Merry Christmas, or Happy Enlightenment

This morning (Christmas Eve, no less), I headed off from my place in Bokaro to visit Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is, as far as symbolism goes, about as far away from christianity and Christmas as you get. It is the place where Buddha found enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree, the decendant of which is still standing.
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My first impressions, entering into this place from the main road from Gaya (the non-holy sister city), is that of a buddhist Disney Land… I felt like an Alice, who, once entering from the main road and passing that holy bodhi-tree had fallen down into the rabbit hole and find myself, no longer in India, but in a saffron-coloured Wonderland.

 

 

  I guess I’ll happily camp down here for a few days, read my book and snack on Tibetan food in the Tibetan Om Cafe. My Laxmi hotel (named after the Hindu goddess of wealth, just to make the religious references a bit mixed up…) has a room with a wonderful view that I negotiated after being shown a horrible little hole.

 

 

So, merry christmas to all of you in red & white and happy search for enlightenment to all of you in saffron!

 

Photo by Nir Nussbaum

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