Bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting
Emperor Ashoka visited Bodh Gaya approximately 250 years after Buddha’s time, erecting a monument in the form of a shrine under the Bodhi Tree under which, according to tradition, the Buddha attained enlightenment.
Ashoka is credited with being the creator of the well-known Mahabodhi Temple. The city was at the heart of a Buddhist civilization for centuries, with life being centered around the Mahabodhi Temple and other monasteries and monuments.
Cereals and rice were being cultivated, as is evidenced by rice husk impressions in the Black and Red ware pottery. Also arising during this time were new techniques in the creation of pottery, resulting in mirror-like light ceramic known as Northern Black Polished Pottery.
The introduction of iron implements and coinage occurred between 600-200 B. The Iron Age was also the era of Gautama Buddha’s life, especially significant to Bodh Gaya as the location of his enlightenment.
Following India’s independence in 1947 management of the Mahabodhi Temple became increasingly controversial. Within two hundred years that name fell into dis-use and the city has had several names since that time, all influenced by the historic event of Buddha’s enlightenment.
The central tower is surrounded by four smaller towers, constructed in the same style.
The Temple is surrounded on all four sides by stone railings, approximately 6.5 feet (two meters) high. The older railings have scenes such as Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, being bathed by elephants; and Surya, the Hindu sun god, riding a chariot drawn by four horses.
It considered to be a fine example of Indian brickwork, and was highly influential in the development of later architectural traditions.
According UNESCO, “the present temple is one of the earliest and most imposing structures built entirely in brick from the late Gupta period.” Mahabodhi Temple’s central tower rises to 180.5 feet (55 meters), and was heavily renovated in the nineteenth century.
The city’s center, the Mahabodhi Temple, was in serious disrepair by the 1880s, when a Burmese mission to repair the temple began.