Bodhgaya in Bihar is the very place where Siddhartha Gautam attained enlightenment and became Buddha. He sat for 49 days immersed in meditation and relinquished all worldly materials to become enlightened. According to Buddhist tradition, he sat down beneath The Bodhi Tree and went into the deep meditation. He did concentrated meditation and fought several battles with Mara (illusion) before becoming Buddha and spreading peace and love to the world.
The Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya has a great spiritual and religious significance and that’s why, people from across the world come to the town to experience the life and struggles Lord Buddha faced. The ‘Holy Tree’ is actually a species of fig in the Moraceae family however it’s not the same, or exact one, under which Buddha attained enlightenment. This tree is regarded a direct descendent of the tree under which Lord meditated some 2,500 years ago.
Historians believe that this Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya is actually the result from the shoot taken from The Bodhi Tree in Sri Lanka and then planted here. Even the Tree in Sri Lanka was taken there in the 3rd century BC by, Emperor Asoka's daughter Sanghamitta. The original tree is believed to be destroyed in 7th century and it’s also believed that the original tree was destroyed by Ashoka’s wife.
Legends and tales abound when it comes to the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya and whatever version you trust, you should visit this one to understand Lord Buddha, his life and significance of his teachings. Coming to Bodhgaya, visiting the holy tree and knowing the essences of Buddhism is something you should not miss as it can be a life-time of an experience for sure.