|introduced in Civilization IV|
|Great People points||1 Great Prophet|
The Mahabodhi (Buddhist Shrine) produces one gold each turn for every city in the world that practices Buddhism. It also spreads Buddhism throughout the world and increases its city's chance of generating a Great Prophet.
Located near Patna, in Bihar state, India, the Mahabodhi is a Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, the place where according to Buddhist tradition, Siddartha Gautama gained enlightenment and became the Buddha while meditating under a Bodhi (Peepal) tree.
The Emperor Asoka constructed the "Golden Throne" sometime around 250 BC, and over time many other buildings and statues were added. In the 12th century the area was overrun by Muslims, and the temple sacked and largely destroyed. In the 16th century a Hindu Monastery was established, and the monastery's abbot was given control over the temple grounds.
Eventually the area came under British control. In the 1880s they began a major restoration of the temple, much against the wishes of the Hindu abbot. In the 1940s control over the site was given to the state, which manages the site with the advise of a committee containing Buddhists from the world over.
A building of remarkable beauty and grandeur, the Mahabodhi is one of the oldest surviving brick buildings in India. Standing on the ruins of an even older "stupa," the temple consists of a high central tower surrounded by four smaller towers. The central tower rises some 60 feet in height. The edifice is covered by ornate and colorful molding, pilasters (pseudo columns), and arches, many of which contain bas relief sculptures. Inside sits a very large gilded statue of the Buddha. The statue sits where, legend has it, the Buddha was sitting when he achieved enlightenment.
Near to the building stands a mighty Bodhi tree, a descendant of the one under which Buddha found enlightenment. The temple stands within an extensive complex of smaller temples, statues, and pathways running through beautiful parklands and alongside peaceful lakes. The temple and its surroundings remain a focus of Buddhist worship, and people from across the world come every year to honor the Buddha and to marvel at the beauty of the Mahabodhi.