Mahabodhi temple, Bodh Gaya (Bihar)
Artist: Crockatt, James (1755/6-1804)
Watercolour drawing of the Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, by James Crockatt (1755/6-1804), c. 1800. Inscribed on back in ink: 'East view of the Hindoo temple at Bode-Gya, in the neighbourhood of Gya in Behar';' taken by Capt. Crokatt.'
The Mahabodhi Temple complex is one of the holiest sites related to the life of the Buddha as it is the place where he attained enlightenment. The present temple dates from the 7th century with later additions, and was built on the site of a previous temple erected by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. The temple consists of a central sanctuary with a tall pyramidal tower that is over 50 metres high and houses a large gilded image of the Buddha. The temple is built in front of the Bodhi Tree, the tree under which the Buddha obtained enlightenment, which is surrounded by a quadrangular stone railing that dates to the 2nd century BC.