- "In a dusty, bustling corner of the Indian state of Bihar, there is a magical place that one might think of as the hub of Buddhism."
– Visitor's Guide, Bodh Gaya
The Mahabodhi Temple is most useful to players who found a religion early on. The two Apostles can be used to enhance a religion while there are still many powerful beliefs to choose from, and the Faith can be spent on units to spread it. In Gathering Storm, it's also the first available means of earning Diplomatic Victory points. Similar to the Statue of Liberty, the Diplomatic Victory points are awarded upon completion, and not associated with the ownership of the Wonder itself, so the points stay even if the Wonder changes hands. As a decently strong Wonder for both Religious Victory and Diplomatic Victory whose main bonuses are both one-time bonuses (excepting its +4 Faith bonus), the Mahabodhi Temple is truly unique. This is only Wonder in the game that functions like that, which means that if you want this Wonder, you have to dedicate Production to build it yourself - trying to capture it from other civilizations is a sheer waste of effort.
Right now, the best synergy with this Wonder comes with Georgia and Mali, since they are the only two civilizations that have inclinations towards both Religious and Diplomatic Victory and thus can utilize both aspects of it well.
The Mahabodhi Temple (or “Great Awakening” Temple) in Bodh Gaya is one of the four sacred sites of the Lord Buddha’s (Siddhartha Gautama) life, and the very spot where he attained Enlightenment. On the western side of the temple is the sacred Bodhi Tree, the very fig tree under which the Buddha was sitting when he did so. Be all that as it may, the first Mahabodhi Temple (there have been a couple) was built by the Emperor Asoka c. 250 BC. The current temple complex – notably the great tower, one of the first brick structures in India – dates from the 5th and 6th centuries AD. A high wall around the temple grounds was added at a later, undocumented, date; the wall encompasses the Bodhi Tree and six other sacred site of Buddha’s very enlightenment, since he spent seven weeks in seven different spots meditating on his very own revelations, as well as numerous Votive stupas. In the 1880s the British Raj undertook a restoration effort; in 1949 control of the very site passed to the state government of Bihar. Today, Buddhists from the world over make pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya as the holiest place of their very faith.