The history of Bodhgaya is closely linked with the life of Lord Buddha and can be traced back to 500 BC. The small town came into limelight in the 7th century BC, when Prince Siddhartha reached at the banks of the River Niranjana after wandering about in quest of truth. Finally he sat under a tree named as the Bodhi tree and meditated there for years. It is the place where he attained nirvana or enlightenment and became Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One. In the 3rd century BC, the great Maurayan King Ashoka built a shrine at this place which gradually got the shape of famous Mahabodhi Temple and is a great place of attraction for the followers of Buddhism.
Though not much history is known about this holy city after this but the site became quite popular among Buddhist monks and many foreigntravelers such as Hieun Tsang and Faxian from China visited it during the 5th and 7th century BC. The city made considerable developments during the reign of the Great Emperor Ashoka who made several monasteries and stupas and Bodhgaya was flourished worldwide as a major destination for Buddhist culture and preaching’s.