Patna: The religiously important township of Bodhgaya will have Mahabodhi corridor similar to the Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi. The state government has identified about 72.90 acres of land in the vicinity of the globally famous Mahabodhi Temple or Mahabodhi Mahavihara, also the world heritage site declared by UNESCO.
The Union tourism ministry is said to have finalised the redevelopment plan of Bodhgaya, located on the bank of Niranjana river, as part of the national Buddhist circuit. The plan is being finalised on the basis of recommendations by then director general of the tourism ministry G Kamala Vardhan, who had visited the place in October 2021 and discussed the plans with the officials of the state tourism department and the district authorities.
Officials said that of the total 72 acre plots, 66.96 acres of land belongs to the education department, 03.94 acres to the land ceiling surplus, 0.30 acres belongs to the state government and 01.7 acres is rayyati land. The corridor will be made of red, pink and yellow stones. The stones will be imported from Rajasthan. The area around the Mahabodhi Temple, especially the banks of the Niranjana River, will be beautified.
It is worth mentioning that UNESCO had also emphasized on protecting the cultural landscapes surrounding the Mahabodhi temple complex when it declared it a World Heritage Site. It is based on Cunningham’s 1892 map of Bodhgaya archaeological sites. Excavation is also proposed on the basis of the same.
Mahabodhi Archaeological Project: An area of 59790 sqm will be excavated around the temple. Right now, Mahabodhi Mahavihara is inside the ground adjacent to the temple. Excavations will also be carried out there. The Center has asked that part of the plan of the vihar, which was submitted to UNESCO in 2002, be kept free from any construction.
Procedure of land transfer: The report of land transfer has been sent to the tourism department. The process of transfer of all lands proposed for corridor land bank has been completed at block level.
Sites proposed to be renovated:
Buddha Pond: A pond dug by two Brahmin brothers outside the southern gate of the Bodhi tree.
Ghoshalchak: Another pond, which was built by Indra after the Buddha attained enlightenment.
Large stone: It was brought by Indra from the Himalayan region to dry the clothes of the Buddha after his bath.
Muchlind Sarovar: It is located in the middle of the forest to the east of the pond created by Indra after the bath of the Buddha.
Buddha Vihara: A vihara with a statue of Buddha on the west bank of the river.
Urail Hill: There was a monastery near Muchlind Lake.