Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is a famous Buddhist temple in Sarnath, some 13 km away from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The temple is in the midst of the legendary brick ruins this place is known for the world over. More so, the temple stands out for distinctive architecture which is not what Buddhist follow or known to do. Erected in 1931 by the Maha Bodhi society, the temple is also famous for its magnificent murals and frescos.
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is a well-known structure in Sarnath and the frescos on its walls were designed by Japan’s eminent painter Kosetsu Nosu. In terms of structure, the temple appears similar to those built by Hindus but its surrounding is different. It’s built around a big compound of lush green gardens and well-manicured lawns. The use of amazing and colorful frescoes adds a great deal to its appeal.
The frescoes used in Mulagandha Kuti Vihar depict Buddha, his life and different aspects related to his life and teaching. If the frescoes are the major theme of the interiors of the structure, then it’s murals that add depth to the exteriors. At the entrance, there is a huge bell which was gifted by the royal scions of Japan. The life-size golden idol of the Lord Buddha, which isinstalled at the sanctum, is the major highlight.