Bodh Gaya, being the place where Gautam Buddha had learnt the eternal truth, is a popular tourist destination among Buddhists across the globe. There are a number of Buddhist monuments, temples and monasteries to see in Bodh Gaya. In addition to that, Bodh gaya also holds great importance for the believers of the Hindu faith. Here are some of the important tourist attractions of Bodh Gaya.
Great Buddha Statue
The eighty feet statue of Lord Buddha is a major attraction in Bodhgaya. The statue is in Dhyan Mudra, i.e. meditation posture on an inverted lotus. The statue is made of red granite and sandstone blocks. According to historical evidence, 12000 masons made the statue in time of seven years. Daijokyo Sect of Japan helped build this statue. The Dalai Lama consecrated the statue on November 18 1989.
The tree under which Gautama Buddha had meditated and learnt the eternal knowledge is known as the Bodhi Tree. Later on Buddhist king Ashoka built a shrine at the spot, which subsequently developed into a temple. The contemporary world knows the temple as Mahabodhi temple. The temple is a remarkable manifestation of the architectural dexterity of our artisans and one cannot but help admiring the architectural skills the temple displays. This pyramid shaped temple has four towers adorning its four corners.
Dungeswari caves located twelve kilometers away from Bodh Gaya are mysterious. One of these caves houses a statute of Buddha representing him when he was leading a life of austerity. These caves with statues, stone carvings, paintings, and graphics of Lord Buddha and his life, tell us the story of the life of Buddha.
Gautam Sidhartha had learnt the eternal knowledge of life and death under this tree. Though the actual tree is not alive, the sapling of the original tree brought from Sri Lanka is still here. In and around the 3rd century B.C Sanghamitta, the daughter of Emperor Asoka brought a branch of this Bodhi tree and planted it in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka where it still grows today. The existing tree is more than 122 years old and quadrangular stone railings of two types representing two different style and material surround it.
The pond where Gautam took bath before going in for meditation has great religious importance for Buddhists. Situated towards the west of Bodhi temple, it gives the feeling of nostalgia where you feel as if you are seeing the young prince going and coming for bath. While in Bodh Gaya the pond is worth visiting.
As it is believed when Gautam learned the eternal knowledge, he was in dilemma whether to disclose it to the world or not, and in this dilemma he started walking. It is believed that wherever Buddha put his feet lotuses sprang up. The spot is located in the north of the Bodhi Temple.