Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa deplored the attack on the 1,500-year-old Mahabodhi temple in Bihar on Sunday. Serial explosions shook the serenity of the world-renowned Mahabodhi temple complex in Bodh Gaya, injuring two monks.

The temple is annually visited by millions of pilgrims from all over the world, especially from Sri Lanka, China, Japan and the Southeast Asian countries. The temple complex has direct association with Buddha (566-486 BC) as it is believed that he attained enlightenment in 531 BC while seated under the Bodhi tree.

In a statement, Rajapaksa said that following the bomb explosions at Mahabodhi temple, human beings of all faiths must hold hands together to root out any act against religions and places of worship and veneration, a news agency.

"Sri Lanka has undergone similar tragedies when the most venerated and sacred temple of the Sri Maha Bodhi was mercilessly attacked by terrorists, some years ago. Therefore, people and the Government of Sri Lanka will extend their fullest support to the people and the Government of India in this hour of great tragedy. We also wish speedy recovery to those who were injured due to these blasts and offer prayers for quick restoration of normalcy of this most venerated shrine in order that Buddhists and other pilgrims are able to perform their religious observances as in the past," the President said.

Several people were injured in the multiple-bomb explosions at the Buddhist temple which is frequented by pilgrims from around the world including Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa, who had visited the temple earlier this year, said that the acts of sabotage, destruction and vandalism against any religious place of worship should be totally condemned.

(Agencies)

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