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Mahabodhi temple, Bodhi tree untouched by blasts

Last updated on: July 07, 2013 18:40 IST

In what may be considered the silver lining of a very dark cloud, the 500-year-old Mahabodhi temple and Bodhi tree have not been damaged in spite of the nine serial blasts that hit the 500-year-old temple premises in Gaya, Bihar, on Sunday morning.

"The main structure of the Mahabodhi temple and the holy Bodhi tree are fully safe. Neither have suffered any damage," said Additional Director General of Police S K Bhardawaj.

It is believed that Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under this very Bodhi tree nearly 2,500 years ago.

Bhardawaj said that any damage to the temple or the Bodhi tree would have hurt millions of Buddhists.

Lakhs of pilgrims and tourists visit Bodh Gaya annually.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, along with top government officials, visited Bodh Gaya and inspected the site of the incident.

"The CM is holding a high-level meeting with officials at Bodh Gaya," informed a source at the Chief Minister’s Office.

Additional Director General of Police Ravinder Kumar said the state government has sounded a high alert in Bodh Gaya and other sensitive places across the state.

Additional security forces have been deployed at the Mahabodhi temple and police have launched an investigation.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former minister Prem Kumar and BJP Member of Parliament from Gaya Hari Manjhi have been taken into police custody for holding protests against Nitish Kumar during his visit to Bodh Gaya.

Image: The Vajrashila -- where Gautam Buddha Sat under the Bodhi tree | Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

M I Khan