Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (A World Heritage Site): Facts at a Glance

02-MAY-2016 13:14

    The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C., and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period. It is a location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

    Location of Mahabodhi Temple Complex:


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    Picture of Mahabodhi Temple:



    Picture of Mahabodhi Tree:



    Facts about Mahabodhi Temple Complex:

    1. Bodh Gaya is located in the Gaya district of Bihar.

    2. It is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment.

    3. Emperor Asoka visited Bodh Gaya around 260 B.C. and constructed a small temple near the Bodhi tree.

    4. The brick, 160-foot-high Mahabodhi temple was built during the 1st to 3rd centuries A.D.

    5. The temple scattered in the area of nearly 4.8 hectares.

    6. Fahien (a Chinese tourist) first makes reference to the main temple and the Bodhi tree in 404-05 A.D.

    7. Hieun Tsang, who visited the site in 637 A.D. described the presence of walls surrounding the Bodhi tree, within which stood the Mahabodhi temple nearly 160 feet tall and a large fine sanctuary.

    8. When the Delhi sultanate conquer this region, the temple discarded by the devotees.

    9. During the 19th century, the Burmese kings made certain repairs which were continued by the British in 1880-84.

    10. The Main Temple wall has an average height of 11 m and it is built in the classical style of Indian temple architecture.

    11. This holy place carries a lofty pancharatha sikhara of a straight-edged pyramidal design, made into seven storeys by bhumi-amalakas (amalakas occurring at the corners of the sikhara to denote storeys).

    12. The sacred Bodhi tree stands to the west of the above temple. It is known as the Pipal Tree (Ficus religiosa) in India. It is believed that this tree is born from the original tree under which Lord Buddha meditated.

    13. It is named as world heritage site by UNESCO in 2002.

    14. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is the property of the State Government of Bihar. On the basis of the Bodh Gaya Temple Act of 1949, the State Government is responsible for the management and protection of the property through Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) and Advisory Board.

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