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Last updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2002
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Jagannath Temple in Bodhgaya losing its historical Importance
Bodhgaya, 2 April. Opposite the ancient historic monument of the Mahabodhi temple the historical importance of the Jagannath Temple is being lost. On the one hand the world famous Mahabodhi Temple marking the site of the Buddha's enlightenment has almost completed the process of being listed as a world heritage site and on the other the ancient relic of the Eternal [Sanatana] Dharma due to lack of care is turning into ruins. Until a few years ago the maintenance and care for this temple was carried out by the Adi Shankacarya Monastery in Bodh Gaya. But in the present time despite the income from the temple and its compound going into the coffers of the monastery but no concrete steps are taken by the monastery to maintain the temple.
It is said that before the establishment of the present monastery this temple compound was a palace like residence of king Jokhu. According to sources the Dalmia family of Gaya were going to restore the temple. On hearing this a wave of joy swept up all the Sanatana Dharmis [Hindus] and intellectuals of the area. But due to a lack of communication between the monastery and the said Dalmia family the wave subsided.
The Tourism Minister Jagamohan's attention was drawn to this historic monument by the local BJP leader Radha Krishna Mishra and other people while the tourism minister was touring Bodhgaya and a memorandum was given to him regarding its restoration. Previously in the times of Shatanandagiri the Abbott of Bodhgaya monastery beautification works were carried out on it and according to the program fountains and gardens were starting to be laid out which today are completely lost. Whilst several gods and goddesses images are established in its compound where every year scores of couples bind the bonds of marriage according to traditional customs but there lack of water, electricity and lodging in the compound inconvenience those who have come from afar. The time for this years celebrations is shortly to arrive but arrangement for this have not been made by either the administration or the monastery or any volunteer organisation. It is notable that just near to this compound is the Ashram of the famous volunteer organisation the Samanvey Ashram.

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.