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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2018
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Visit The Holy Sites of Bodhgaya - A brief guide to Bodhgaya

Bodhgaya is known to be a place in India where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Visitors, mainly devotees travel to these famed locations to honour his teachings.

1

The Maha Bodhi Temple

The Maha Bodhi Temple is where the Buddha attained enlightenment and has now become a popular pilgrimage site. The architecture of the temple is shrouded in history and was first built as a monument of the Buddha's presence, however over the years; it has now served as a place of worship as it houses an important relic. The temple rises to about 52m and 15 m in length. Once you step into the temple, you'll see an image of Buddha touching the ground, and it is known to be over 1700 years old. The Maha Bodi Temple is made of brick; the structures of which are known to be the oldest in East India.

2

The Bodhi Tree

The Bodhi Tree is significant as it was known that after reaching enlightenment, the Buddha continued to meditate for seven days under this tree without moving. The next seven days, the Buddha practised walking meditation. Behind the temple, an ancient Bodhi tree exists, from which many saplings were believed to have been sent to Buddhist nations across the world. A root or plant of this tree was sent to Sri Lanka where the local King at the time planted it in the holy ancient city of Anuradhapura. For present day worship, the Bodhi Tree has become a central place for devotees to gather around and meditate or listen to the sermons of the temple.

3

Bodhgaya

The Bodhgaya has been marked as a place of pilgrimage since 1953 and Buddhists from Japan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Tibet and Thailand have built temples and monasteries that are within close proximity to the Maha Bodhi compound. Visit the Bodhgaya during the cool months of December to March. Serving as a place of devotion and worship, Buddhists from across the world journey to India to visit this holy place and those who are looking for hotels in Bodhgaya will find that accommodation properties such as Oaks Bodhgaya come highly recommended for tourists as well as pilgrims.

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Things to Note

If your visit to Bodhgaya is purely for tourist purposes, do keep in mind that this is a sacred place of worship. Remember to dress modestly, while covering your shoulders and legs. Don't act in a rude, boisterous or loud manner and remember to keep your voice low inside the temple premises. Do keep in mind to obey any signs where photography is not allowed- this is usually inside the temple. Above all, be respectful of the religion.

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Times and Fees

The temple is open daily from 5 am to 9 pm, but visitors are encouraged to head there in the morning hours when the heat is bearable. Even though there's no entrance fee, you have to pay Rs.100 to take your camera in and Rs. 300 for a video camera. If you wish to go inside the meditation park, the entry fees are Rs. 25 for worshippers and Rs.20 for visitors and the park is open from sunrise to sunset.

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