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Bihar Buddhist Heritage - BodhGaya, Nalanda and Mahabodhi Temple

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Kumi of Tokyo accompanied her grandmother to the Buddhist sites of Nalanda and Bodh Gaya. They were traveling with a group of 25 Japanese tourists. Every year thousands of tourists who belong to the Buddhist faith come to India to see the holiest of spots associated with Gautama Buddha. The Nalanda University also draws many tourists from India and abroad and has recently received funds from the central government for restoration and preservation.


Buddhist Heritage

An international centre for Buddhism, Bodh Gaya attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over the world, especially China, Japan and Southeast Asia. It is considered as the holiest spot for Buddhist as it was here that Gautama Buddha meditated and attained enlightenment. The bodhi tree under which he sat, is still believed to be flourishing there. Apart from the original temple, there are many modern temples, Buddha statues, and ashrams and guesthouses for pilgrims set up by other Buddhist countries.



The Mahabodhi temple is the main attraction of the place. It has undergone several stages of building and re-construction. Originally it began as a simple stupa set up the Mauryan king Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. In the 7th century AD it was built upon and an elaborate temple was made with carvings and spires. The temple was ravaged by Muslim invaders but was restored by Burmese Buddhists in the 14th century. Again after years of neglect when it sank into the earth, it was excavated in the 19th century and restored to its former glory.





Centuries before Oxford and Havard, India had one of the greatest residential universities at Nalanda, Bihar - one of the world's oldest centres of learning established by the Gupta kings, about 100 km south of Patna. You can see the sprawling remains of this enormous campus that was divided by a central walk from north to south, and was surrounded by gardens. The monasteries or 'viharas' were to the east, and the temples were to the west. All the structures were made of red brick, and were richly carved and decorated.


The highlights now are temples 3 - the largest and most imposing temple of Nalanda; and Temple 2 which has intricately carved stone panels. Near Temple 3 are the stupas with carvings of Buddha. The rows of 11 monasteries are spread across the campus, with the individual monk's cells around rectangular courtyards.

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Buddhist Heritage
Kumi of Tokyo accompanied her grandmother to the Buddhist sites of Nalanda and Bodh Gaya. They were traveling
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How to Reach - Bihar Destinations
Samastipur     Rupnarayanpur     Begusarai    
Hajipur     Sitamarhi     Jahanabad    
Munger     Sonepur     Patna    
Bihar Sharif     Buxar     Gaya    
Motihari     Bhagalpur     Sasaram    
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