Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple
Ashoka's Mahabodhi Temple and Diamond throne in Bodh Gaya, built c. 250 BCE. The inscription between the Chaitya arches reads: "Bhagavato Sakamunino/ bodho" i.e. "The building round the Bodhi tree of the Bhagavat(Holy) Sakamuni (Shakyamuni)". Also interesting to note is the word Bhagavat for Buddha, as Hindus consider him an incarnation of Vishnu who is also called Bhagavat. The elephant-crowned pillar of Ashoka (now lost) is visible. Bharhut frieze (c. 100 BCE).
Another relief of the early circular Mahabodhi Temple, Bharhut, c. 100 BCE.
Bodhi Tree
Discovery of the Diamond throne, built by Ashoka c. 250 BCE.
Reconstitution of the Sunga period pillars at Bodh Gaya, from archaeology (left) and from artistic relief (right). They are dated to the 1st century BCE. Reconstitution done by Alexander Cunningham.
The stupa finial on top of the pyramidal structure.
A statue of Mucalinda protecting the Buddha in Mucalinda Lake, Mahabodhi Temple
The temple as it appeared in 1899, shortly after its restoration in the 1880s
Bodhgaya. Buddha image in the main temple.
Bodh Gaya quadriga relief of the sun god Surya riding between pillars (detail of a railing post), 2nd–1st century BCE.
The temple undergoing repairs (from January, 2006).
Bodh Gaya Chedi Replica at Wat Yansangwararam, Chonburi Province, Thailand
Bodh Gaya Sunga pillar.
Bodh Gaya Sunga railing.
Bodh Gaya Sunga railing.
Bodh Gaya Sunga railing.
Bodh Gaya Sunga railing.
1903 photograph.
Bodh Gaya original railings, Indian Museum, Calcutta.
Bodh Gaya original railings, Indian Museum, Calcutta.
Railing post.
Another railing post.
Bodhi tree.
Bodhi Tree.
Adoration of the Bodhi tree.
Winged lion.
Cow nourishing her calf.
The Jetavana Garden at Sravasti.
Padakusalamanava Jataka.<ref>The Padakusalamanava Jataka, in which a horse-headed ogress falls in love with one of her preys, and the Bodhisattva (the future Buddha) is born of their union. In: Didactic Narration: Jataka Iconography in Dunhuang with a Catalogue of Jataka Representations in China, Alexander Peter Bell, LIT Verlag Münster, 2000 pp. 15ff</ref>
Padakusalamanava Jataka.
Woman with child and goat.
Devotee and grottoe.
Amorous scene (drawing).
Amorous scene.
Miraculous River crossing.
Miraculous river-crossing (drawing)
Devotee and apsara.
Visit of Indra to the Indrasala Cave.
Kalpa drum.
Lakshmi lustrated by elephants.
Music scene.
Palace scene, Sibi Jataka.
Ploughing scene.
Apsara (drawing).
Vegetal medallion.
Plaster copy and reconstruction of original Sunga railing.
Post relief (plaster copy).
Adoration of the wheel of the Law (plaster copy).
Flower Design decorated with gold leaves.
Decorated railing.

Ancient, but much rebuilt and restored, Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

- Mahabodhi Temple

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Bodh Gaya

The Bodhi Tree under which Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment
Mahabodhi temple, built under the Gupta Empire, 6th century CE.
Buddhist monks meditating in Bodh Gaya
Illustration of the temple built by Asoka at Bodh-Gaya around the Bodhi tree. Sculpture of the Satavahana period at Sanchi, 1st century CE.

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar.


Shikhara (IAST: ), a Sanskrit word translating literally to "mountain peak", refers to the rising tower in the Hindu temple architecture of North India, and also often used in Jain temples.

Latina in Khajuraho
Homogeneous Shikhara (but with rathas) of the Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar

The early history of the Hindu shikhara is unclear, but the Buddhist Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya has a straight-sided shikhara tower over 55 metres (180 feet) high, with an amalaka near the top.

Gaya (India)

City, municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of Gaya district and Magadh division of the Indian state of Bihar.

Brahmayoni Hill, where Buddha preached the Adittapariyaya Sutta (the Fire Sermon).
View of Gaya from Hills of Mangla Gauri
Gaya Junction
Entrance Gate Of GCE Campus

The Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya is a World Heritage Site.


Journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience.

David Teniers the Younger: Flemish Pilgrim
Ancient excavated Buddha-image at the Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar
Tibetans on a pilgrimage to Lhasa, doing full-body prostrations, often for the entire length of the journey
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Israel according to tradition is the site where Jesus was crucified and resurrected
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima is one of the largest pilgrimage sites (Marian shrine) in the world.
Kumbh Mela
Muslim pilgrims circumambulate the black cube of the Kaaba in the Al-Haram Mosque
Arba'een pilgrims in Mehran
Jews at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during the Ottoman period, 1867
Sikh pilgrim at the Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) in Amritsar, India.
Baishatun Pilgrimage: Mazu and her palanquin
The Yazd Atash Behram in Iran is an Atash Bahram, the highest grade of fire temple in Zoroastrianism

Bodh Gaya: place of Enlightenment (in the current Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar, India)

Bodhi Tree

Large sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa ) located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India.

The Mahabodhi Tree at the Sri Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya
The Diamond throne or Vajrashila, where the Buddha sat under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya
1810 picture of a small temple beneath the Bodhi tree, Bodh Gaya.
The Mahabodhi tree in Bodhgaya today
Illustration of the temple built by Asoka at Bodh-Gaya around the Bodhi tree. Sculpture of the Satavahana period at Sanchi, 1st century CE.
Bodhi Tree sign, 2013
Ashoka's Mahabodhi Temple and Diamond throne in Bodh Gaya, built circa 250 BCE. The inscription between the Chaitya arches reads: "Bhagavato Sakamunino/ bodho" i.e. "The building round the Bodhi tree of the Holy Sakamuni (Shakyamuni)". Bharhut frieze (circa 100 BCE).
Sapling of the Maha bodhi tree planted in the year 1950 at Theosophical society
Terracotta Bodhi leaf with dragon decoration, 13th-14th century, Vietnam

The foremost example of an existing tree is the Mahabodhi Tree growing at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, which is often cited as a direct descendant of the original tree.


Mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as śarīra – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation.

The Piprahwa stupa is one of the earliest surviving stupas.
Buddha's ashes Stupa built by the Licchavis, Vaishali and one of the earliest stupas
An early stupa, 6 m in diameter, with fallen umbrella on side at Chakpat, near Chakdara; probably Maurya, 3rd century BCE
an inscribed dedication
The Ahin Posh stupa was dedicated in the 2nd century CE under the Kushans, and contained coins of Kaniska I.
The Chinese Songyue Pagoda
Row of stupas on roadside east of Leh, Ladakh.jpg (523 CE) is thought to derive from the Gandharan tower-stupa model.
Borobudur bell-shaped stupas
A Jain stupa, Mathura, 1st century CE
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
View of the Wat Phra Kaew complex from the northeast, temple complex of the Emerald Buddha with stupas
The sharing of the relics of the Buddha. Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, 2-3rd century CE. ZenYouMitsu Temple Museum, Tokyo.
Buddha relics from Kanishka's stupa in Peshawar, Pakistan. These surviving relics are now housed in Mandalay, Myanmar.
The Eight Great Stupas
Row of chortens at roadside near Leh, Ladakh
Enlightenment Stupa at Ogoy Island, Russia
Sanchi Stupa No.2, the earliest known stupa with important displays of decorative reliefs, circa 125 BCE<ref name="Bell 15">Didactic Narration: Jataka Iconography in Dunhuang with a Catalogue of Jataka Representations in China, Alexander Peter Bell, LIT Verlag Münster, 2000 p.15ff</ref>
East Gateway and Railings of Bharhut Stupa. Sculptured railings: 115 BCE, toranas: 75 BCE.
The Great Stupa at Sanchi<ref name="Alī Jāvīd p.50">World Heritage Monuments and Related Edifices in India, Volume 1 p.50 by Alī Jāvīd, Tabassum Javeed, Algora Publishing, New York </ref> Decorated toranas built from the 1st c. BCE to the 1st c. CE.
Amaravati stupa, 1st-2nd century CE
A model resembling the Saidu Sharif Stupa, with square base and four columns (1st century CE).<ref>Le Huu Phuoc, Buddhist Architecture, Grafikol 2009, p.174-176</ref>
Loriyan Tangai decorated stupa, in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara (2nd century CE).
A tower-shaped stupa, thought to be the design of the second (rebuilt) Kanishka stupa, Jaulian monastery
Stupa-shaped reliquary, Kushan period, about 2nd century CE
Chilas petroglyphs, Buddhist stupa, circa 300-350 CE based on paleography<ref>Dated "between A.D. 300-350 based on Kharosthi, Brahmi, and Sodian inscriptions written before and after the drawing was completed (fig.3) In the center of the triptych, a spectacular stupa with a relatively small dome [anda], a chattravali with seven disks, columns, banners, and multiple bells illustrates a trend towards decorative profusion." {{cite journal |journal=Bulletin of the Asia Institute |date=2002 |title=Chital petroglyphs|page=152 |url= |publisher=Wayne State University Press |language=en}}</ref>
The Great Stupa at Sanchi, which contained the relics of Buddha, the oldest known stupa
An early stupa at Guntupalle, probably Maurya Empire, third century BCE
Buddha statue inside a votive stupa, Sarnath
Abayagiri Dageba, Sri Lanka
Chorten near Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet
The white stupa in Miaoying Temple, China
The Kalachakra stupa in Karma Guen, Spain
Stupa of Kantha Bopha
Stupa of King Norodom Suramarit
Main stupa at Wat Phnom
Stupa at Wat Botum
Stupa at Oudong
Golden stupa at Wat Ounalom
thumb|Roadside stupa. Kathmandu 1979
Boudhanath Stupa
Kaathe Swyambhu
Tahiti stupa
Yetkha Stupa
thumb|Small stupa in Kathmandu street

The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is one such example, formed of a succession of steps with niches containing Buddha images, alternating with Greco-Roman pillars.


Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Plan of the monuments of the hill of Sanchi, numbered 1 to 50.
The Ashoka pillar at Sanchi.
The capital of the Sanchi pillar of Ashoka, as discovered (left), and simulation of original appearance (right). It is very similar to the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, except for the abacus, here adorned with flame palmettes and facing geese, 250 BCE. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
by later illustrations among the Sanchi reliefs
The Great Stupa under the Sungas. The Sungas nearly doubled the diameter of the initial stupa, encasing it in stone, and built a balustrade and a railing around it.
Foreigner on a horse, circa 115 BCE, Stupa No2.
Sunga period railings were initially blank (left: Great Stupa), and only started to be decorated circa 115 BCE with Stupa No.2 (right).
Sunga pillar No25 with own capital on the side.
Siri-Satakani inscription
Cave No.19
The Worship of the Bodhisattva's hair
Vedisakehi damtakārehi rupakammam katam
The Great Stupa at the time of the Satavahanas.
Temptation of the Buddha, with the Buddha on the left (symbolized by his throne only) surrounded by rejoicing devotees, Mara and his daughters (center), and the demons of Mara fleeing (right).
War over the Buddha's Relics, kept by the city of Kushinagar, South Gate, Stupa no.1, Sanchi.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but he failed, the Nagas being too powerful. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Southern Gateway, Sanchi.
Ashoka in grief, supported by his two queens, in a relief at Sanchi. Stupa 1, Southern gateway. The identification with Ashoka is confirm by a similar relief from Kanaganahalli inscribed "Raya Asoko".
Bodhi tree temple depicted in Sanchi, Stupa 1, Southern gateway.
Temple for the Bodhi Tree (Eastern Gateway).
foreigners illustrated at Sanchi worshiping the Great Stupa
Foreigners worshiping Stupa
Greek travelling costume
Another one
Miracle at Kapilavastu
Miracle of the Buddha walking on the river Nairanjana
Procession of king Suddhodana from Kapilavastu
"The promenade of the Buddha", or Chankrama, used to depict the Buddha in motion in Buddhist aniconism.
Bimbisara with his royal cortege issuing from the city of Rajagriha to visit the Buddha
Foreigners making a dedication at the Southern Gateway of Stupa No 1
Stupas and monasteries at Sanchi in the early centuries of the current era. Reconstruction, 1900
Sanchi inscription of Chandragupta II.
Temple 17: a Gupta period tetrastyle prostyle temple of Classical appearance. 5th century CE
Statue of Padmapani (5th c.or 9th c.) Victoria and Albert Museum.
Pillar 26: one of the two four-lions stambha capitals at Sanchi, with lions, central flame palmette and Wheel of Law (axis, stubs of the spokes and part of the circumference only), initially located at the Northern Gateway of the Great Stupa. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
Pillar 26: lion pillar capital at time of discovery, with Dharmachakra wheel (reconstitution). Northern Gateway.
this image
Pillar 35 column stump (right), and bell capital with abacus, positioned upside down.
Vajrapani statue of pillar 35, 5th c. CE. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
Temple 18 at Sanchi, an apsidal hall with Maurya foundations, rebuilt at the time of Harsha (7th century CE).
Temple 45
The Great Stupa as breached by Sir Herbert Maddock in 1822. Watercolor by Frederick Charles Maisey, in 1851.
Ruins of the Southern Gateway, Sanchi in 1875.
A Gate to the Stupa of Sanchi 1932
Chetiyagiri Vihara
Inscribed panel from Sanchi in Brahmi script in the British Museum
The last two letters to the right of this inscription in Brahmi form the word "dǎnam" (donation). This hypothesis permitted the decipherment of the Brahmi script by James Prinsep in 1837.
General view of the Stupas at Sanchi by F.C. Maisey, 1851 (The Great Stupa on top of the hill, and Stupa 2 at the forefront)
The Great Stupa (Stupa No.1), started in the 3rd century BCE
Stupa No.2
Stupa No.3
Buddhist Temple, No.17
Remains of the Ashokan Pillar in polished stone (right of the Southern Gateway), with its Edict.
Sanchi Minor Pillar Edict of Ashoka, in-situ (detail of the previous image).
Remains of the shaft of the pillar of Ashoka, under a shed near the Southern Gateway.
Side view of the capital. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.<ref name="p.25-28 Ashoka pillar"/>
Shunga balustrade and staircase.
Shunga stonework.
Shunga vedika (railing) with inscriptions.
Deambulatory pathway.
Summit railing and umbrellas.
Flame palmette.
Flame palmette and lotus.
Woman riding a Centaur.
Half lotus.
Elephant with branch.
Floral motif.
Lakshmi with lotus and two child attendants, probably derived from [[:File:Venus with two cupids 2.jpg|similar images of Venus]]<ref>An Indian Statuette From Pompeii, Mirella Levi D'Ancona, in Artibus Asiae, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1950) p. 171</ref>
Griffin with Brahmi script inscription.
Female riding a Centaur.
Lotus within beads and reels motif.
Stairway and railing.
Lotus medallions.
Floral designs.
Post relief.<ref>Marshall p. 82</ref>
Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana.
Detail of the foreigners, in Greek dress and playing carnyxes and aolus flute. Northern Gateway of Stupa I (detail).
Foreigners holding grapes and riding winged lions, Sanchi Stupa 1, Eastern Gateway.<ref>"The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity, John Boardman, 1993, p. 112 Note 91</ref>
Foreigners riding horses.
Foreign heroe fighting a Makara
Foreigners on horses, wearing headbands, caps and boots. Western gate of Stupa 1.
Hero with headband wrestling a Makara.
Indians riding horses.
Indians riding bulls.
Indians riding bulls.
Queen Maya lustrated by Elephants.
The Buddha represented by the Dharmacakra.
Bodhi Tree.
Winged lion.
Winged lions.
The Buddha represented by the Dharmacakra.
Men and Women on Elephants.
Men and Women on Elephants.
Stupa representing a Buddha.
Lakshmi lustrated by Elephants.
Men on lions.
Men on lions.
2nd panel
3rd panel
Second panel
Bottom panel Dvarapala guardian deity or devotee.
Second panel
Possibly demons, or the attack of Mara.
Second panel
Bottom panel Dvarapala guardian deity or devotee.
2nd panel
3rd panel
A Seated Buddha statue (Gupta temple).
Buddha Statue (Great Stupa).
Seated Buddha (Great Stupa).
Pillar 34 with lion.<ref>Marshall p. 52 Pillar 34</ref>
The winged lion capital of pillar 34 (lost).
Great Stupa, Eastern Gateway, in 1875.
West Gateway in 1882.
South Gateway in 1882.
Great Stupa, Northern Gateway in 1861.
Temple 18 in 1861.
A vision of ancient Indian court life, using motifs from Sanchi (wood engraving, 1878).

The style of the Shunga period decorations at Sanchi bear a close similarity to those of Bharhut, as well as the peripheral balustrades at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya.

Buddhist architecture

Buddhist religious architecture developed in the Indian subcontinent.

Buddha statue in Borobudur (Indonesia), the world's largest Buddhist temple.
The Great Stupa in Sanchi
Gupta period temple at Sanchi besides the Apsidal hall with Maurya foundation
Miniature temple, created 1114 AD, Song dynasty
Borobudur, 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, in Central Java, Indonesia. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.
Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Thailand
Mahabodhi temple, Gaya {{flagicon|India}}
Jetavanaramaya stupa is an example of brick-clad Buddhist architecture in Sri Lanka {{flagicon|Sri Lanka}}
Thikse Monastery is the largest gompa in Ladakh, built in the 1500s {{flagicon|India}}
Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, was built in the 1600s, is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet {{flagicon|India}}
Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim was built under the direction of Changchub Dorje, 12th Karmapa Lama in the mid-1700s<ref>Achary Tsultsem Gyatso; Mullard, Saul & Tsewang Paljor (Transl.): A Short Biography of Four Tibetan Lamas and Their Activities in Sikkim, in: Bulletin of Tibetology Nr. 49, 2/2005, p. 57.</ref> {{flagicon|India}}
The Sewu temple compound, second largest Buddhist temple complex in Indonesia {{flagicon|Indonesia}}
The Rinpung Dzong follows a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas, most notably Bhutan {{flagicon|Bhutan}}
The Great Stupa in Sanchi, India is considered a cornerstone of Buddhist architecture {{flagicon|India}}
Mongolian statue of Avalokiteśvara (Mongolian name: Migjid Janraisig), Gandantegchinlen Monastery. Tallest indoor statue in the world, 26.5-meter-high, 1996 rebuilt, (1913)
Reclining Buddha statue, this is the largest Buddha statue in Indonesia and Southeast Asia{{flagicon|Indonesia}}
Kalasan, 8th-century Buddhist temple in Java island {{flagicon|Indonesia}}
Vatadage Temple, in Polonnaruwa, is a uniquely Sri Lankan circular shrine enclosing a small dagoba. The vatadage has a three-tiered conical roof, spanning a height of 40–50 feet, without a center post, and supported by pillars of diminishing height {{flagicon|Sri Lanka}}
Pagoda of Kofukuji, Nara {{flagicon|Japan}}
Ajanta Caves cave with chaitya{{flagicon|India}}
Candi Gumpung, a Buddhist temple at Muaro Jambi of Malayu Kingdom. {{flagicon|Indonesia}}
Plaosan temple {{flagicon|Indonesia}}
Minar-i Chakri in 1836, Afghanistan {{flagicon|Afghanistan}}
A painting by G.B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing the scene of Borobudur during its heyday {{flagicon|Indonesia}}
Stupa near Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet, {{flagicon|Tibet}}
Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar {{flagicon|Myanmar}}
Great Stupa at Shambhala Mountain Center, United States {{flagicon|USA}}
Nan Hua Main Temple, South Africa {{flagicon|South Africa}}
Golden Temple of Shakyamuni Buddha, Kalmykia, Russian Federation {{flagicon|Russia}}
The five-tiered Peace Pagoda Japantown, San Francisco {{flagicon|USA}}
The Great Drigung Kagyud Lotus Stupa in Lumbini, Nepal {{flagicon|Nepal}}
Paro Taktsang, Paro, Bhutan {{flagicon|Bhutan}}

The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar is another well-known example.

Shunga Empire

Ancient Indian dynasty from Magadha that controlled areas of the central and eastern Indian subcontinent from around 185 to 73 BCE.

Man on a relief, Bharhut, Shunga period.
Royal family, Shunga, West Bengal 1st century BCE.
Shunga horseman, Bharhut.
Shunga period stupa at Sanchi.
East Gateway and Railings, Red Sandstone, Bharhut Stupa, 2nd century BCE. Indian Museum, Kolkata.
The Great Stupa under the Shungas. The Shungas nearly doubled the diameter of the initial stupa, encasing it in stone, and built a balustrade and a railing around it.
Extent of the Shunga Empire
Vedika pillar with "Yavana" Greek warrior. Bharhut, Madhya Pradesh, Shunga Period, c. 100-80 BC. Reddish brown sandstone. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
The Yavanarajya inscription, dated to "year 116 of Yavana hegemony", probably 70 or 69 BCE, was discovered in Mathura. Mathura Museum.
The Heliodorus pillar was built in Vidisha under the Shungas, at the instigation of Heliodorus, ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas. The pillar originally supported a statue of Garuda. Established circa 100 BCE.
The Sunga territory circa 100 BCE, greatly reduced to the region of Magadha only, with many independent, petty kingdoms such as such as Mathura and Panchala
Shunga balustrade and staircase.
Shunga stonework.
Shunga vedika (railing) with inscriptions.
Deambulatory pathway.
Summit railing and umbrellas.
Elephant and Riders.
Balustrade post with Lakshmi.
Balustrade post with Yaksha.
Pillar with elephants supporting a wheel.
Floral motif.
Foreigner on a horse, circa 115 BCE.
Ashoka supported by his two wives. Similar to [[:File:Sanchi King Ashoka with his Queens, South Gate, Stupa no. 1.jpg|the later relief at Gateway 1]].
Relic boxes found inside the stupa.
Stairway and railing.
Lotus medallions.
Floral designs.
Post relief.<ref>Marshall p.82</ref>
Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana.
Chandraketugarth, goddess of fecundity.
Shunga Yakshi, 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga masculine figurine (molded plate). 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga woman with child. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga Yaksha. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga mother figure, with attendant. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga fecundity deity. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Baluster-holding yakṣa, Madhya Pradesh, Shunga period (2nd–1st century BCE). Guimet Museum.
Amorous royal couple. Shunga, 1st century BCE, West Bengal.
Sunga Love Scene.
Bronze coin of the Shunga period, Eastern India. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Another Shunga coin
A copper coin of 1/4 karshapana of Ujjain in Malwa.
Shunga coin.

An inscription at Bodh Gaya at the Mahabodhi Temple records the construction of the temple as follows:

Vajrasana, Bodh Gaya

The Vajrasana in the early 20th century
the lost frieze
Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) at the Vajrasana. The throne appears clearly in its exact shape, with supporting columns.
Bharhut relief with the Vajrasana (similar to the [[:File:Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) at the Vajrasana.jpg|Anagarika Dharmapala photograph]] with its supporting columns), and the Mahabodhi Temple around the Bodhi Tree (2nd century BCE).
The Vajrasana as illustrated in Bharhut (2nd century BCE).
Offerings found in Bodh Gaya under the "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", with a decorated coin of the Kushan emperor Huvishka, 3rd century CE. British Museum.
Vajrasana top surface as excavated, and geometrical details of closest side.
Vajrasana frieze (right side of the throne).
Modern image. Detail of the decorative frieze on the left side, consisting in honeysuckles and geese, which can also be found on several of the pillar capital of Ashoka.
Front frieze of the Vajrasana: lotuses with multiple calyx, alternating with "flame palmettes". This design is broadly similar to that of [[:File:Frieze of capital of Lat at Allahabad.jpg|the frieze]] of the Allahabad pillar of Ashoka, or [[:File:Sankissa elephant abacus detail.jpg|the abacus of the Sankissa elephant]].
Back frieze detail (nowadays hidden from view): pigeons and flame palmettes.
Right side frieze detail: geese and flame palmettes.

The Vajrasana (diamond throne; Chinese 金剛座 jīngāng zuò; Tibetan རྡོ་རྗེའི་གདན་), or Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha, is an ancient stone slab located under the Bodhi tree, directly beside the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya.