Open Learning Buddhist Studies
Bodhgaya News
Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2002
Open Learning Hindi

Maitreya Statue
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Bodh Gaya is a small town in Gaya district of Bihar in India. It is the place where Shakyamani Gautama Buddha reached enlightenment. Since early in the history of Buddhism it has been a sacred place of pilgrimage and attracted pilgrims from all over the Buddhist world.

The main focus of activity is the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment, the temple next to the tree, and the sacred complex surrounding the tree and temple. Every year thousands of pilgrims from every Buddhist country in the world visit this sacred site.

Bodh Gaya block

Bodh Gaya block covers an area of 249 square kilometres and contains 139 villages. The total population of the block is 91,882 (54,752 male, 52,130 female) of which 39,736 are from the scheduled castes, around 43% of the population. The population of Bodh Gaya proper was 27,000 according to the 1991 census.

Gaya district

Gaya district has an area of 4,957 square kilometres. It contains 2,926 villages and four towns and the district has a total population of 2,150,406 (1,093,983 male, 1,056,417 female). The majority of the population is rural (1,855,037) and 79% are involved in agriculture as either cultivators (41%) or labourers (38%). In addition around 30% or the population comes from the scheduled castes and tribes. Only 63 villages have piped water and 2,668 rely on wells. The four towns are all electrified, but only 1456 villages have been electrified. In terms of income a total of 106,565 families were below the poverty line of whom the majority 60,363 families were from the scheduled castes. There are 1658 primary schools (140,101 students), 308 middle schools (77,552 students), 122 high schools (41,101 students) and 8 inter colleges (7,446 students).

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