Monday, December 19, 2016

Mahabodhi temple, Bodhgaya

Once you are at Gaya, it is a must to visit Bodhgaya , the place with historical religious significance, and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world .The place is associated with Prince Siddharth attaining enlightenment and becoming Buddha after meditating for years under a tree known as the Bodhi Tree. On reaching there we headed for the Mahabodhi Temple , an ancient 55 metre high structure . Ignorance is not always a bliss . We had not taken camera with us hoping to click some pictures with the mobile phones.But alas, we were not allowed to carry mobile inside the premises and had to put them back in the vehicle. However inside we did see some foreigners with cameras and mobile lookalike gadgets as well .It can’t be that there were two sets of rules for the Indians and the foreigners, or that the foreigners acted smart and dodged the functionaries at the entrance, as they seem more law abiding than us. . However , Cameras- still, video and movie are allowed on payment of Rs. 100/-, 300/- & 500/- each. No photographs could be taken by us. The Mahabodhi temple is a sight to marvel at – the 180 feet high structure is simply amazing . The shrine is at the base and has a regular entrance. Inside is placed a magnificent idol of Buddha. A huge number of tourists and Buddha followers were paying obeisance to lord Buddha.The place started developing as a pilgrimage during abour 250BC, coinciding with the rule of Asoka the Great, who had turned a Buddhist after the Kalinga War. However, the construction of the present temple dates back to 5th-6th Century AD .
The place is characterized by serene and calm environs, cleanliness being its hallmark.The spread out well maintained lawns, beautiful marble flooring , and neatly spruced up hedges on which one finds the offerings made by pilgrims, of flowers put on paper plates, present an amazing sight. I saw some followers prostrating every few feet to cover the distance. Such is the level of devotion of the people.There are followers from Tibet, Nepal,SriLanka , Korea , Japan and Thailand visible all around, almost in 50 – 50 ratio vis a vis the Indian visitors .
Photos : Courtesy Google .

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