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The Mahabodhi Temple is one of the oldest brick structures in India

Marija Georgievska

The true year of Buddha’s birth is hard to come by, but it is certain the great historical figure lived sometime between the 6th or 5th century BC.

Inside this Great Awakening Temple is the descendant of the Bodhi Tree.

Under this tree the young prince Siddhartha Gautama, who had never seen death and suffering before but when he did he wanted to end it, reached his enlightenment.

The Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya is directly connected to the life of the historical Buddha. Photo Credit

The Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya is directly connected to the life of the historical Buddha. Photo Credit

He sat in meditation between the roots of this tree for three days and three nights, before he finally got the answers he was looking for.

In his honor, the Emperor Ashoka built the Mahabodhi Vihar temple around the year 260 BCE.

Mahabodhi Temple was built by Emperor Ashoka. Photo Credit

Mahabodhi Temple was built by Emperor Ashoka. Photo Credit

The original structure of the temple that still stands today was built in the 7th century, the time in which the Gupta kings reigned.

The temple was supported over the years by many people, including one renovation in which individuals like the British Archaeologist Sir A. Cunningham and Dr. Rajendra Lai Mitra from India took their part in 1883.

Monks participating in prayer at Mahabodhi Temple. Photo Credit

Monks participating in prayer at Mahabodhi Temple. Photo Credit

More reparations were done In 1956 when the Indian government took a step toward renovating and enlarging the premises of the temple.

Another date of importance for the temple is the 27th of June 2002, the year when UNESCO declared Mahabodhi Vihar a World Heritage Property.

Mahabodhi Temple is constructed of brick and is one of the oldest brick structures to have survived in eastern India. Photo Credit

Mahabodhi Temple is constructed of brick and is one of the oldest brick structures to have survived in eastern India. Photo Credit

The temple was constructed using brick, and today stands as one of the oldest brick structures in India.

The Mahabodhi Temple is surrounded on all four sides by stone railings, about two metres high. Photo Credit

The Mahabodhi Temple is surrounded on all four sides by stone railings, about two meters high. Photo Credit

The temple tower of Mahabodhi Vihar rises some 50 meters into the air, and is surrounded by smaller towers.

One of the oldest railings has depictions of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi being bathed by elephants, and four horses that pull a chariot upon which stands the Hindu sun god Surya.

This temple wouldn’t be complete without the lotus flowers commonly to Buddhism.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya. Photo Credit. Photo Credit

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya. Photo Credit. Photo Credit

It was 200 years after Buddha that a Buddhist emperor laid the foundations of a shine and monastery.

On the place where Buddha meditated a diamond throne was built called Vajrasana.

Mahabodhi Temple is one of the most replicated Buddhist structures, both as temples and miniature replicas. Photo Credit,,

Mahabodhi Temple is one of the most replicated Buddhist structures, both as temples and miniature replicas. Photo Credit

But the temple also had its trials too. In the 12th century, with the invasion of the Muslim Turk armies, the temple lost its glory and was abandoned. Later the Burmese rulers will begin with the restoration of the temple and the wall surrounding it.

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Many over the centuries helped to bring back the old glory of the temple, and it seems that no matter what happens there is always some miracle to save it and bring it back to life.