The Buddha and the Monkey

A little to the south-east of the entrance of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya are three stupas made out of carved stones held together by iron clamps. The form of these stupas and the decorations on them indicate that they are of Pala workmanship and probably date from between the 9 th and 12th centuries CE. On each side of the base of the stupas are small niches each depicting one of the four main events in the life of the Buddha – his birth, enlightenment, first preaching and his final Nirvana. On the drum of each stupa are larger elaborately decorated niches containing images of the Buddha either meditating or preaching. However, the niche on both the east and the north side of the last of these stupas immediately catch the eye of the observer as being different from the others.


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