Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddhism took birth, has over time become a truly global spiritual destination with international tourists from all Buddhism practicing nations flocking to Bodh Gaya throughout the year. All major Buddhism practicing nations and all sects of Buddhism have established their own temples at Bodh Gaya to facilitate their visitors. With about 15 countries and sects establishing their monasteries at Bodh Gaya, each with its typical architectural features, Bodh Gaya has become a tableau of cultural diversity. Bodh Gaya can be compared to the embassy area of New Delhi where you can find embassies of different countries next to each other; the only difference here the structures are spiritual and cutting across borders they propagate peace rather than politics.
After visiting the Mahabodhi temple, I strolled through the by-lanes of Bodh Gaya, visiting each of these monasteries, finally reaching the 80 feet Buddha statue set up by the Japanese. This photostory is dedicated to the international temples at Bodh Gaya.
Lets start with a vibrant one..
The Mongolian Temple
White walls adorned with bright yellow, tapered roofs with orange columns. Although it was closed and I couldn’t get inside, its one of my favourites.
The Royal Bhutanese Temple
Lord Buddha inside the Royal Bhutanese Temple
The Sri Lankan Temple
An architecture more resembling a church than a typical monastery. Marked by its ochre and gold archway.
The Fu Guang Shan Temple
It is an Institute for Buddhist Studies as ascertained on the entrance gate.
The Karma Tharjay Chokhorling Kagyupa Vajrayana
Just beside the Karma Monastery, inaugurated by the 7th President of India, Gyani Zail Singh, is another temple. I forgot the name of this one.
The Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery
A rather colourful interior with colourful roof hangings…
The Palyul Namdroling Temple
A beautiful Buddha statue !!! Beautiful interiors with hundreds of miniature bronze Buddha statues.
The Japanese Temple:
There was a gigantic bell in the temple premises known as the “Bell of Peace” which is rung thrice a day.
The Chinese Temple:
Quite modest architecture when compared to other extravagant structures from other countries..
Time for the best one..
The Thai Temple
Undoubtedly the best one among all international temples. Marked by an ornate archway, slender, polished pillars and a typical Thai architecture, this temple stands out among all others both in extravagance and size.
The beautiful Thai Temple
At last, let me take you to the 80 feet Buddha statue.
The statue was built by the Japanese and unveiled in presence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It is an elegantly carved statue of Lord Buddha in meditating posture perched on a lotus. Statues of Buddha’s ten prime disciples flank the main statue.
Apart from these, there were also temples by Cambodia, Tibet and one under construction by Bangladesh. There are many other smaller monasteries as well. Bodh Gaya is truly a unique place owing to its ethnic multitudes and temples with diverse architectural features. I enjoyed my weekend trip to the fullest. I hope you liked this post. Please share your views in the comments section below.
Click here to read my post on Mahabodhi Temple:
Keep Traveling and Spread Love..