Bodhgaya, Bihar

One of the holiest sites of worship for the followers of Buddhism, Bodhgaya is located in the northeastern state of Bihar in India. The Mahabodhi tree, where Gautama Buddha attained spiritual enlightenment is visited by tourists in large numbers every year. Though the original tree has died, a  direct descendant of the Bodhi tree still lives in its place. The tree stands on a shrine erected by Emperor Ashoka, containing intricate artful inscriptions of Buddha on it. The red sandstone seen under the tree is believed to have been sat on by Buddha during the time he spent there.

The temple complex built around the Mahabodhi tree with the Vajrasana or “the diamond throne” built during the Gupta period is conserved in its pristine and natural beauty even today.

Bodhgaya hosts a number of conventions and discourses every year and they are conducted with great zeal and zest. They are usually held in the month of January and are attended by many seeking mental and spiritual peace.

Alongside being an important pilgrimage site for Buddhism, it is also a prominent centre for study of Buddhism. The esteemed Magadh University is situated in Bodhgaya.

Gaya, an important place of worship for Hindus, located on the Falgu river is just outside of Bodhgaya, at an approximate distance of 13 kilometres.