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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 10 Top Things to Do in Bodhgaya – An enlightening experience
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10 Top Things to Do in Bodhgaya – An enlightening experience

Bodhgaya is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the state of Bihar in India that is considered to be one of the most sacred places for Buddhism. Here are 10 things to do around Bodhgaya.

1

Mahabodhi Temple

The Mahabodhi temple, which was Initially constructed by Emperor Ashoka in 6 A.D. is the temple where Lord Buddha reached enlightenment and came up with his ideology for life. The temple is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and underwent many restorations after it was in vandalized by invading countries during the 11th century. This sacred place of worship attracts large amounts of pilgrimages and tourists each year.

2

Bodhi tree

The Bodhi tree, also known as the Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, is where Prince Siddhartha was seated when he reached enlightenment and came up with the guiding philosophies that founded Buddhism. After reaching enlightenment Lord Buddha gazed unblinkingly at the tree in adoration and awe as a sign of gratitude for helping him reach enlightenment.

3

Great Buddha Statue

At a height of 25 meters and encircled by 10 smaller statues of Lord Buddha's followers, the Great Buddha statue located on temple street was opened by in 1989 by the Dalai Lama. The monument is partly hollow and is said to house around 20,000 statues of Lord Buddha made of bronze.

4

Ram Sewak Tea Corner

This is charming little roadside food stall located near the Jaiprakash park that offers scrumptious Dhaba-style food such as idli, samosa, dosa and sweet lassis for a cheap price is a great place to grab a quick bite to each while sightseeing.

5

Barabar Caves

The origins of the Barbar cave that are located in the Jehanabad district of Bihar can be traced back to the Mayuran period. Considered to be one of the oldest rock caves in India, the walls of the Barbar caves are lined with inscriptions that can be carbon dated to the Ashoka period.

6

Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple

The intricate woodwork and the unique Japanese architectural influence of the Indosan Nippon Japanese temple are 2 of the main reasons why this temple is a popular tourist attraction for tourist visiting Bodhgaya. The temple was built in 1972 as a way to preserve and spread Lord Buddha's teaching.

7

Archaeological Museum

Located close to some of the best hotels in Bodhgaya the likes of Oaks Bodhgaya, the archaeological museum of Bodhgaya showcases an impressive collection of Buddhist statues carved out of stone that dates back to 8th and 12 centuries. The museum's main attraction, however, is a 2000- year old collection of sandstone, granite pillars and railing that were rescued from the Mahabodhi temple after it was vandalized during the 11th century.

8

Tibetan Refugee Market

If you're looking for a place to buy souvenirs, local handicraft and knick-knacks then the Tibetan Refugee market at the heart of the Bodhgaya town is the place to be! The market is made up of several make-shift stalls that are run by mainly people that belong to the Tibetan culture.

9

Dungeshwari Cave

Lord Buddha is said to have spent 7 years in the Dungeshwari Cave that located northeastern part of Bodhgaya. While there's not much to do or see here, travelling to this cave via foot or motorbike is a great way to soak up the lush greenery and visit some of the remote villages in Bodhgaya.

10

Sujata Stupa

Located on the other side of the Fagu River, the Sujata Stupa was constructed in honour of a cow-herder named Sujata who fed Lord Buddha rice pudding, which encouraged him to follow the middle way and ending 7 years of asceticism.

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