Tag Archives: Bodhgaya

Bodhgaya: the Temples

Because this is the holiest site in all of Buddhism, every country with a Buddhist population has built some kind of temple or monastery here.  They’re quite beautiful and mostly fill me with the desire to just spend months traveling around Asia to see all these other countries too.IMG_5993 thai temple outside small

The Thai temple was my absolute favorite, hands down. Outside above, inside below.  My photos don’t capture the outstanding murals on the inside depicting some Buddhist stories set in Thailand.  Just beautiful.IMG_5995 thai temple inside small

The Japanese temple was my second favorite.  Simple but peaceful: long and open on the inside with cranes and kanji splashed across the ceiling tiles.  I watched a few Indians light and wave incense, then sat alone in the quiet for a while.IMG_6001 japanese temple 2 IMG_6000 japanese temple

IMG_6006 tibetan monastery

I’m sorry to say I forget which temple this was.  90% sure it’s one of the Tibetan monasteries (of which there are several).

IMG_6002 giant buddhaThere is also a giant 80-foot Buddha statue in Bodhgaya, because of course.IMG_6005 giant buddha and i


The Road to Bodhgaya

The road to Bodhgaya from Ranchi is long: an 8-hour bus ride, then a 30-min bus ride, then a 10-min rickshaw ride.  But I rarely get bored of looking out the window.  Just when I think my giddiness over the colorful trappings of India has faded, the country finds new sights and sounds to throw at me.

IMG_5934 road to bihar men walking small IMG_5938 road to bihar women ctyd small IMG_5939 road to bihar houses small IMG_5947 road to bihar tree red string small

Everywhere there were women winding red string around big trees on this day.  June 8, it was.  A Saturday.  I don’t know if this is a routine prayer or if it was a special day.  The women left with huge stripes of red painted from their hair parts down their noses, and some were wearing leaves in their hair.IMG_5956 road to bihar countryside small

We crossed out of Jharkhand (the state where I’m living) over a small ridge of hills and then the state of Bihar just sprawled out in front of us.  My jaw dropped a little.  It was like descending into the floodplain that time forgot.  Just flat, flat, flat, and villages of straw and mud that look like they haven’t changed much since the Raj.

IMG_5964 road to bihar mud houses small IMG_5965 road to bihar roadside view small