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Bodh Gaya

Read the article below about the Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya and find the words in the article that have the following meanings.

  1. a group of buildings containing related items (paragraph 1)

  2. important (paragraph 1)

  3. includes (paragraph 2)

  4. many (paragraph 2)

  5. an area that is surrounded by a barrier or wall (paragraph 2)

  6. influenced by ancient forms or principles (paragraph 3)

  7. a floor of a building which is below ground level (paragraph 3)

  8. shallow recesses in a wall to display a statue or ornament (paragraph 4)

  9. a large room used for meetings, concerts, or other events (paragraph 4)

  10. deeply respected or admired (paragraph 5)

  11. a journey to a religious place of significance (paragraph 5)


The Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Buddha. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, and it is considered to have had significant influence in the development of brick architecture over the centuries.

The present Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya comprises the 50 metre high grand Temple, the Vajrasana, the sacred Bodhi Tree and another six sacred sites of Buddha's enlightenment, surrounded by numerous ancient Votive stupas, well maintained and protected by inner, middle and outer circular boundaries. A seventh sacred place, the Lotus Pond, is located outside the enclosure to the south. Both the temple area and the Lotus Pond are surrounded by circulating passages at two or three levels.

The Main Temple wall has an average height of 11 metres and it is built in the classical style of Indian temple architecture. It has entrances from the east and from the north and has a low basement with mouldings decorated with honeysuckle and geese design. Above this is a series of niches containing images of the Buddha.

At the four corners of the parapet of the temple are four statues of the Buddha. The temple faces east and consists of a small forecourt in the east with niches on either side containing statues of the Buddha. A doorway leads into a small hall, beyond which lies the inner sanctum, which contains a gilded statue of the seated Buddha (over 5ft high) holding earth as witness to his achieved Enlightenment. Above the sanctum is the main hall with a shrine containing a statue of Buddha, where senior monks gather to meditate.

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 humankind.

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