Photo Essay of Bodh Gaya, India Where Buddha Became Enlightened

Bodh Gaya, India.  I am in Bodh Gaya, in the state of Bihar, India where Siddhartha Gautama obtained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.  I am a pilgrim following in The Buddha’s footsteps across eastern India and attending the gigantic Kalachakra here.  Bodh Gaya is a sleepy historic enclave of about 50,000 – swelled this week to what some have estimated at over 500,000 for the Dalia Lama’s Kalachakra.  One can almost no longer walk through the street due to the throngs.  My friends with me have shared their photos with me below.

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The Buddha covered in garlands at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India.
Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Crowded street scene in Bodh Gaya where Japanese and Indian motorcycles are prevalent. Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya where the Bodi Tree grows. Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Fog from the cold, humid winter and smoke form cow dung fires and incense choke the town.
Photo by Vanessa Cabezas.

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Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. Beautiful flowers are as ubiquitous here as beggars.
Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Back of cart in Bodh Gaya. Transport includes auto and bicycle rickshaws as well as motorcycles
and horse-drawn carriages. Photo by Vanessa Cabezas.

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Beggar with performing monkeys on a Bodh Gaya street. Photo by Vanessa Cabezas.

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Goats and cows stroll the streets, although each belongs to a specific family.
Photo by Vanessa Cabezas.

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Cow dung used for cooking fires dries on the walls. Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Girls sharing stories and doing laundry – a universal. Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Warning sign outside building in Bodh Gaya. Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Paul Goldsmith presents Hindu iconary used in public health advertisement.
Photo: courtesy Paul Goldsmith.

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Pilgrimage to Buddha’s Holy Sites
Main Sites: Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar
Additional Sites: Sravasti, Rajgir, Sankissa, Vaishali, Nalanda, Varanasi
Other Sites: Patna, Gaya, Kosambi, Kapilavastu, Devadaha, Kesariya, Pava

On Pilgrimage: Following the Footsteps of Buddha Across N.W. India in 14 Parts#1 – HuffPo: On Pilgrimage: Following the Footsteps of Buddha Across N.E. India
#2 – Daily Kos: Under the Bodhi Tree in Gaya Where the Prince Became The Buddha
#3 – HuffPo: Photo Essay of Bodh Gaya, Where Buddha Became Enlightened
#4 – Daily Kos: Next Step of Indian Pilgrimage: Mountain Where Buddha Preached
#5 – HuffPo: Touching the Untouchable in a Rural Indian Village
#6 —Daily Kos: Rediscovering the World’s First Great University in Buddhist India
#7 – Daily Kos: Buddhism for Beginners: Insights from a Non-Buddhist
#8 – HuffPo: Can I Help Rescue Education and Orphan Care in Bihar, India?
#9 —Daily Kos: Buddhism and Social Responsibility
#10 – Stewardship Report: Most-Photographed Man in the World Prepares to Retire
#11 – HuffPo: Co-Sponsoring a Future Indian Leader
#12 – Daily Kos: Varanasi: Holy City of Buddhists – As Well as Hindus, Jainists, Jews
#13 – Daily Kos: On the Banks of the Ganges: Continuing the Search for My Soul
#14 – HuffPo: My Pilgrimage Complete: Lessons Learned, Life Continues Like a Wheel

See Stories by Jim Luce on:India   |   International Development   |   Philanthropy    |   Social Responsibility  |   Tibet

The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) is the umbrella organization under which The International University Center Haiti (Uni Haiti) and Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) are organized. If supporting young global leadership is important to you, subscribe to J. Luce Foundation updates here.

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Originally published in The Daily Kos, January 11, 2012.

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