Buddhists for well over two thousand years, and some elements date to the period of Ashoka (died c. 232 BCE). What is now visible on the ground essentially dates from the 5th century CE, or possibly earlier, as well as several major restorations since the 19th century. But the structure now may well incorporate large parts of earlier work, possibly from the 2nd or 3rd century CE. Archaeological finds from the site, however, indicate that the place was a site of veneration for Buddhists since at least the Mauryan period. In particular, the Vajrasana, which is located within the temple itself has been dated to the third century BCE. 

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