Temples of 10 countries in Bodh Gaya | Bihar, India

Bodh Gaya, one of the 4 most important holy sites of Buddhism is surrounded by numerous temples and monasteries set up by Buddhist countries of South, East and South East Asia. Within a perimeter of about 5kms these temples are located hither and thither in the neighborhood of Mahabodhi temple and have managed to maintain the serene atmosphere as in the main temple. Almost all of them are open to tourists but in some monasteries outsiders are not allowed. Along with serenity, the interiors of the temples remain cool, a welcome change for people like me who do a walking tour during summer. The temple visits do not get boring as each of them are unique, highlighting the architecture of the country it represents. The only thing that put-off the good vibes are the pestering beggars squatting in front of each and every temple – for them these sites provide the opportunity to annoy the visitors to get some easy money. I can imagine what the foreigners will tell about India when they get back to their country. All the temples have one thing in common – they open at 6 AM and close at 5/6PM with a two hour break at 12 PM.

1. Japan

Indosan Nipponji, a Japanese temple built in 1973 was my personal favorite. The visitors will surely feel that they are in Kyoto, thanks to the unique architecture of the temple. There is one more Japanese temple – Daijokyo Buddhist Temple which lies adjacent to the Giant Buddha statue.

2. Bhutan

The Bhutanese temple is also built based on traditional architecture of that country and it looks grand. Travel from Kyoto to Himalayas within a few minutes!!!

3. Tibet

Please excuse the political incorrectness of my blog as Tibet is officially part of China but that doesn’t stop you from visiting the marvelous Tibetan temples.

Shechen Monastery was inaugurated by the 14th (current) Dalai Lama and is situated near the Maha Bodhi temple.

Once you are inside the serene prayer hall of the Tergar Monastery after entering the details in the visitors book the gentle chirping of birds will help you to slip into a meditative state.

Karma Temple

The Tibetan temple near Vietnam temple has got a large wooden prayer wheel and the book stall has got a decent collection of books based on Buddhism and Dalai Lama.

4. Cambodia

5. Myanmar

If you have not seen a Buddha idol made of cane, head to the first floor of Myanmar temple

6. Vietnam

7. Bangladesh

Two things make Bangladesh Monastery unique. 1. Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country and 2. You get to see young monks playing cricket here.

8. Mongolia

Mongolian Temple was closed at the time of my visit and I wonder whether it will be open only during winter season.

9. China

Chinese temple lies adjacent to Shechen Monastery and it constantly reminded me of communism rather than Buddhism. The wall behind the statues of 3 Golden Buddhas is covered with small tiles that has pictures of Buddha. The marble statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in front of the temple looks impressive.

10. Thailand

And last but not the least (now..please don’t shoot me for using the time-worn cliché) Thai temples reflect, though to a lesser extent, the grandeur of the temples back in parent country. There are 2 Thai temples in Bodh Gaya.

Wat Thai Bodhgaya  is strikingly similar to the temples of Bangkok and is richly gilt and highly ornamental.

Metta Buddharam Temple is splendidly whitetail and silvery. There is a life size statue of Emperor Ashoka wearing robes in this temple but the statue looks more similar to a Greek god rather than that of the person who propagated Buddhism in Indian subcontinent.

Let me know which among the list is/are your favorite(s) by posting it as a comment below 🙂

Author: Sreejith Vijayakumar

Have a great liking for travelling and learning about different cultures and communities. Strongly believe that world is a wonderful place to live in.

28 thoughts

  1. I enjoyed the post and the pictures make it tough to decide which one is better , but the cane Buddha sounded intriguing 🙂 Bodh Gaya has always been on my list , but I haven’t been to Bihar yet , soon may be .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Bhutan is the only country in the world where Indians have an advantage over Westerners cause they don’t need visa and are allowed to travel independently 😆
      But I feel still it’s worth for you to book the expensive compulsory tour to visit the last Shangri-la which remains serene even when sandwiched by two of the most populous countries of the world

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard about all those temples before, but this is actually the first time I see all of them. I like every single structure, but if I had to choose the Japanese temple is my favorite for its elegance. I do wonder though why there’s no Sri Lankan temple since it’s also a predominantly-Buddhist country.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bama, I haven’t been to Kyoto but your posts about that place is still fresh in my mind And that promted me to suggest confidently that readers will feel like they are in Kyoto when they visit the Japan temple.

      I do agree with your take on Sri Lanka and I must admit that I may have missed that country’s temple during my visit.

      Like

  3. It is a tough question especially with all the vibrant colors and unique architecture. Each one is good in its own way. But Myanmar stands out with all radiant flowers and a cane Buddha. Simple and natural.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s very interesting Sree, it’s like you’re doing pilgrimage from one country to another just in a day.
    Well, it’s very difficult for me to choose which one my favourite is, since they’re all unique.
    But, I think the Bhutanese temple is the most captivate one. And I really hope, I can visit that country also someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an interesting experience to see all these temples in one place. I love the temples of Japan and Thailand as I have been to so many in these places. But, the temple of Bhutan is my favourite, Great colourful photos. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Kyoto is a beautiful. We were there in 1982 and 1985, long before I had a good camera or any skills in photography. The Heian shrine is indeed beautiful. We also toured Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji and Daitoku-ji, not to mention the old Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle. Thank goodness, they were spared during the 2nd world war bombing. Japan is an interesting place to travel. Allan

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The temple of all countries are so wonderful surrounded by beautiful flowers. It looks super great and cool surrounding. Out of many listed temple I must say Bhutanese temple is much more attractive with wonderful design.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is fantastic! I hope you had an amazing adventure visiting all these places, which was your favourite? I’m heading to Japan in April cannot wait hopefully see some amazing temples on my travels 🙂

    Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.