Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is a welcome break from architectural monotony in Sarnath. Situated amidst brick ruins of ancient Sarnath, this Buddhist Temple is as distinct from any Buddhist Architectural pattern as chalk and cheese. This modern temple that looks truly magnificent with detailed designed patterns in its interiors has been erected by the Maha Bodhi society in the year 1931. The temple is famous for its Murals and Frescoes.
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar boasts off some of the most magnificent and
colorful Frescoes that have been made by the magical hands of Kosetsu
Nosu. Kosetsu Nosu happens to be Japan's foremost painter. These
Frescoes and Murals have rich repositories of Buddhist literature. While
Frescoes dominate the interiors of Mulagandha, Murals are largely
confined to the exteriors. They can be presently seen on walls and
pillars along with the outer columns.
A huge bell dominates the entrance of the Vihar. The royal scions of
Japan have gifted this mammoth bronze bell. The most striking aspect of
this temple is the beautiful life-size golden image of the Buddha that
greets you as you enter the sanctum. You can also see the Bodhi tree
whose sapling was brought from a tree in Sri Lanka. This Bodhi tree in
turn originated from the original tree under which Buddha sat in Bodh
Gaya and gained enlightenment 2,500 years ago. Mahendra and Sanghmitra,
son and daughter of Ashoka The Great respectively, took the sapling from
this original tree to Sri Lanka during their mission.