The Mahabodhi Temple is now once again open to the public. Authorities of the Central Government of India and the state of Bihar, in consultation with the Temple Management Committee have established a security system that will provide for the safety and security of all pilgrims to the Mahabodhi Temple, the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi said.
Having consulted all concerned, the High Commission of Sri Lanka in India informs the Sri Lankan public that they may now resume pilgrimage to the sacred Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya.
On July 7, the sacred Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya in Bihar suffered a series of low intensity blasts. Immediately following the explosions, President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a statement condemning the attacks. He spoke soon thereafter to the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, and expressed Sri Lanka’s solidarity with the peace loving people of Bihar and India, and offered any assistance that may be required.
The people of Sri Lanka share a special bond with the people of Bihar, a state which welcomes over 150,000 Sri Lankan pilgrims every year who visit India to venerate sacred sites that are associated with the life of Gautama Buddha.
On President Rajapaksa’s instructions, officials at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in India and the Deputy High Commissioner’s Office in Chennai were dispatched to Bodhgaya on the very day that the explosions took place, to coordinate with authorities in India as required, to ensure the safety and security of the sacred site as well as pilgrims, particularly from Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan pilgrims were advised to postpone their planned pilgrimages to Bodhgaya by one week to facilitate investigations into the attack and to allow time and space to review and strengthen security in the Bodhgaya temple complex.
It has since been established that there has been no damage to the sacred Bodhi tree, the structure of the shrine and premises or to sacred objects as a result of the blasts, and no Sri Lankans have been hurt.