About six months ago, I put up a post on Bodhgaya (which you can find here if you wish to read it again), and promised I would find a few more photos to post another time.
This is another time.
My first picture is of the entrance to the Mahabodhi Temple, which is built on the site where the Buddha achieved enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Ashoka, in the third century BC, and the present one was erected in the fifth or sixth century AD. Visitors remove their shoes (or face a one hundred rupee fine) and descend the steps from the garden that surrounds the temple.
Just before reaching the entrance itself, they will pass this small chorten – one of dozens surrounding the temple – garlanded with marigolds.
Many more chortens surround the temple and can be found around the gardens themselves, these ones beside a carved sandstone balustrade.
But the Mahabodhi Temple is by no means the only Buddhist temple in Bodhgaya. As the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment, it has naturally been the focus for many Buddhists from around the world, and there are many other temples built by those from the various different branches of Buddhism. This one is one of two Tibetan temples.
On the edge of Bodhgaya, this twenty five metre tall statue of the Buddha was erected in the grounds of the Japanese Daijokyo temple in 1989.
But Bodhgaya, naturally, is more than simply its temples. Although it is quite naturally a major tourist attraction, it is also home to many people, and daily life is not much different from other towns in Northern India.
As you approach the temple areas from the northern side of the town, this is a fairly typical scene. In the distance, the share auto that plies between Bodhgaya and Gaya is filling up with passengers, and men and women shop for essentials.
A woman carries a basket of dried cattle dung, which will be used to fuel the cooking fire.
And on the edge of the town, the scene quickly becomes rural once again.
From Thursday I shall be away for a few days, but will catch up with comments and other blog posts once I am back.