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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 11, 2019
Headline for 5 Interesting Facts about Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya- The Mecca for Buddhism.
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Interesting Facts about Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya- The Mecca for Buddhism.

In the Eastern region of India is a site named Bodh Gaya; a holy site popular among Buddhists as it is said that Lord Buddha attained Nirvana right under a Bodhi tree.
The Mahabodhi Temple is built at the very spot of the Bodhi Tree. Here are some more interesting facts.


The descendant of the actual Bodhi Tree

Emperor Ashoka built the first temple here and sent his heirs to different parts of India and Sri Lanka to spread Buddhism, along with a sapling of the tree. One of the saplings made it to the ancient city of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, where it still is flourishing. The Mahabodhi tree is said to be getting weaker and therefore, is leaning against the temple wall. It is said that a clone might have to be planted before any damage occurs to the temple. Therefore, do check it out while the tree is still there.


One of the oldest Temples

The temple is believed to be built by Emperor Ashoka around the 3rd century. It was further renovated during the 5th and 6th centuries. The complex is built entirely by bricks; a unique property of it. Moreover, the temple was initially built as a means to protect the Bodhi tree. However, it gradually became a temple complex after many shrines and monuments were built.
The temple is right near the bank of River Neranjana and less than 10 minutes away from Oaks Bodhgaya, an accommodation option popular among visitors as it is quite a modern Bodhgaya hotel.


Holds the footprint of Lord Buddha

Near the temple and the Bodhi tree is a serene lotus pond with a stone pathway around it. According to ancient stories, it is said that Lord Buddha spent many weeks here meditating- especially walking meditation. As a result of this, it is said that the faded footprints of Lord Buddha are visible on the lotus carved stones.


The navel of the Earth and the last point of destruction

The Bodhi Tree is believed to be rooted right at the navel of the Earth and is believed that if not for the tree, the entire land in the region would not have flourished the way it has now.
Marking the exact location Lord Buddha meditated, is a stone slab that is said would be the last thing on earth to get destroyed. And, if and when the world recreates itself, this would be the point of initiation.


The temple is an inspiration

The temple is undoubtedly an important site of worship and therefore, comes as no surprise that there are many temples that have been built either based on its inspiration or as a replica. Furthermore, the saplings of the great Mahabodhi tree have also found their way to these temples, thus providing an access point to people from various countries. There's one in most of the Buddhism dominated countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, and Burma.