bodhgaya Photo Essay

Sacred Bodhgaya is a cultural melting pot in northern India’s Bihar province, thanks to the visitors from all over the world who come to see the tree where Buddha attained enlightenment. I watched in astonishment as my English girlfriend haggled for a scarf with the Indian shop owner in Mandarin.

While there are signs of the wealth divide that these visitors create, they are countered by the positives that the worldly visitors bring, such as the stunning temples designed in the traditional architectural style of all the nations with a prominent Buddhist population. Not to mention the fantastically authentic range of world foods on offer, from smokey Tibetan cafes serving momos and warming thukpa soups, to hot and spicy Thai coconut curries.

The highlight however, must be the brilliantly colourful village that as yet remains untouched, and is teeming with local life who make a living from the visitors. The outer walls are each a different vibrant colour, and the alleyways are teeming with playing cricket and cycling.