Buddhism is a faith that is practiced by an estimated amount of 488 million people in the world. This great philosophy, which is now practiced and hailed in many different countries around the globe originated in Bodhgaya which is located in modern-day Nepal. For Buddhists, this is the site of much devotion that they believe needs to be visited at least once in their lives. Thus, every year, millions of Buddhist pilgrims head their way across from countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Bhutan where Buddhism is practiced by the majority. After arrival, pilgrims would check in to a hotel in Bodhgaya the likes of the Oaks Bodhgaya and proceed to spend the next few days (sometimes weeks) on visiting the many historically significant sites and meditating and praying in them.
So what are these historically significant sites? They are places where something of importance in the life of the Buddha took place. The Gautama Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha in 563BC. His life has many turning points including the one where he gained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. The fourth or fifth succession of this sacred Bodhi tree can still be seen in Bodhgaya within the Mahabodi Temple which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. This grand temple was built by the great King Asoka in the third century and features many other points of interests such as a statue of the Buddha painted in gold.
In addition to the above, there are many other attractions worth seeing in Bodhgaya. These include the gigantic 25 meter tall Buddha statue. Gleaming in pristine white, this magnificent statue was unveiled by His Holiness Dalai Lama, in 1989. Then there’s the Muchalinda Lake which has quite an interesting story behind it. According to the Buddhist scriptures, the Gautama Buddha was in his sixth week of meditation into enlightenment when a huge storm broke out. Seeing that the Buddha was in danger, the great snake king of the lake, Muchalinda came out of his nest and protected the Buddha from the pouring rain by covering him with his large hood. This site of such an epic story is located on the right side of the Mahabodhi Temple.
Filled with wanderlust that seeks to explore distant shores and captivated by the colors and vibrancy of exotic cultures, Kanya Mae writes on the beautiful, exciting, and enchanting wonders of the world. She is a writer who not only has a passion for travel, but also has a background in fashion, art and media.