|Places to Visit
Gaya is located 100 kilometers away from the capital city of Patna. Historically, Gaya was the part of the ancient Magadh Empire. The city is located on the bank of Falgu River and is considered among one of the most sacred cities for Hindus. Three hills Mangala-Gauri, Shringa-Sthan, Ram-Shila and Brahmayoni surround it from three sides and make at a safe and beautiful site. Gaya is an ancient place and has great heritage and history. Various modes of transportation connect Gaya with other major cities of Bihar along with rest of India.
Gaya is sacred not only for Hindus but also for Buddhists, as the place has many Buddhist pilgrim destinations. These sacred places in Gaya correspond to physical features, most of which occur naturally. The bank sides of river Falgu and temples located on the bank are beautiful and attractive. A peepal tree standing on the bank of Falgu River called Akshayavat is considered sacred for Hindus. The tree is worshiped for its divinity.
The Mangla Gauri shrine who is believed to be the first wife of Lord Shiva is worshiped here. The two rounded stones that symbolize the breasts of the mythological Sati have been considered sacred among Hindus. The most attractive destination in Gaya is Vishnupad Temple. The temple is located on the bank of river Falgu River and has footprint of Vishnu incised into a block of basalt. People believe that Lord Vishnu killed Gayasur by placing his foot on Gayasur's chest.
The old temple of Vishnupad was later renovated by the queen of Indore, Devi Ahilyabai in eighteenth century. While Hindus claim that footprints in Vishunpad temple are of Lord Vishnu, Buddhists consider them the footprints of Lord Buddha. The temple is nevertheless a major pilgrim destination.
Nomenclature of Gaya is based on the myth of demon Gayasur who Lord Vishnu had killed in a dual. The place is so sacred for Hindus that even Lord Ram had performed Pindadanam here for his ancestors. Legend says that Lord Ram had come to Gaya to pay homage to his ancestors and Sita had accompanied him on his way. Gaya is equally important for Buddhists as this was the place where Lord Buddha preached the Fire Sermon i.e. Adittapariyaya Sutta to around 1000 agriculture workers who were fire-worshipers. The influence of Buddha’s discourse was so enormous that all of them converted to Buddhism.
Bodh Gaya is the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under the sacred Asvatta tree (later termed Bodhi Tree). Buddhists all across the world consider the place the most sacred and this has become a pilgrim destination for them. Buddhists from all over the world have built temples here in Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya is located about 13 km from Gaya, 90 kilometers away from Patna, and 450 km west of Kolkata.
Bodh Gaya houses a splendid and magnificent Mahabodhi temple and the temple has Bodhi Tree. Both the temple and the Bodhi Tree are sacred for Buddhists across the globe. The temple is an architectural amalgamation of many centuries, cultures, and heritages. While its architecture has a distinct stamp of the Gupta era, it has later ages inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and China between seventh and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the same temple Hieuen Tsang visited in 7th century.
In the year 1953, Bodh Gaya revisited its glory. A new stupa with the help of Japanese governments’ donation was built in Gaya. Buddhists from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, Korea, and Japan often visit to Bodh Gaya. Now one can see many Buddhist monasteries in and around the complex. Tourism peaks during winter season.
Bodh Gaya Tourist AttractionsBodh Gaya, being the place where Gautam Buddha had learnt the eternal truth, is a popular tourist destination among Buddhists across the globe. There are a number of Buddhist monuments, temples and monasteries to see in Bodh Gaya.
Bodhi TreeContrary to general belief the existing Bodhi Tree is not the original Bodhi Tree under which Sidhartha Gautam had enlightenment. The existing tree is of fifth generation of original Bodhi Tree.
Places to See near Bodh GayaBodh Gaya, the place where Gautam Sidhartha achieved enlightenment, is an important pilgrimage for Buddhists around the globe. Bodh Gaya has a lot to offer to its tourists in the form of tourist destinations.
GurpaGurpa is located forty kilometers from Bodh Gaya. Gurpa is a small village, albeit important for Buddhists. According to Buddhist literature Maha Kassap, the disciple of Lord Buddha realized that his death was nearing and he started moving toward the hill where he wanted to take his last breath.
How to Reach Bodh GayaBodh Gaya is included in four most important pilgrim destinations where a Buddhist has to visit in lifetime. Bodh Gaya is the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment.
Mahabodhi TempleThe fifty meter high Mahabodhi Temple was built during the rule of the Guptas in the 5th century. This temple is considered among the oldest in Indian sub-continent temples.
PragbodhiPragbodhi is the place where Lord Buddha spent some time before attaining enlightenment. The place is evidence of Gautam Buddha’s efforts toward the eternal truth.
Bodh Gaya WeatherThe city of Bodh Gaya is located at an altitude of 24º 41' 45'' N. Latitude and 85º 2' 22'' E. Longitude. Let’s have a quick look at the weather and climatic conditions of Bodh Gaya