Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Temple: Buddhist Sacred Site

Mahabodhi Temple, located very near to “Thank You, Buddha, Suites” in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, is an ideal spiritual and cultural location that will definitely inspire you. Mahabodhi Temple is one of the world’s most popular and revered Buddhist sites because it is the place where Gautam Buddha received enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which displays the architectural and artistic splendor of ancient India. This article will introduce you to the history, significance, as well as attractions of the Mahabodhi Temple Complex.

Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya: History and Significance 

Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple possesses a rich, fascinating history dating back to around the 6th century BCE when Siddhartha Gautama of the Shakya clan renounced worldly life in order to embark on a journey towards truth and liberation.

After wandering around for many years and pursuing various asceticisms, he eventually arrived in Bodhgaya. There, he sat down under a tree called Bodhi (which is now known as the Bodhi Tree). He meditated there for 49 consecutive days. On the full-moon Vaisakha night (April/May), he became the Buddha – the awakened.

The Buddha then spent the next seven weeks near the sacred Bodhi Tree itself, contemplating his profound revelation and sharing his teachings with his first disciples. According to Buddhist traditions, Ashoka – who ruled India in the third century BCE – converted to Buddhism following the horrors of war. He then visited Bodhgaya and built up a shrine, and later a Diamond Throne, at the location where Buddha gained enlightenment. Mahabodhi Temple, over the years, has undergone several renovations and extensions by various rulers.

In the 19th century, a British archaeologist called Alexander Cunningham restored the temple to its original glory with the assistance of local monks. This temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 2002 because it was considered one of the oldest and most impressive structures built in brick during the Gupta dynasty period, 

Mahabodhi Temple represents not only the Buddha’s enlightenment but also a living testament to his teachings. It is a pilgrimage center for Buddhists from all over the world. They come here to worship the Buddha and to seek his blessings. The site is a peaceful place for people of all faiths.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex: Architecture & Attractions

Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple Complex – a magnificent example of Indian artistry and ancient architecture – is located in the heart of India. The complex has an area of around 12 acres. It contains many features and attractions which reflect Buddhist culture. Some of its main features and attractions are.

  • The Main Temple of Buddha Touching the Earth
  • Bodhi Tree
  • Muchalinda Sarovar/ Pond or Lake
  • The Ratanaghara
  • The Lotus Stupa
  • The Ratnaghar Chaitya Stupa
  • The Ratnachankrama Stupa

Mahabodhi Temple Complex: The Meditative Experience

Mahabodhi Temple Complex is a place not only to admire and see but also to meditate and experience. The Temple complex offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere and follow Buddha’s footsteps. 

Meditation Garden

Mahabodhi Temple

It is a serene and peaceful space located behind the main temple. There are benches and cushions available for quiet meditation.You can also listen to guided meditations or chants using headphones available at the nearby counter. The meditation garden opens from 5 am until 9 pm. Entry is free, and there’s no dress code.

Security Measures at Mahabodhi Temple 

Mahabodhi Temple falls under a high-security zone. You will have to undergo several security checks in order to enter the temple complex. Just at the main gate counter, you need to deposit your bags and electronic devices such as mobile phones, cameras and other electronics. You will be subjected to metal detectors as well as a security frisking. Inside the temple complex, you can only carry a small bag or wallet. 


The Mahabodhi Temple in India is the most sacred site of Buddhists which marks the place where Gautam Buddha attained the great awakening or Maha Bodhi. Around 260 BCE, the Mauryan Emperor Asoka converted his empire to Buddhism and built the first temple here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the term Maha Bodhi mean?

Maha Bodhi is a Sanskrit word which literally stands for great learning/ awakening or enlightenment.

What makes Mahabodhi Temple special?

The Mahabodhi Temple, also known as the “Great Awakening Temple”, is a Buddhist temple located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar  that marks the place where Buddha is believed to have achieved enlightenment. This temple is located to the east of Mahabodhi Tree. The temple’s architecture is stunning.

Is it too far from the ‘Thank You Buddha’ premises?

As Thank You Buddha is located in the center of Bodh Gaya, it is very close to the main Maha Bodhi Temple and many other tourist attractions.

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