The main tourist attraction in Bodhgaya is the Mahabodhi temple. The original Bodhi tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment had died, but the present tree is a descendant of the original tree, which was obtained from Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, where it was taken by Sanghamitra, King Ashoka's daughter in 3rd century BC. The red sandstone slab under this tree is said to be the throne on which Buddha sat. The Mahabodhi temple stands on the 3rd-century-BC shrine, erected by Ashoka. It is intricately carved and houses a large gilded image of Buddha. The present temple has been restored to its past glory. A number of countries like Japan, Burma, China, Sri Lanka, Korea, Nepal, etc., where Buddhism is an important faith, have built their respective monasteries and temples in Bodhgaya. Theses monasteries and temples offer to the tourist different architectural styles of these countries. The Archeological Museum of Bodhgaya is another important place to visit in this small town.
Thousands of Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throng to Bodhgaya every year.
Bodhgaya is not only an important Buddhist pilgrim center and an archeological site, but it also for famous for the various meditation courses offered by a number of institutes, in and around the town. Most of the courses are conducted in winters (October-February).
Places Around Bodhgaya
The town of Gaya is 13 km from Bodhgaya, which is also located on the Falgu River. As Bodhgaya is for the Buddhists, Gaya is an important pilgrim place for the Hindus.