Mahabodhi Temples

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Why the
Mahabodhi Temples
are special

According to Buddhism faith, Buddha attained enlightenment here in the 6th century BC.

Top two
Mahabodhi attractions

Bodhi tree

This is the most sacred spot of the Mahabodhi temple complex because Buddha attained enlightenment while sitting under it. The current Bodhi ("enlightenment") tree is only one century old, but is a distant offshoot of the original. Its branches broadly sprawl and reach 25 meters (80 feet) in height,

Main Temple

The original was constructed in the 3rd century BC by Emperor Ashoka. It was rebuilt and made taller around the 6th century. That version gradually deteriorated and was rather creatively renovated in the 18th century. It soars 53 meters (170 feet) and is the one we view today (see photo). A gilded Buddha statue (see photo) resides inside.

Other main attractions

They include the Jewel Walk (where Buddha strolled and meditated after becoming enlightened) and the many small stupas, shrines, and monasteries in or near the temple grounds.

More
Mahabodhi
tips & insights

Dispute

Hindus believe Buddha was an incarnation of their god Vishnu and, therefore, want to worship inside the Mahabodhi temple complex. Buddhists want to prevent this from happening.

When to come

Mid-fall to mid-spring is the best period. Summer brings monsoons and high temperatures.

Location in India

 

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