Japanese image of Buddha at Gaya. Said to be over 700 years old.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Japanese Buddha sculpture at the Mahabodi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, from the Elgin Collection: 'Spring Tours 1894-98', taken in c.1895. The Mahabodi Temple complex is one of the holiest sites related to the life of Buddha as it is the place where he attained Enlightenment. The present temple dates from the 7th Century and later and was built on the site of a previous temple erected by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. It is built in front of the Bodhi Tree, the tree under which the Buddha obtained enlightenment, surrounded by a quadrangular stone railing. This is the most important pilgrimage site of Buddhism and it once again flourishes as an international centre for Buddhism. Temples and monasteries are built by various countries. The modern Japanese temple is remarkable for the 25 m high Buddha statue that towers in front of it and the gold images of Buddha within.