Bodhgaya (1)

I spent a total of 2 months in Bodhgaya, Bihar, but I seemed to end up with surprisingly few photographs of the town and surrounding countryside. Here are a selection of them, though, and I may put a few more up sometime soon. Hence the somewhat tentative ‘part one’ in the title.

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 Bodhgaya is a world heritage site, because the Mahabodhi Temple was built at the site where the Buddha is supposed to have achieved enlightenment, some 2500 years ago. The original temple was built by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. The current temple dates from the 11th century AD, and was restored in 1882 by the Burmese. Surrounded by the usual frenetic Northern Indian crowds, and visited by a huge number of pilgrims and visitors, the temple and grounds still manage to somehow achieve an unbelievably peaceful ambience.

 

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The Bhodi tree at the Mahabodhi Temple. It is a third generation descendant of the tree under which the Buddha is supposed to have achieved enlightenment.

 

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Thai temple, Bodhgaya. As well as the Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya also has temples built by virtually every country with a sizeable Buddhist population. As befits the place where the Buddha originally achieved enlightenment, it is an active Buddhist centre with many charitable projects set up and running.

 

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Dawn over Sujata Village, Bodhgaya. This was often the view that greeted me when I walked across the dry bed of the River Phalgu from Bodhgaya to the village of Sujata, in the cool of the morning. A rich reward for getting up early!


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Hindu temples on the edge of Sujata Village.

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Fields in Sujata Village. In the vast majority of Indian villages, fields are still worked by hand or with animal labour. here is no exception.

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Farms at the edge of Bodhgaya. Although Bihar is the most corrupt, poverty-ridden state in India, sitting at the bottom of the table in almost any set of statistics that you may care to consult, the land appears lush and fertile, supporting a strong agriculture.

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And whilst we’re on a rural theme…a street corner in Bodhgaya.

 

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Monks heading for morning puja (ceremony) in Sujata.

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Temple door in Bodhgaya.

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Dawn in Bodhgaya. The moslems are heading for the mosque, whilst most of the others are heading for work, for puja at Hindu or Buddhist temples, or to find breakfast.

I was after breakfast.

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89 thoughts on “Bodhgaya (1)

  1. I love your India posts… What an experience you must have had and the places you have seen. I’m not sure I’ll ever get there now, so I enjoy India posts so much…The temples are so interesting in their construction, I love the shape and the carvings…..that temple door in Bodhgaya is wonderful !

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  2. How very beautiful, Mick – I especially like the sunrise shot, definitely worth getting up for. I’m like you in that I’ve spent time in places with very few photos to show for it. I suppose in the era before camera phones we just weren’t as used to capturing everything. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing… 😀

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    1. It’s strange how we often never visit places close to home, but travel a long way to visit others. Then again, there is never time to visit everything, even in our own backyard. I hope you do get to do so someday, though.

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  3. Nice to see you back in WordPress land, Mick. Your photography is beautiful. You have a real talent there. I think my two favourite photos are the Bhodi tree at the Mahabodhi Temple because I am interested in and have a great love of very old trees and this one has a particularly interesting history/story behind it. I also like the way you often photograph beautiful doors like the temple doors above. I think the intricate detail in them is very appealing.

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    1. It was certainly serene. Did it feel mystical? I don’t really know what that means. It felt very peaceful, and there was something about the whole atmosphere around the main temple that really did make me want to burst into tears.

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  4. Pingback: Bodhgaya (2) – A Special Place – Mick Canning

  5. There is a stone platform under the Bodhi tree, placed there by Ashoka himself. Did you happen to click that too? And I thought the tree was a second generation descendant, placed there by Cunningham…Another part of India I never visited, sigh! 🙂

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    1. I saw the platform – the Diamond Throne, I think it is. The tree is supposedly a descendant of the original tree through a cutting that was sent to Sri Lanka, and then a second or third generation descendant from that, I believe. It’s a wonderful place!

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