Things to see

There is no registration to attend the festival. All are invited and welcome.

The 180-foot spire of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara marks the place for the Vajra Asana or Diamond Throne, believed by Buddhists to be the only place in the three-fold universe where a human being can break through the entanglements of Samsara (the material world) and  arise as a Buddha. It is built directly over the site of the original Bodhi Tree and has a ninth century Pala statue of the Buddha that faces east, towards the Niranjana river, the same direction the Buddha has said to

have faced while sitting under the Bodhi Tree 2500 years ago on the night he attained Enlightenment. Having paid respects at the main shrine, visitors can follow the inner walkway of the Temple where images of the Buddha carved in white marble can be seen in niches and stucco replicas on the rafter beams above.

As one walks towards the Bodhi Tree, portions of support railing dating back to the Shunga period, second century BC, can be seen. The path that begins at the top of the steps at the entrance of the temple compound is the outer walkway and offers a panoramic view of the entire temple area. The Mahabodhi Mahavihara is surrounded by unexcavated remains of several ancient structures including the large Sri Lankan Vihara, which was built in the fourth century AD directly to the north side of the main temple and can be found underneath the entrance plaza.