The elaborately carved Mahabodhi Temple, Buddhism’s holiest shrine, is the biggest attraction in Bodhgaya, especially among Buddhists all over the world. The temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.
It’s open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with chanting and meditation held an hour after opening and an hour before closing. The other monasteries, built and maintained by various Buddhist countries, are also fascinating, with their different architecture styles. Opening hours are from 5 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Don’t miss the ornate Thai temple, shimmering with gold. Another popular attraction is the towering 80 feet statue of Lord Buddha. Bodhgaya also has an Archaeological Museum displaying an interesting array of relics, scriptures, and ancient statues of Buddha. With so much cultural, historical and spiritual history, tourists will be amazed with the peaceful and calm surroundings.
The best time to visit is during Buddha Jayanti, held on a full moon in May each year. The festival celebrates Lord Buddha’s birthday. Other festivals in Bodhgaya include the annual Buddha Mahotsava, a three-day celebration filled with cultural and religious activities. The Kagyu Monlam Chenmo and Nyingma Monlam Chenmo prayer festivals for world peace are held around January-February every year. The Maha Kala puja is conducted at monasteries for several days before the new year, for purification and to remove obstacles.
These beautiful celebrations will surely bring joy and happiness to tourists who have come for a slice of Buddhism’s ethos and tranquility.
The Great Budha Staute in Bodhgaya