One of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center in the world, Bodh Gaya presents a curious mix of monk-like tranquility and small-town commotion. It was formerly known as Uruwela and King Ashoka was the first to build a temple here.
The most revered spot in town is a Bodhi tree whose roots are embedded in the same soil as its celebrated ancestor. It was under the original Bodhi Tree that young Prince Siddhartha attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the Enlightened One. The exact spot is now marked by the sprawling Mahabodhi Temple complex with monks in red, grey and orange robes who speak different tongues but pay the same homage to the one on whose teachings is built a religion based on balance and reason. Buddhist pilgrims from around the world can be found here, who come for prayer, study and contemplation. Smaller Buddhist temples, built by devotees from different nations, surround the Mahabodhi Temple. Each of these display their nation’s Buddhist culture through architecture, artwork, and sculptures of the Buddhas.
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