Mulgandha Kuti Vihar (Mahabodhi Temple)
Eastern end of Anagarika Dharmapala Road, Sarnath, Varanasi, U.P., India
4am-11:30am & 1:30pm-8pm, opens on all days, Daily chanting open for public in Nov-Feb- 6pm & June-Oct- 7pm, Sermon of Dharma Chakra Pravartan Sutta (Buddha’s first sermon) during - March-May at 6:30pm)
Oct-April/May, specially during Buddha Mahotsava on Buddha Purnima (April-May), Anniversary day of the temple on Kartik Purnima in Nov.How to reach
By taxi, auto rickshaw from Varanasi/cycle rickshaw/on foot from any part of the town
Sri Lankan Mahabodhi Temple/Mulgandha Kuti Vihar, a prime place for worship of the Buddhist community of the world, has been constructed by Bodhisatva Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) from Sri Lanka at the very site where Shakyamuni Buddha preached his first sermon. The temple affairs are looked after by the Mahabodhi Society of India. The temple was opened to public on Nov. 11th, 1931. The temple contains excellent frescoes painted by Japanese artist Kosetsu Notsu. This work was assigned by the Imperial Govt. of Japan. He single handedly completed these paintings in a four year span (1932-36). The temple houses a life size statue of Buddha in its sanctum. Gautam Buddha’s holy relics are kept on display in the shrine. The monarchy of Japan has gifted a large bronze bell which dominates the entrance of the Vihar. Bodhi tree stands on the left (east) side of the temple which is believed to have grown out of a sapling of the one under which Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya. Under this tree Buddha with his disciples is also displayed. The casket of the sacred relics is taken out in a great procession from Mulgandha Kuti Vihar and goes around this tiny city of Sarnath. This is an annual practice and is under taken on the anniversary day of Mulgandha Kuti Vihar, which falls on Kartik Purnima (Full moon day) in the month of Nov.