Bodh Gaya is a religious place for pilgrims where Lord Buddha left his foot steps nearly 2500 years ago while traveling in the search of enlightenment. It is located near the river Phalgu, Bihar. People across the globe come here to visit this pilgrimage center. It is famous as this is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment on the full moon day of Wesak in 588 BC and is the most holy place on the earth for Buddhists . King Ashoka was the first to build a shrine at this sacred place.
For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the four main pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three are Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sarnath. Bodh Gaya is associated with the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Gaya District of Bihar, India. The Diamond Throne of Buddha is also located between the and the rear Wall of the temple. It marks the actual seat of Enlightenment.
Bodh Gaya was the place where under a banyan tree also known as the Bodhi Tree, Gautam attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the enlightened one. The serene atmosphere of the place arouses the subconscious soul of any visitor who visits this pilgrimage site as the Lord himself had chosen it for meditation.
Major attractions of this sacred place:-
Mahabodhi Temple : – This temple is a major attraction to the Buddhists and stands near the Maha Bodhi tree under which Tathagat, or Gautam attained enlightenment. The height of this popular temple is 170 ft. In 2002, this famous temple became a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an architectural fusion of many centuries, cultures and heritages. While its architecture has an eloquent stamp of the Gupta era, it also has later age inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between 7th and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the same temple which was visited by Hieuen Tsang in the 7th century. The Shiva Lingam inside the temple was installed in the beginning of the 9th century. Pilgrims should visit the seven sacred places in the temple as they are associated with the Buddha’s stay at each place for seven days after Enlightenment.
Mahabodhi Tree : – The tree has been considered as sacred since Lord Buddha acquired enlightenment under it, it is probably the fifth succession of the original tree. Anyone, who likes the climate of serene atmosphere can easily understand that the place is perfect for meditation.
Vajrasana : – It is stone platform, where Lord Buddha sat in meditation while he attained enlightenment and is known as Vajrasana. The place is restricted for any tourist activity as it is a sacred one.
80 Feet statue of Buddha : – This 80 Feet statue is another attraction for tourists. The statue is so high and beautiful that anyone dwell in it for some time. Established in 1989 by Daijokyo in Bodhgaya.
At last, one can say that the Bodh Gaya is a perfect tourist as well as religious place. The placid environment of the place feels anyone that this is a perfect place for meditation as the Lord Buddha did.