Bodh Gaya's magnificent Mahabodhi Temple Complex is located in the central part of Bihar state. The temple is about 96 km away from Bihar's capital, Patna. The first temple was built in the 3rd century B.C by King Ashoka. While the present temple complex is estimated to be built somewhere between the 6th or 5th century B.C.
The entire temple was built using only bricks, which is a sculptural masterpiece. The temple helps devotees gain insight into Lord Buddha's life and teachings. The sacred Bodhi tree under which Siddhartha Gautama meditated and acquired spiritual knowledge is located on the west side of the temple.
There are many towers in the temple, and it is believed that the longest one is 55 meters tall. Lord Buddha's gold-painted idol seated in the' Bhumisparsa Mudra' (Earth touching posture) captivates visitors ' attention. The devotees can also visit seven other places within the temple complex where Lord Buddha used to meditate after receiving enlightenment. There are several smaller stupas and Buddha statues in the temple premises. It is believed that some of the idols are hundred years old.
How to reach Bodh Gaya?
Travel by Road
Bodhgaya is located on NH-83, just 11 km from Gaya town. As a major tourist destination in Bihar State, Bodh Gaya is particularly well connected to Patna by roads with several private cars and buses. The Bihar State Tourism Development Organization provides several bus services to this plant from Patna and the site also operates some direct bus services from Varanasi, Kathmandu (Nepal), etc. You can easily reach Bodhgaya from major Indian cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Lucknow and Hyderabad via Patna.
Travel By train
Bodhgaya is very well connected by a well maintained railway network in the eastern Indian zone through railway services. Gaya Railway Station is Bodh Gaya's nearest major station, located at Gaya about 16 km away. It takes about two hours to get to Gaya station by train from Patna, 8 hours from Kolkata and 16 hours from Delhi. You'll get several buses, three wheels auto rickshaws or you can also rent a taxi to Bodh Gaya after reaching this station.
Travel by Air
Gaya International Airport is the closest airport located just 8 km from Bodhgaya. It operates several local and international flights, such as one-week flights from Bangkok, daily flights from Thailand, on Fridays from Kolkata, from Delhi nad Mumbai. Another airport nearest to the city about 112 km from Patna.
Tour Spots in Bodh Gaya
Bodhi tree: Lord Buddha gained enlightenment under a Pipal tree. This tree is called the Bothi Tree. The original tree, however, died another tree planted there by Emperor Asoka's daughter in around the 3rd century B.C. The present Bodhi tree is over 123 years old and has been planted as a sapling brought from Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka and is surrounded by two-type quadrangular stone railings.
The Great Buddha Statue has recently been installed in the Thai Temple Garden (18 November 1989). It is about 82 ft high in the meditation pose, sitting in the open air on a lotus. It took seven years to complete the statue with the work of some 120001 masons. The statue is made of red granite and blocks of sandstone.
Mahabodhi Temple is the main attraction in the Bodh Gaya Complex where Lord Buddha has attained enlightenment. The temple building is an example of Dravidian architecture built during the 6th or 7th century by Emperor Ashoka. The temple has a height of about 172 ft consisting of nine stories of pyramidal towers. At the top it has a Stupa-shaped dome and at each of the four corners it has four towers. You will find a massive 7 ft high statue of Lord Buddha sitting with a gesture of meditation.
Thai Monastery is famous for its unique appearance and beautiful surroundings. It was built by Thai devotees ' donation. It is decorated with golden tiles on the sloping and curved roof. Great Buddha statue, 82 ft high, is placed in this temple garden. For more details, contacts to below mentioned address. Telephone: 0631-2200470, fax: 0631-2200470, website: www.watthaibuddhagaya.com.
Animeshlocan Chaiyata: The temple in front of the Bodhi Tree called Animeshlochan Chaitya. Bodhgaya is known for his sacred Mahabodhi Temple where Prince Siddhartha performed Enlightenment and from here he became Lord Buddha. Buddha spent seven days in seven different places around the temple precincts after his enlightenment. All these seven places are now converted into temples and one of these is Animeshlocan Chaiyata.
Japanese Temple was built in 1972 by the Japanese government and devotees to preaching Buddhism in India. It is about 14 km away from Bodh Gaya town. The temple is made up of wood and resembles a typical Japanese style where you will find several exquisite Japanese paintings and special events related to Buddha's life.