Memory, Memento, and Sacred Bond

Votive Model of Mahabodhi Temple

  • 73
  • India, Bihar (?), Gaya District
  • Ca. 11th century
  • Schist
  • H. 4 5/8 x W. 1 5/8 x D. 2 1/4 in. (11.8 x 4.1 x 5.7 cm)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Indian Art Special Purpose Fund, M.91.62
  • Bodh Gaya
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This model of the Mahabodhi Temple (located at Bodh Gaya at the site of the Buddha's enlightenment) is representative of a small group of replicas that have been found in eastern India, Nepal, Tibet, and Myanmar/Burma. Their stylistic affinity suggests the existence of a local workshop in the vicinity of Bodh Gaya that catered to the wide demands of a pilgrimage network. More than a commodity, this model—potent with memories of pilgrimage and a symbol of devotion—served to make present a distant and sacred Buddhist site.

PHOTO CREDIT: Graydon Wood, courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

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