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Tourist Attractions of Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Temple : in the 3rd century, the great Mauryan ruler King Ashoka built a small shrine. Subsequent rulers left their mark on this shrine, which finally took the shape of the famous Mahabodhi temple. The temple is an immense attraction to the Buddhists, and stands near the Maha Bodhi tree under which Tathagat, or Gautama attained enlightenment. The Shiva Lingam inside the temple was installed on 9th century beginning and it’s a splendid piece of sculpture.The architecture of the temple is symbolic as it is designed to proclaim to the world the pious efforts of the Buddha to solve human misery and to attain transcendental peace through wisdom, good conduct and disciplined life. Animesh Lochan Chaitya is important as the place where Buddha is believed to have spent one week looking toward the great Bodhi tree where he eventually received enlightenment. Under the Bodhi Tree one can find the Vajrasana, a stone platform on which Buddha is believed to have sat in meditation.

Ratnagarh : is another place where Buddha is believed to have spent one week when five colors came out of his body.

Prestshila Hills : Gaya is a place known to the Hindus as one of the 'Dhamas' or the most sacred places for pilgrimage and is guarded on one side by the Prestshila Hills. On the opposite side of Prestshila Hills, lie the Ramshila hills. It is said that there used to be a demon called Gaya who was very much shocked at the distress caused by death. He expressed his sorrow to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was very happy to see that a demon had such a kind heart and gave him a boon by virtue of which he could forgive the sinners. Pretshila Hill which overlooks a pond where people go for 'Pind Dan', performance of rites for departed souls. On top of the hill is the Ahilya Bai Temple, which has magnificent sculptures and the Barabar Caves, which are carved out of rocks depicting the life of Buddha. Prestshila Hills lies in the close vicinity of the Phalgu river. The peculiarity of this river is that the water cannot be seen from outside. It always remains under a thick layer of silt and sand. People who go to Gaya dig holes in the river to take out its water.

Mahabodhi Tree : the tree is considered holy since Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under it, it is probably the fifth succession of the original tree. Anyone, who likes an ambience of serenity, would understand this place's surroundings to be perfectly weathered for meditation.

Vajrasana : the stone platform, where Lord Buddha sat in meditation while he attained enlightenment is known as Vajrasana. The place is restricted for any tourist activity on it; however, even the sight doesn't fail to excite the spirituality of the watcher.

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