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Monasteries And Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple at sunrise

I took an hour to unwind, shower, and get my bearings before heading out to sightsee. Due to the intense sun during much of the day, I knew I had to take advantage of the early mornings and late afternoons.

Thai Monastery

Bodhgaya is peppered with monasteries built by different Buddhist countries, each with their own unique architecture and style. After peeking into a few, I made my way to Bodhgaya's ace attraction, the Mahaodhi Temple. It was originally constructed in the 6th century AD, next to the spot where Buddha attained enlightenment. All visitors are required to remove their shoes when entering the complex. It's free to visit, yet you pay a small fee to take photos or video.

Monks meditate under the Bodhi Tree

I had barely set eyes on the temple when a local, Ramesh, latched onto me and wouldn't let go (figuratively speaking). As usual, I clearly told him I wouldn't pay any money for a tour. He said he wasn't interested in money, and proceeded to guide me around the site. I took a seat under the Bodhi tree (a descendant of the original which was destroyed) and tried to soak in the experience.

Really, really old Buddhas at Mahabodhi Temple

I continued to walk through the gardens and around the stupas, at times getting frustrated with the amount of talking done by Ramesh. Despite his kind nature, there are times when I simply want to experience a place alone, quietly! And I told him as much. We parted ways and I grabbed dinner at a nearby restaurant before retiring for the night. Walking past the main gate to the Karma Temple, and into the open concrete courtyard under a sky full of stars was a wonderful experience. As I went back to my room, I could see and hear young monks talking enthusiastically (perhaps even playing) in a grassy area. Later, around 8 or 9pm, I could hear their evening puja.

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Kango Suz

Monday 16th of June 2008

What a neat place! My favorite, favorite, favorite things to read about/visit when traveling are religious locations and practices. Thanks for sharing!

Kango Suz

Monday 16th of June 2008

What a neat place! My favorite, favorite, favorite things to read about/visit when traveling are religious locations and practices. Thanks for sharing!

sir jorge

Wednesday 11th of June 2008

Those look amazing. Way cooler than the kung fu movies that have these at backdrops.

ChinaMatt

Tuesday 10th of June 2008

Those are some beautiful photos of temples. Second one looks like most of the temples in Thailand (very similar to the Marble Temple in Bangkok).

Dave

Saturday 14th of June 2008

Thailand....I'm just a month away!

ChinaMatt

Wednesday 11th of June 2008

Those are some beautiful photos of temples. Second one looks like most of the temples in Thailand (very similar to the Marble Temple in Bangkok).

Dave

Saturday 14th of June 2008

Thailand....I'm just a month away!

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