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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 06:57 GMT 07:57 UK
Buddha temple named heritage site
The United Nations cultural organisation Unesco has added a north Indian temple linked to the life of Buddha to its list of world heritage sites.

Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment at the site of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya in the sixth century BC while sitting under the Bodhi Tree.

The temple is surrounded by other holy places and is considered to be one of India's oldest existing temples.

Another addition is the area of the Saint Catherine monastery in Egypt's Sinai desert, where the Old Testament says Moses received the Tablets of the Law at Mount Horeb.

The site is of spiritual importance to Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Its Byzantine monastery, built in the fifth-century, is the oldest Christian monastery still in use.

Unesco has also for the first time put a site in Afghanistan on its World Heritage List.

The 12th-century minaret of Jam is the second highest in the world at 65 metres.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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