This book offers an overview of the emergence of Bodh Gaya as a sacred site within Gaya Dharmak It contextualizes the different encounters, incidents, and legends connected to the Buddha’s experiences shortly before and after he attained Bodhi– when, spiritually speaking, he was extremely lonely and was trying to carve a place for himself in the highly competitive Gaya Dharmak. Further, the book examines the role of various personalities and institutions that contributed to the emergence of the Mahabodhi Temple. It incorporates a wealth of research on the role of the Victorian Indologists as well as the colonial administrators, the Giri mahants, and Anagarika Dharmapala, to understand the material milieu pertaining not only to its identity but also access to spiritual resources as its conservation and development. This book is an indispensable read for students and scholars of history, cultural studies, and art and architecture as well as practitioners of Buddhism and Hinduism.
K.T.S. SARAO is the former head and Professor of Buddhist Studies at, University of Delhi. He holds doctoral degrees from the universities of Delhi and Cambridge and an honorary doctorate from the P.S.R. Buddhist University, Phnom Penh. Some of his recent publications are Buddhism and Jainism: Encyclopedia of Indian Religions (Springer, 2017. Jointly with J.D. Long), The History of Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya (Springer, 2020), Baku’s Temple of Eternal Fire: Its Connections to Baba Nanak and the Udasi Sadhus (Bloomsbury, 2021). On the occasion of Independence Day, 2018, the President of India conferred on him the Certificate of Honour for outstanding scholarship in Pāli Language. The Ministry of Culture, Government of India conferred the Vesak Citation of Honour (वैशाख सम्मान प्रशस्ति पत्र) on him for the year 2020.