Patna, July 7: The Mahabodhi temple in Bihar's Bodh Gaya city, where two monks were injured in a string of blasts on Sunday morning, has a direct association with the life of Lord Buddha.
The temple at Bodh Gaya was built at the spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment 2,550 years ago. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2002.
The Mahabodhi temple is one of the few surviving examples of early brick structures in India which had significant influence in the development of architecture over the centuries.
Unesco describes it as one of the earliest and most imposing structures built entirely from brick in the late Gupta period. The sculpted stone balustrades are an outstanding early example of sculptural reliefs in stone.
The temple complex has direct associations with the life of the Lord Buddha (566-486 BC) as the place where in 531 BC he attained the supreme and perfect insight while seated under the Bodhi tree, said the Unesco website.
It provides exceptional records for the events associated with his life and for subsequent worship, particularly since Emperor Asoka made a pilgrimage to this spot around 260 BC and built the first temple at the site of the Bodhi tree.
The Mahabodhi temple complex is located in the very heart of the city of Bodh Gaya. The site consists of the main temple and six sacred places within an enclosed area, and a seventh one, the Lotus Pond, just outside the enclosure to the south.
The most important of the sacred places is the giant Bodhi tree. This tree is supposed to be a direct descendant of the original Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained his enlightenment.
The main temple is built in the classical style of Indian temple architecture. It has a low basement with mouldings decorated with honeysuckle and geese design. Above this is a series of niches containing images of the Buddha.