Bihar is one of the major states from where Buddhism has emerged. Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is one of the major Buddhist temples in India. It is one of the top tourist destinations in Bihar attracting people from all around the world. It is also a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the best place to find calm and solace. You will totally be mesmerized by this peaceful holy place. Here is our full guide to Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya, which will help you to know more about the place.
About Mahabodhi Temple
If you are traveling to Bihar or are anywhere near Bodh Gaya and are in seek of peace then the best place to go to will be Mahabodhi Temple. It is an immaculately maintained complex with the most serene surroundings. Here a few details about this place that would definitely make you head to this place now.
1. History Of Mahabodhi Temple Complex
The enlightenment of Buddha is related to this temple. This temple is a major pilgrimage site and there is Bodhi Tree here, under which Buddha got enlightenment. Emperor Ashoka was the first one to mark this important religious site. Later a temple was built in the 2nd century at this place. It was in the year 1949, that this temple was recognized as a Buddhist Holy Place under the Bodhgaya Act.
2. Inside The Mahabodhi Temple Complex
Besides the main shrine of Buddha made of black stone and painted in gold, there is a lot to explore in Mahabodhi Temple Complex. One of the most sacred places here is the Bodhi Tree which lies exactly behind the shrine. Apart from this, there is also a pond in the south of the complex where it is believed that Buddha used to take a bath. In the northeast area, there is Ratanaghara or the Jewel House which draws the main attention of tourists. There are several stupas and trees on the complex of the temple.
3. Meditating At Mahabodhi Temple Complex
The monks in this temple sit down near stupas or under the banyan tree to meditate and calm their senses. This is the place where one must explore and sit down with a wooden board on the green grass to look inward and not outward. With birds chirping in the background and the waft of incense sticks, you will ultimately lull into a deeper world away from the outer hustle and bustle. There is also a meditation garden that has fountains, space for groups, and two huge prayer bells. The aura of this temple is such that people get attracted to it and visit it again and again.
Best Time To Visit Mahabodhi Temple
Irrespective of the weather, one can find pilgrims throughout the year in the Mahabodhi Temple. However, if we talk particularly about the weather, then the months between November – February are the best ones to visit the temple as the weather is moderate. Here is a classification for you that will help you in planning your trip.
Summer Season: The summer months from March to June are extremely hot in BodhGaya. But still these months see a lot of people visiting the temple, as Budha Jayanti falls during these months. It is the time of grand celebration in the town.
Monsoon Season: July to September form the months of monsoon in Bodh Gaya. There are heavy rains during these months but the overall climate is pleasant. Many travelers prefer these months to visit the temple, as a trip during these months would be a pocket friendly one. So, you can visit to Bodhgaya during these months if you are looking for a budgeted trip.
Winter Season: The winter season i.e. the months from November to February see the maximum number of travelers and is the peak season. The weather is best for sightseeing and you will encounter a number of Buddhist monks if you visit Mahabodhi Temple during these months.
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Timings & Entry Fee At Mahabodhi Temple
The temple remains open from 5 in the morning to 9 at night every day. Moreover, there is also a chanting session that takes place at 5:30 am and at 6 pm. There is no fee for entry to the temple. However, they do charge INR 100 for cameras and INR 300 for video cameras. For meditation park, you might have to pay a minimal fee for entrance and it is open from sunrise to sunset.
Further, electronic devices and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple to maintain peace on the premises. The devices can be left at the baggage counter which is located at the entrance.
5 Places To Visit Near Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple is a beautiful temple. It has various other places around it as well that one can visit. Here we have listed some of the top places to visit near Mahabodhi Temple that you should definitely pay a visit.
1. The Bodhi Tree
Located in Bodh Gaya, it is the tree under which Gautum Buddha attained enlightenment. The tree is popularly recognized by the heart shaped leaves that it has. The Bodhi Tree is the most important pilgrimage site among the Buddhists. Bodhi Day is celebrated on December 8 and it is said to be the day when Buddha got enlightened. It is a very peaceful place. Do visit this tree and feel the positive vibes that it spreads gracefully among the pilgrims.
2. Muchalinda Lake
It is located next to the main temple. It is believed that when Gautum Buddha was meditating, there was a storm at that time, and it is at that time when Snake King Mucalinda protected him. It is a very serene place. There is also a structure at the centre of the lake which depicts the whole story. The lake is a must visit when you visit the Mahabodhi temple.
3. Vietnamese Temple
It is a beautiful temple built by the Vietnamese Government. The main aim of the temple was to revive Buddhism in India. The temple has a unique archaeological style which is a blend of modern era along with Vietnamese style. The statue of Buddha inside the temple, is the most important attraction of the temple. Also, don’t forget to visit the gardens surrounding the temple which add to the beauty of the temple.
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4. Archaeological Museum
Built in the year 1956, it is one of the top places to visit in Bodhgaya. It has a rare and antique collection of various terracotta items. It also has idols of various Hindu gods made up of bronze, silver and gold. There are also idols of Lord Buddha which attract the eye of the visitor. You should visit this temple if you love to explore the different artefacts and sculptures.
5. Dungeshwari Hills
Also known by the name Mahakala Caves, this place attracts a lot of visitors every year. It is a very pleasing and scenic place with a number of Hindu and Buddhist temples. A sculpture of Buddha made up of gold is also present in one of the caves along with the idol of Hindu Goddess Dungeshwari. Visit these beautiful hills away from the hustle bustle of daily life.
How To Reach Mahabodhi Temple
Bodhgaya is very well connected to all other major cities in India. You can choose from various options available to you as per your convenience and budget.
The nearest airport to Bodhgaya is the Gaya Airport which is around 17 km from the place. It is well connected to Kolkata. And Patna Airport which is at a distance of around 135 km from the town, is the second nearest airport. From here one can directly take a taxi to Bodh Gaya.
Mahabodhi temple is around 25 minutes drive from the Gaya Airport.
It is easy to reach Mahabodhi temple via road. There are regular bus services that run from various cities to Bodhgaya. There are plenty of bus services by Bihar State Tourism Corporation. You can find both standard and deluxe buses running between different states.
You can also self-drive and reach the place. Also various taxi services are available to reach Bodhgaya.
Gaya Junction is the nearest railway station which connects Bodhgaya to different cities. It is around 13 km from the main city. Once you get down at the railway station, you will easily get a cab or auto that will drop you to the Mahabodhi Temple. It is just a 30 minutes drive from the railway station.
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Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is a major religious attraction among the pilgrims. There are various places you can visit in and around the temple. Do plan a trip to Bihar with your family. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Bodh Gaya with TravelTriangle and get mesmerized by the charm and serenity of the temple.
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