Bodh Gaya temple re-opens for public

A Buddhist priest carries holy water and honey to perform prayers at Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Bodh Gaya on Monday, a day after serial blasts rocked the temple. PTI

A Buddhist priest carries holy water and honey to perform prayers at Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Bodh Gaya on Monday, a day after serial blasts rocked the temple. PTI

Bodh Gaya,  July 8, 2013

The revered Mahabodhi temple here was re-opened for devotees on Monday evening, 36 hours after a string of bombings hit the complex.

Gaya District Magistrate D. Balamurugan told the media here that the temple, shut for outsiders after the terrorist attack, was reopened to the public with special prayers by Buddhist monks.

“Hundreds of Buddhist monks and others took out a peace march that culminated at the main gate of the temple, where they prayed for peace, to mark the re-opening of the temple,” he said.

Mr. Balamurugan said regular prayers were continuing in the temple.

“The prayers were not discontinued after the serial blasts. Only the public was not allowed entry in view of investigation,” he said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Magadh range) N.H. Khan said that with the temple re-opened, security was stepped up in and around it. “More security force with high tech equipment will be deployed for round the clock vigilance of the temple,” he said.

The Bodh Gaya temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located where Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. It is visited by millions from across the world.

A string of explosions — there are varying accounts on the number — took place in the temple complex on Sunday, injuring two monks but not causing much damage to the structure.

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