Bodhgaya is one of the most sacred destinations in the country. According to Hindu belief, this is a place where one can find 'Moksha'(relief from the circle of birth and death). This Buddhist pilgrimage centre allures a large number of tourists from all over the world looking for spirituality. Bodhgaya is the birth place of Buddhism. This sacred place has witnessed several major events like enlightenment and last sermon of the life of Buddha, Sakya prince of Kapilvastu.?
When Buddha passed away, Ashoka, the great Maurya Emperor contributed a lot in revival of the Buddhism. He built different pillars (now recognized as Ashoka Pillars) and other historical sites that reflect the life of Buddha. This is the place that got recognition only after inner enlightenment of the Buddha. The name 'Bodh Gaya' was result of regular visits of disciples of Gautama Siddhartha during the full moon in between April and May (Vaisakh as per the Hindu calendar). The day when Buddha got enlightenment is celebrated as 'Buddha Purnima', and the tree where the divine soul meditated? got the name 'Bodhi Tree'.
This is the most famous attraction of the region. Mahabodhi temple is located to the east of Bodhi tree. The height of this architectural marvel is around 170 ft. With chattras on the top, the temple symbolizes sovereignty of religion. The highlight of the temple is the statue of Buddha in a sitting posture. Age-old stupas of the temple are another attraction there. These different sized stupas are around 2500 year old.
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The place is famous with the belief that Buddha spent one week here. That was the second week of his enlightenment during the period he looked at Bodhi tree without batting his eyelids.
The present Bodhi Tree is not the one where Buddha attained enlightenment initially. It is probably the fifth succession. Vajrasana is a platform where Buddha had sat for meditation. The platform is made up of stone and is situated under the tree.
This sacred spot is also popular as 'Jewel Path'. This is the place where Buddha meditated as he walked. A nearby lotus pond is also considered as the result of Buddha enlightenment.
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