Uruvela was a small village in northern India on the outskirts of which the Buddha attained enlightenment. The Buddha described the village and its surroundings as ‘a beautiful stretch of ground, a lovely woodland grove, a clear flowing river with a beautiful ford, a village nearby for support…a suitable place for making an effort’ (M.I,167).
In later centuries the village grew into a centre of Buddhist scholarship and pilgrimage and was known variously as Sambodhi, Mahàbodhi or Vajràsana. Today the town that has grown up on the site of Uruvela is called Bodh Gaya.
Navel of the Earth –The History and Significance of Bodh Gaya, S. Dhammika, 1996.