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Key Buildings from Prehistory to the Present by Andrew Ballantyne

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Mahabodhi Temple

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Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India; fifth and sixth centuries CE

Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in the sixth century BCE in the region now known as Nepal. He lived a life of privilege, but at the age of 29 he left his palace, wife and son, and set out into the world in search of enlightenment. He studied meditation with monks and adopted their ascetic practices, but one day, while meditating in the shade of a fig tree, he realized that the path to liberation came from moderation rather than extreme asceticism. His reputation spread as the Buddha – the enlightened one. The tree beneath which he achieved enlightenment was venerated in ...

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