UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

Mahabodhi Temple Complex Bodhgaya

Built In : 3rd century B.C.

Year of Inscription : 2002

Reasons for Inscription : Criteria number (1), (2), (3), (4), and (6). It is one of the few temples left in the world that signifies the architectural skills of the Indian people in constructing magnificent brick temples during the 5th and 6th centuries. The temple is situated at a place where Lord Buddha attained spiritual enlightenment.

Category : Religious Structure, Buddhist

The Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya is one of the four prominent sacred sites of Buddhism. It is a place where Prince Siddhartha Gautama achieved spiritual knowledge and became the Buddha. The complex is also known by the name Bodhimanda Vihara that means 'Position of Awakening'. The temple is visited in large numbers by both the Buddhist and Hindu devotees (many Hindus consider Lord Buddha as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu).

MAHABODHI TEMPLE COMPLEX – AN OVERVIEW The magnificent Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya is situated in the central part of the state of Bihar. The temple is about 96 km away from Patna, the capital city of Bihar. The first temple was constructed by King Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C. while the present temple complex is estimated to be erected somewhere between the 6th or 5th century B.C. The entire temple has been built only by using bricks, which is a sculptural masterpiece. The temple helps the devotees to get an insight about the life and teachings of Lord Buddha.

The sacred Bodhi tree under which Siddhartha Gautama meditated and attained spiritual knowledge is situated on the west side of the temple. There are plenty of towers in the temple and the longest one is believed to be 55 meters tall. The gold painted idol of Lord Buddha sitting in the 'Bhumisparsa Mudra' (Earth touching posture) captivates the attention of the visitors. The devotees can also visit seven other places located inside the temple complex where Lord Buddha used to meditate after getting enlightenment. The premises of the temple include several smaller stupas and Buddha statues. Some of the idols are believed to hundred years old.

HOW TO REACH

By Air : Gaya (17 km) is the nearest airport to this temple.

By Rail : The nearest railhead that links the temple is Gaya situated at a distance of 16 km.

By Road : Gaya is well linked by road to Patna, which is about 112 kms away.

Timings - 5 AM to 9 PM