Art at Bodhgaya

Bodhgaya is known for its Mahabodhi Temple world over. In Bodhgaya, art pulsates since 4th -5th century when the Mahabodhi temple came into being as an artistic expression along with the religious belief. Centres for arts in Bodhgaya, one can find at Onsite Museum of Archaeological Survey of India, at different Monasteries, Sujata stupa, biannual event Bodhgaya Biennale and most important Mahabodhi temple complex itself.

Let’s see what UNESCO says about the Mahabodhi temple, “ In the context of philosophical and cultural history, Mahabodhi Temple Complex is of great relevance as it marks the most important event in the life of Lord Buddha, the moment when Prince Siddhartha attained Enlightenment and became Buddha, an event that shaped human thought and belief. This property is now revered as the holiest place of Buddhist pilgrimage in the world and is considered the cradle of Buddhism in the history of mankind.

The grand 50m high Mahabodhi Temple of the 5th-6th centuries is of immense importance, being one of the earliest temple constructions existing in the Indian sub-continent. It is one of the few representations of the architectural genius of the Indian people in constructing fully developed brick temples in that era

The Mahabodhi Temple, one of the few surviving examples of early brick structures in India, has had significant influence in the development of architecture over the centuries.

The site of the Mahabodhi Temple provides exceptional records for the events associated with the life of Buddha and subsequent worship, particularly since Emperor Asoka built the first temple, the balustrades, and the memorial column.

The present Temple is one of the earliest and most imposing structures built entirely in brick from the late Gupta period. The sculpted stone balustrades are an outstanding early example of sculptural reliefs in stone.

The Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya has direct association with the life of the Lord Buddha, being the place where He attained the supreme and perfect insight.”


The most important remains of artistic value is its railing around the temple. Beautiful carvings with Indian god Indra, Surya and decorative, floral carvings, decorative Small stupas with sculptures attracts tourists and art loving visitors, art historians.

ASI Museum is also an important centre for Bodhgaya Arts, established in 1956, situated just nearby the Temple and the park. It has excellent collection of art and antiquities dated since 1st century. Buddhist relics, Bodhgaya pillar, varah avtar, abhaymudra Buddha and so many idols of terracotta, silver and bronze medium, coins of Mughal era are also in display here.

Monasteries of different countries at Bodhgaya are addes art feathers of the Bodhgaya art cap. Monoasteries of different countries reflect art of their countries with different sculptures, paintings, wall painting etc.

Maya Sarovar park is also a Public art destination in Bodhgaya. International level artists have installed art works here. It is a worth visit space in Bodhgaya.

Bodhgaya Biennale is only bi- annual space for Contemporary Arts . The art works displayed in different space during Biennale days.