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Traditional accounts say that, around 530 BCE, Gautama Buddha, wandering as a monk, reached the sylvan banks of Falgu River, near the city of Gaya, India.
There he sat in meditation under a peepul tree (Ficus religiosa or Sacred Fig), which later became known as the Bodhi tree.
According to Buddhist scriptures, after three days and three nights, Siddharta attained enlightenment and the answers that he had sought.
The Buddha then spent the succeeding seven weeks at seven different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his experience.
Several specific places at the current Mahabodhi Temple relate to the traditions surrounding these seven weeks:
The first week was spent under the Bodhi tree.
During the second week, the Buddha remained standing and stared, uninterrupted, at the Bodhi tree.
This spot is marked by the Animeshlocha Stupa, that is, the unblinking stupa or shrine, which is located on the north-east of the Mahabodhi Temple complex.
There stands a statue of Buddha with his eyes fixed towards the Bodhi tree.
The Buddha is said to have walked back and forth between the location of the Animeshlocha Stupa and the Bodhi tree.
According to legend, lotus flowers sprung up along this route, it is now called Ratnachakarma or the jewel walk.
This picture is a close-up of a sculpture which is inside the Mahabodhi Temple complex which was built to mark that location in Bodh Gaya (बोधगया), in the Indian state of Bihar.
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