This was one of the very few times where I was able to approach the Bodhi tree in relative solitude. It was fairly early in the day. People were still around but not in the numbers they would be when we returned later in the day. The gold on the uprights is actual gold not just paint. Buddhists frequently place gold flake,a thin foil of nearly pure gold, on objects important to their belief system. In Thailand, I saw Buddhas in temples covered in gold flake.