Memory, Memento, and Sacred Bond

Votive Model of Mahabodhi Temple

  • 74
  • 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
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: © 2009 Museum Associates/ Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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