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A famous pilgrimage place, Bodhgaya is located in the Gaya district of Bihar. A trip to Bodhgaya is planned by numerous Buddhists as the destination is counted among the four sacred places associated with Lord Buddha; the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sarnath. Accounts of the holy destination are mentioned in the travelogues of Chinese pilgrims Fa-hien and Xuanzang who visited India in the 5th and 7th century, respectively.
Bodhgaya is famous because Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment here. The tree under which Gautam Buddha sat and attained enlightenment is popular as the Bodhi Tree. The Mahabodhi Temple, which was earlier known as Bodhimanda-vihara, signifies the auspiciousness of this location. The temple was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2002. Another attraction of the destination, Sangh?r?ma, was built by Sri Lankan Kittisirimegha for Sinhalese monks.
The enlightenment day of Buddha is celebrated as Buddha Purnima all over India. However, the festival is celebrated in Bodhgaya with added zeal as thousands of devotees and tourists throng the city during this time. It takes place in the month of Vaishakh (April-May) and tourist footfall in the city during this period is very high.
Whilst enjoying their Bodhgaya tour, tourists should not miss out on Bodhgaya Multimedia Museum and Archaeological Museum. The Mahabodhi Stupa, 80-feet high statue of Lord Buddha, should also be included in their 'places to visit in Bodhgaya' list. Monasteries and temples, built by devotees from other Buddhist countries, are some of the other sites to explore in the region.