At the rear of the temple to the west, the large Bodhi Tree grows out of an expansive base, attracting scholars and meditators, but it’s only an off-shoot of the one under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Many legends surround the destruction of the original, but it is generally thought that Ashoka, when he sent his daughter Sangamitra to Sri Lanka as an emissary of Buddhism, had sent a cutting with her. This was planted at Anuradhapuram, and a cutting from that was later brought back to Bodhgaya and replanted. Pilgrims tie coloured thread to its branches and Tibetans accompany their rituals with long lines of butter lamps. A sandstone slab with carved sides next to the tree is believed to be the Vajrasana, or “thunder-seat”, upon which Buddha sat facing east.