A Thailand-based company has begun work to inlay with gold the dome of Bodh Gaya's 1,500-years old Mahabodhi temple. Kreing Thavorn Containers Co Ltd is doing the work, said N Dorjee, secretary of the Bodh Gaya temple management committee.
Dorjee said some Buddhist pilgrims of Thailand first made the offer a year ago but the work could begin only recently after clearance from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
According to him, the first phase of the work involving chemical treatment had been completed to prepare the foundation for gold plating.
Last week, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the temple's dome will be inlaid with gold. A string of low intensity bombs exploded in the temple complex last month. There were no casualties and no damage was caused to the structure.
The ancient structure of the Mahabodhi temple is estimated to have been built between the 5th and 6th century AD. It was lost and rediscovered in the 19th century by Alexander Cunningham, who founded the ASI in 1861.
The Mahabodhi temple is the holiest pilgrimage centre for Buddhists.