Lord Buddha

Temple History

Mahabodhi Mahavihara is a Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. raditional accounts say that, around 589 BC, Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince who saw the suffering of the world and wanted to end it, reached the forested banks of the Phalgu river, near the city of Gaya, India. There he sat in meditation under a peepul tree which later became known as the Bodhi tree. According to Buddhist scriptures, after three days and three nights, Siddharta attained enlightenment and the answers that he had sought. In that location, Mahabodhi Temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in around 260 BC. The Buddha then spent the succeeding seven weeks at seven different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his experience. Several specific places at the current Mahabodhi Temple relate to the traditions surrounding these seven weeks.

The first week was spent under the Bodhi tree.

During the second week, the Buddha remained standing and stared, uninterrupted, at the Bodhi tree. This spot is marked by the Animeshlocha Stupa, that is, the unblinking stupa or shrine, which is located on the north-east of the Mahabodhi Temple complex. There stands a statue of Buddha with his eyes fixed towards the Bodhi tree.

The Buddha is said to have walked back and forth between the location of the Animeshlocha Stupa and the Bodhi tree. According to legend, lotus flowers sprung up along this route, it is now called Ratnachakrama or the jewel walk.

He spent the fourth week near Ratnagar Chaitya, located near north - east side.

During the fifth week, Buddha answered in details to the queries of Brahmins under Ajapala Nigodh tree, now marked by a pillar.

He spent the sixth week next to Lotus pond.

He spent the seventh week under Rajyatna tree


Additional Information

In approximately 250 BCE, about 200 years after the Buddha attained Enlightenment, Buddhist Emperor Asoka visited Bodh Gaya in order to establish a monastery and shrine on the holy site. The new Mahabodhi temple included a diamond throne (called the Vajrasana) to mark the exact spot of the Buddha's enlightenment. While Asoka is considered the Mahabodhi temple's founder, the current structure dates from the 5th–6th century.

From Gaya Airport Mahabodhi temple is 14 Km, 17.1 km from Gaya Junction. Mahabodhi temple is 12.4 km from Gaya Bus Stand and 1 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station. Cycle rickshaw and auto rickshaw are the best options to go the temple if not going by private vehicle.
  • 5.00 AM - 9.00 PM
  • Contact Person: Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee
  • Contact Number: +91-631 - 2200735