Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage

Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage

Bodhgaya is the most important place for Buddhism and is referred to as Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre across the globe. It was there that under the banyan tree, also known as the Bodhi Tree, Gautama attained the highest level of spiritual awakening and became Buddha, the Enlightened One. Born in the midst of the Himalayas as a Sakya prince from Kapilvastu (now located in Nepal), the majority of the most significant events in his life, including his enlightenment and final sermon, took place in Bihar.


Furthermore, Buddhism as a religion was actually born in Bihar and developed here because of his teachings and the example of his life of extreme simplicity, abstinence and compassion for all living things. The state’s name of Bihar comes from the word “Vihara” meaning monasteries, which are prevalent in Bihar.


Many centuries After the death of Buddha, Emperor Ashoka (234-198 BC) contributed greatly to his revival and consolidation and spread of the original Buddhism religion. It was the monasteries Ashoka built for Buddhist monks, and the pillars, known as Ashokan Pillars, built to honor numerous historical sites associated with the life of Buddha and are mostly preserved to this day which helped pilgrims and scholars alike trace the events and the preaching of an extraordinary man.


There is a beautiful Mahabodhi temple, and the tree from the original saplings of the Bodhi Tree under which Buddha was enlightened remains on the temple’s grounds. This temple represents a blend of several generations, traditions and centuries. Although its design bears a distinctive stamp of the Gupta period, it also contains later age inscriptions detailing the journeys to pilgrimages from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between the 7th to 10th century A.D. It could be the exact temple Hieuen Tsang toured in the 7th century.


Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage: Places to See 

The Mahabodhi Temple Complex, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, sits at the spot where Siddhartha Gautama is said to have achieved enlightenment 2,600 years ago. Throughout the year, the place becomes a vibrant medley of Asian pilgrims and Western tourists, local Indian people, and monks and nuns in robes of various colors from Tibet, Nepal, Burma, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, China, and India. They rock gently to the rhythm of ancient mantras and chant, spin prayer wheels, and carry incense around the Bodhi tree.

When he was about twenty-nine, the ascetic prince Siddhartha Gautama sat down to meditate beneath this ancient Pipal (Fiscus religiosa) tree in the village of Bodhgaya in Bihar State, India. He resolved not to rise until he had attained a state of spiritual enlightenment. This marked the beginning of Buddhism, one of the world’s great religions and pilgrimage traditions.

Mahabodhi Temple

Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage

The temple is situated East of Bodhi Tree. The architectural impact is stunning. The basement area is 48 square feet, and it rises in the shape of a slim Pyramid until it is at its neck, which is a cylinder. The overall size of the structure is 170 feet. and on the highest point of the structure are Chatras, which represent the power of the religion. Four towers at the corners rise gracefully to give the sacred structure a balanced equilibrium. The sacred structure is the grand banner that is unfurled at times to show all the world about the holy actions of Buddha to unravel human plights and to transcend worldly issues and attain the state of bliss through knowledge, moral conduct and a disciplined lifestyle.


Within the temple in the main sanctum is a huge picture that depicts the Buddha in a sitting posture, embracing the earth with his right hand. In this position, the Buddha achieved the ultimate attainment of enlightenment. The statue is made of black stone and has been deemed to be a guilder by followers. The entire space of the temple is lined with an abundance of stupas. They are all sizes and were built over two thousand years ago. They are generally stunning in terms of their architectural appearance. The old railings around the temple date from the 1st century B.C. and are among the most interesting landmarks of the century.  

Bodhi Tree


The current Bodhi Tree is likely to be the fifth generation of the original tree under which the Buddha was able to attain enlightenment. Vajrasana, known as the seat of stability, is a rock platform where the Buddha is believed to be sitting in meditation, looking at the east under the Bodhi tree.



This is the holy spot of the Buddha’s meditative walks during the third week of enlightenment that was pious. The belief is that where the Buddha placed his feet, a lotus cropped up.

Animesh Lochan Chaitya


There is a belief that Buddha was here for a week, gazing at the majestic Bodhi tree to express his gratitude without blinking his eyes.

80 feet Statue of the Buddha

Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage


The great Buddha Statue, often referred to as the 80′ Buddha Statue, was unveiled and re-consecrated on the 18th of November 1989, with a celebration that was attended by His Holiness the XIV, the Dalai Lama, who blessed the statue’s 25-meter height. It was the first major Buddha statue constructed in the history of modern India. The statue is located close to the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya.  

Archaeological Museum


It has a fascinating collection of Buddhist as well as Hindu objects from Bodh Gaya and other nearby excavation sites. The museum is usually closed on Fridays.

Thai Monastery

One of the earliest foreign monasteries constructed in the elaborate regal Thai architecture style. The splendor of the exterior and the interior is truly breathtaking. The temple shines like a gold and red gemstone over a serene pool on the patio in front. The stunning Buddha idol as well as the paintings of Buddha’s life as well as some contemporary instances like the significance of planting trees in a stylized way are stunning. It is located near Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya.


Also Read: Mahabodhi Temple Complex

Sujata Garh 

Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage


The stupa’s history is said to be the spot in which Gautama Siddhartha sat in meditation after severe fasting and penance before attaining enlightenment. The story goes that one of the village ladies, Sujata, offered a bowl of rice pudding after she observed meditating Gautama, who was severely emaciated. Gautama took the offer and realized the futility of self-deprivation. After that incident, he was able to sit in the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment and became Buddha. It is located about 2 kilometers away from Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya.

Dungeshwari Temple or Hill


Gautama Siddhartha was believed to have meditated in this area for six years prior to the time he went to Bodhgaya to attain his final realization. Two small shrines have been constructed to honor this period of Buddha. A golden embalmed Buddha sculpture that memorizes penance is housed in one cave temple as well and a huge (about 6 feet tall) Buddha statue is in the second. The Hindu goddess of Dungeshwari is also enshrined in this cave temple.


A belief that Buddha was able to attain Enlightenment at this specific location is confirmed by the tradition and is now known as Bodhgaya Buddhist Pilgrimage. It is of great significance to all of humanity. Bodhgaya is the most significant Buddhist pilgrimage site worldwide. It was in this place, beneath a banyan tree, which is popularly known as the Bodhi Tree, that Gautama attained the supreme level of knowledge to become Buddha, the Enlightened One.


However, Buddhism offers the other three major pilgrimage destinations apart from Bodhgaya’s Buddhist Pilgrimage: Lumbini (birthplace of Buddha), Sarnath (the location of the Buddha’s first sermon) and Kushinagar (the site at which the Buddha reached the state of nirvana).

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Bodh Gaya an important Buddhist center for pilgrimage?

It is known as the spot in which Gautama Buddha is believed to have achieved the state of enlightenment viz Pali: Bodhi under what is now known as Bodhi Tree. From the very ancient time, Bodh Gaya has remained the site of veneration and pilgrimage for Hindus as well as Buddhists as well.


Who built Bodh Gaya Temple?

Mahabodhi Temple is the first temple constructed in the time of Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C., and the present temple dates back to the 5th-6th centuries.

What’s the Bodhgaya Buddhist pilgrimage?

It is located in the west of Phalgu River, a tributary of the Ganges (Ganga) River. Bodh Gaya contains one of the most sacred Buddhist places: the place in which, underneath the sanctified pipal, which is also called the Bo trees, Prince Siddhartha was able to attain enlightenment and become the Buddha.


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