INDIA CROSSING THE RIVER GANGES Bronze BuddaThis Budda was donated to Bodhgaya by the Vietnamese Buddists. Bodh Gaya is the birthplace of Buddhism. Buddhists from all over the world are drawn to Bodh Gaya in the state of Bihar. This is the place where Lord Buddha gained enlightenment over 2; 500 years ago and founded the religion based on compassion; reason and universal truths; shorn of ritual and superstition. The Bodhi tree; under which he is said to have found the answers he was seeking after a long and hard meditation; is the core of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple Complex; now a World Heritage site. The Mahabodhi temple has Jataka stories engraved on its walls. Surrounding the complex are monasteries built by various Buddhist countries; in their own architectural styles. Several Buddhists temples and monasteries have been built by the people from China; Nepal; Sri Lanka; Myanmar; Bhutan; Vietnam; Tibet; Japan and Thailand around the Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple complex. The Chinese temple has a 200 year old statue of Buddha. The Japanese and Burmese temple is shaped like a pagoda and the Thai Temple has a fantastic bronze state of the Buddha.; About 80 km from Bodh Gaya is Rajgir; there are remains of places associated with the Buddha such as the Gridhrakuta Hill; where he delivered sermons; or Venuvan; the tranquil bamboo grove near the hot springs he used to frequent.