Bodh Gaya is the most significant of the four pilgrimage sites for Buddhists, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. Known as Uruwela in Buddha’s time, this sacred spot oozes history.
Gauthama Buddha renounced his family and possessions at the age of 29 in 534 BC, and embarked on a journey in the search of truth. He practised self-mortification for six years at Urubela, Gaya, which he later gave up because it did not give him Vimukthi. He then founded the noble eight-fold path without any assistance and practised it to attain enlightenment. Legend has it that he meditated until achieving nirvana, under the Bodhi Tree. Buddha stated that enlightenment was being completely free of lust, hatred and delusion.
The profound history of Bodh Gaya is documented by many inscriptions and pilgrimage accounts. The Chinese pilgrims Faxian and Xuanzang kept detailed accounts about the area during the 5th and 7th century respectively. This village was at the heart of the Buddhist civilization for centuries until it was conquered by Turkish armies in the 13th century. The area was known as Uruvela and the name Bodh Gaya didn’t come into use till the 18th century.
The sacred Bodhi Tree is now within the compounds of Mahabodhi Temple, along with Vajrasana or ‘diamond throne’. Around 250 BC, approximately 200 years after Buddha’s enlightenment, the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka visited Bodh Gaya to establish a monastery and shrine at this holy site.
The Great Buddha Statue, also known as the 80 feet statue, was unveiled and consecrated on 18th November 1989. The ceremony was attended by the esteemed Dalai Lama, who blessed the 25-metre sculpture, the first great Buddha ever built in the history of India. It is now a world heritage site, frequented by pilgrims from all over the world.
A visit to Bodh Gaya is sure to invoke a spiritual experience for you and your family. Enjoy all that this ethereal destination has to offer with a relaxing stay at Marasa Sarovar Premiere, that is located on the banks of the river Falgu. The architecture of the hotel draws inspiration from historical Buddhist structures in the area.