During my stay at the IIAS I will be working towards the completion of a monograph entitled, “Destination Enlightenment: From the Hermitage of Shakyamuni Buddha to World Heritage.” Ever since the Mahabodhi Temple Complex was formally declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2002, this recent historical layering has given rise to a series of conflicts that foreground the politics of space and meaning among Bodh Gaya’s diverse set of publics. Using World Heritage designation and its reach for universality as a critical framing device, I retract from recent events by providing a social and spatial history of Bodh Gaya that speaks to the mutlivocality of place and the complex local, national, and transnational connections that flow from it. The themes central to the book are the modern revival of Buddhism in India, the colonial and postcolonial dynamics surrounding archaeological heritage and sacred space, the role of tourism and urban redevelopment in India, and the communal conflicts engendered by various social and spatial relations.