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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Top 5 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya – Experience the culture
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya – Experience the culture

Bodhgaya is a religious place in India, known for having Buddhists from all over the world visit it, either for pilgrimage or otherwise. Apart from the devotees, travellers are now visiting Bodhgaya too, and you will see why if you read on.

1

Mahabodhi Temple

Built in the seventh century AD, this temple was built around the actual Bodhi tree Buddha attained his wisdom under. The temple itself has been renovated and redesigned several times over the past few years, the latest change being made in the nineteenth century, by a King of Burma. The shrine at Mahabodhi Temple resembles the original stupa created by King Asoka and the temple is home to a large Buddha idol in which he is seated cross-legged. Around the complex of the temple, you will find many carvings too.

2

The Bodhi Tree

This is the most popular tree in Bodhgaya when it comes to religious prominence. Anyone of the Bodhgaya hotels the likes of Oaks Bodhgaya will point you in the right direction and you can easily make a visit to the site with ease. Since this tree played a major role in the history of Buddhism, it has been immortalised too. The tree now is not the exact tree Buddha sat underneath, but is said to be a tree that came from the same line of trees.

3

Animesh Lochana

A shrine for the Chaitya, this is one of the places at which Buddha got his second enlightenment week of meditation. While at this spot, he could look at the Bodhi tree too. Legend has it that Buddha looked at the tree unblinkingly as an act of gratitude for sheltering him and providing shade when he needed it. After this, he also spent yet another seven days walking in between the tree and the shrine; the path he paved is now called the Jewel Walk or the Ratnachankrama.

4

The Great Buddha Statue

Definitely an iconic attraction in Bodhgaya, this mighty Buddha statue can be seen from afar. Standing eighty feet tall, this statue is made of sandstone and red granite only. Thousands of visitors come to take a look at the Great Buddha Statue every year, be it for worshipping or just being a responsible tourist. This statue is located on the Great Buddha Statue Road, in Bodhgaya, which is in the state of Bihar. When the statue was open to the public in 1989, none other than Dalai Lama the XIV held the inauguration. Lord Buddha is shown meditating in this podium, while seated on a giant lotus flower.

5

Lake Muchalinda

In India, people believe that Buddha was a reincarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu, thus, the lake is said to protect the God from evil doers. The guardian of the lake is the Snake King whose name the lake was named after. Lake Muchalinda got its part in the Buddhist history since Muchalinda gave protection to Lord Buddha during a fierce storm. The hood of the snake was covering Buddha's head and let him continue his meditation in peace.

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