The Mahabodhi Society Temple, Sarnath Overview

The Mahabodhi Society Temple at Sarnath is one of the most ancient temples in India, built in the Gupta period entirely out of bricks. It is the proselyte where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. When a Buddhist monk, Dharmapala from Sri Lanka encountered the dilapidated condition of Sarnath, he campaigned to collect global funds from Buddhist countries and revive the temple. Finally, a temple was built next to the archaeological site, which was a replica of the original shrine in the site.

With donations from royal kings and worldwide governments, he erected the temple we see today close to the original site. Japanese artists were hired to paint the walls and frescoes at this stunning place of worship. Dharmapala also collected some ashes of Buddha, preserved in Myanmar, and stored it at Mahabodhi Society Temple. Propagated from Gaya to Sri Lanka and back to Sarnath, the Mahabodhi tree at this temple is revered as a relic of Buddha himself.

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