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Maha Bodhi Society

Sarnath Tourism

The Maha Bodhi Society is a South Asian Buddhist society. It is founded by Sri Lankan Buddhist saint and leader Anagarika Dharampala and British journalist & poet Sir Edwin Arnold in year 1891. This society was known as Mahabodhi Society of Colombo. Maha Bodhi Society aims for reviving the Buddhism in India and spreading consciousness among people towards Buddhism. In addition to this, it also aims for restoring ancient Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar. In later centuries, it has been felt that Buddhist philosophy is declining and people were showing less enthusiasm in Buddhist believes. The society has renewed interest Buddhism and supported All Assam Buddhist Association, Ladakh Buddhist Association, Himalayan Buddhist Society, Dalit Buddhist movement etc. Maha Bodhi society head quarter is in Kolkata and its centers are spread in many parts of India like New Delhi, Ajmer, Sarnath, Sanchi, Lucknow, Orissa, Bangalore, Chennai etc.

In year 1885, Sir Edwin Arnold visited the Mahabodhi Temple site and published several articles drawing the attention of Buddhist world towards the miserable condition of Bodh Gaya. Few years later, in year 1891, Anagarika Dharampala visited the Mahabodhi Temple site at Bodh Gaya, to witness the location where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment. He was surprised to find the temple in control of Saivite priest and Buddha image was transformed into Hindu icon and Buddhists were refrained from worship. From their, he began agitation movement. Mahabodhi Society was founded in Colombo in year 1891 and its office was moved to Calcutta, which was largest city of India in those days. One of the primary motive was to restore the Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya and Buddhist control on four ancient holy sites. A lawsuit was filed against priests holding the control on Mahabodhi temple and in year 1949, partial restoration of the site was given to Maha Bodhi Society.

Today Maha Bodhi Society center have been scattered in many parts of India and offering commendable services to the Buddhist community. Here we have listed some of such services:
• Guest house facility for pilgrims.
• Small Shrine room for pilgrims and visitors.
• Communication services.
• Book Shop.
• Meditation hall.
• Free school facility for children.
• Free homeopathic dispensary.
• Free educational sponsorship for handicap.
• Monastic training center for novices.
• Ambulance Service

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