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Bodhgaya

As the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buhddhists. It attracts tens of thousands of believers from all over the world. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.

The population of this town is 22,000 and is situated at an altitude of 113 m. Maximum temperature in summer rises to 45-47 degree Celsius and minimum is 27 degree, while in winter maximum is 28 degree and minimum is 4 degree. It receives an annual rainfall of 1,860 mm. Most countries with vast Buddhist population have a temple or monastery here.

The 25 m Great Buddha Statue in the Japanese Kamakura style was unveiled by his holiness Dalai Lama in 1989.

Bodhgaya is 12 km from Gaya, 140 km from Patna, 66 km from Rajgir and 482 km from Calcutta.
Mahabodhi Temple: The temple stands in the east to the Bodhi Tree. Its architectural effect is superb. Its basement is 48 square feet and it rises in the form of a slender Pyramid till it reaches its neck, which is cylindrical in shape. The total height of the temple is 170 ft. and on the top of the temple are Chatras which symbolize sovereignty of religion. Four towers on its corners rise gracefully giving the holy structure a poise balance. This sacred edifice is like a grand banner unfurled by time to proclaim to the world the pious efforts of the Buddha to solve the knots of human miseries, to ascend above worldly problems and to attain transcendental peace through wisdom, good conduct and disciplined life.

Inside the temple, in the main sanctum, there is a colossal image of the Buddha in sitting posture touching the earth by his right hand. In this posture the Buddha accomplished the supreme enlightenment. The statue is of black stone but it has been guilder by the devotees. The entire courtyard of the temple is studded with large number of votive stupas. These stupas are of all sizes built during the past 2500 years ago. Most of them are extremely elegant in structural beauty. The ancient railings, which surround the temple, are of the first century BC and are among the very interesting monuments of the century.

Animesh Lochan Chaitya: It is believed that the Buddha spent one week here looking towards the great Bodhi tree out of gratitude, without twinkling his eyes.

Mahabodhi Tree Bodhi Tree : The present Bodhi Tree is probably the fifth succession of the original tree under which the Buddha had attained enlightenment. Vajrasana, the seat of stability, is a stone platform on which the Buddha is supposed to have sat in meditation gazing east, under the Bodhi tree.

Chankramana : This marks the sacred spot of the Buddha's meditative perambulations during the third week after pious enlightenment. It is believed that wherever the Buddha put his feet lotus sprang up.

Ratnagarh : The Buddha spent one week here, where it is believed that five colors came out of his body.


Air : Patna is the nearest airport with regular flights to Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow, Calcutta, Chennai, Mumbai. Calcutta, 482 km, has an international airport.

Rail : Gaya is the nearest railway station. Several superfast as well as express trains are available from Gaya. Gaya is on the main Delhi to Calcutta line and there are direct trains to Delhi, Calcutta, Varanasi, Puri and Patna.

Road: Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) has bus services to Gaya, Patna, Nalanda and Rajgir. The main bus stand is opposite the Mahabodhi Temple.

Festivals
Buddha Jayanti : Vaisakh Full moon day (every year of May month)
Kathina Civra Dana : October month
Ambedkar Jayanti : 14th April
Monlam Puja & Peace ceremony : Dec. to Feb.
Bauddha Mahotsava : 15-17th January.