Posted on: 8 May 2013

A small Hindu temple beneath a banyan tree, Bodhgaya - 1810

Goauche painting of a small Hindu temple beneath a banyan tree in Bodhgaya, by an anonymous artist working in the Patna style, part of the Hyde Collection, c. 1810. Inscribed on the front in ink: 'A Hindu Temple and famous Banyan Tree at Bhood Gyah;' on the back in ink: 'paid 12 rs the 15th April 1812.'

Bodhgaya is one of the holiest sites related to the life of the Buddha as it is the place where he attained enlightenment. The present temple on the spot, the Mahabodhi temple, dates from the 7th Century with later additions, and was built on the site of a previous temple erected by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. The temple is built in front of the Bodhi Tree, the tree under which the Buddha obtained enlightenment, which is surrounded by a quadrangular stone railing that dates to the 2nd century BC. The tree can be seen in this drawing, with a small Hindu temple and several figures out front.

Copyright © The British Library Board

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Not Banyan ( Ficus Bengalensis) but Peepul ( Ficus Religiosa) or Bo-Tree, at Bodhgaya ...

This is almost certainly the Akshayavat temple near Vishnupad, Gaya. Was also drawn by the Daniells in 1709.

In 1790