This is where Prince
Gautama attained enlightenment under the sacred Asvatta tree (Bodhi tree)
and became known as Lord Budha. This is one of the four most sacred
pilgrimage places for the Buddhists. The other three important places are
his place of birth at Lumbini, Nepal; the site of his first lecture at
Sarnath, near Varanasi; and the place where he left his body at Kushinagar,
near Gorakhpur. Buddhists from all over the world have built temples here in
Bodh Gaya. The Dalai Lama often spends time here. Tibetan pilgrims come here
for the winter from Dharamshala. Bodh Gaya is located about 13 km from Gaya,
450 km west of Calcutta, and 90 km south of Patna.
Bodh Gaya is a place which should be visited or seen by a person of devotion
and which would cause awareness of the nature of impermanence.
Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha-to-be, had been dwelling on the banks of the
Nairanjana River with five ascetic followers for six years practicing
austerities. Realising that austerities could not lead to realisation he
abandoned them. His five ascetic companions disgusted at his seeming
failure, deserted him and left for Sarnath.
City Famous For
Performing Hindu Rituals
In fact, devout Hindus have an obligation to visit Gaya after the death of
their parents for certain rites, for Pindan, that ensures spiritual peace
and solace of the departed souls.It is incumbent upon every pilgrim, to
invoke the gods as witness, so that by completing the prescribed rites of
prayers for the peace and happiness he has freed himself from the debt he
owes to his dead ancestors. The ceremony can be performed almost anytime of
the year but people prefer to do so during the annual fair held in
September. Legend holds that Lord Buddha, when prince, performed the first
Gaya is located at a distance of 105 km from Patna in the state of Bihar.
Buddha Gaya is located 7 miles south of Gaya and is one of the well visited
Buddhist pilgrimage centers of the Indian subcontinent.
The history of Bodhgaya can
be traced back to the 7th century and it was the part of the first small
kingdoms of India. This place came to prominence when a prince called
Siddhartha gave up all the material pleasures and after strenuous efforts
through meditation, attained enlightenment or Nirvana under a Bodhi tree.
There is also a small shrine that was built under the rule of the great
Mauryan ruler Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C. It is one of the most important
places in Bodhgaya and should not be missed out during your trip to Bodhgaya.
General Information :-
||Bhojpuri, Hindi and
|Best time to visit
Attractions of Bodh Gaya
- Mahabodhi Temple
The Mahabodhi Temble is located at the place of Lord Buddha's
enlightenment. The temple has a 50m (170 ft) tower. The present
temple was restored around 1880. There have been several other
temples on this site. A previous temple was destroyed by the Muslims
in the 11th century. Parts of the intricately carved railings to the
south and west of the temple are very old. Some of the railings are
original and parts of the railings are reproductions.
In the inner sanctuary there is a huge Buddha. In the center of the
temple there is also a Siva-linga that was installed about 860. This
temple is also sacred to the Hindus because Lord Buddha is the ninth
incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
- Bodhi Tree
The Bodhi tree here is said to be a descendent of the tree under
which Budhha attained enlightenment. A sapling of the original bodhi
tree that the Buddha sat under was carried by Emperor Ashoka's
daughter (Sanghamitta) to Sri Lanka. That tree is at Anuradhapura in
Sri Lanka. A cutting from that tree was planted in Budha Gaya when
the original tree died. Under the tree is a red sandstone slab that
is said to be the Vajrasana, the diamond throne, that Buddha sat on
and attained nirvana. The tree is located behind the temple and is
about 80 feet high and about 115 years old.
Vajrasana, the seat of stability. Buddha supposed to have say in
meditation gazing east, under the Bodhi Tree, where the Vajrasana,
the stone platform is kept.
This marks the sacred spot of the Buddha's meditative perambulations
during the third week after pious enlightenment. It is believed that
wherever the Buddha put his feet lotus sprang up.
It is believed that the Buddha spent one week here looking towards
the great Mahabodhi Tree out of gratitude, without twinkling his
The Buddha spent one week here, where it is believed that five
colours came out of his body.
The Mohanta's Monastery, located right next to the Mahabodhi Temple, is a
Shaivite monastery. It is said that Adi Sankaracharya spent days here in a
heated debate with buddhist philosophers.
At the Tibetan Mahayana Monastery (1938) there is a large Dharma Chakra,
or wheel of law. It is believed that you will be freed of sin if you spin
this wheel three times in succession from left to right. It is a 10m high
metal drum painted gold and red.
Budha bathed in the nearby Niranjana (now called Lilanja) River after
attaining enlightenment. The Niranjana River is about 250m east of the
temple. Prince Siddharta crossed this river to reach the Bodhi tree.
Buddha Jayanti Festival
The Budha Jayanti festival in May, celebrates the appearance day of
Buddha, the day he got enlightenment, and the day he left his body. It is
the biggest festival day here.
Since 1953, Bodh Gaya has been developed as an international place of
pilgrimage. Buddhists from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Tibet, Bhutan and
Japan have established monasteries and temples within easy walking
distance of the Mahabodhi compound. The site of the enlightenment now
attracts Buddhists and tourists from all over the world. At any time
during the cooler months between December and March, a visitor to Bodh
Gaya can observe a continual stream of Indian and international pilgrims
walking the roads or arriving in buses, circumambulating the temple,
performing prostrations and offering prayers in a multitude of languages.
For those who aspire to awaken their full potential, Bodh Gaya today is
truly a field vibrant with the potentiality of enlightenment. Enriched by
devotion of Buddhists of all traditions, this holy site is emerging as a
powerful inspiration to the modern world, awakening people of all nations
to the real possibility of enlightenment.
Bodh Gaya Temple
Thai Temple at Bodh Gaya
How to Reach
Air : Although
Bodhgaya has no airport of its own, there is an airport in Gaya, which is 17
kms away from Bodhgaya.Most airlines from the important cities of India
touch Patna, which is 135 kms from Bodhgaya.
Rail : The nearest railway station is also Gaya.Trains from all major
cities of India stop at Gaya.Indian Railways has introduced a new train,
Buddha Parikrama that caters to Buddhist spiritual tour by linking all the
places associated with Buddha and Buddhism.
Road : Bodhgaya is the main bus stop and is located near Sujata
Bridge on the Falgu River on the northeastern edge of the town. The nearest
transport hub is Gaya, a major point on historical Grand Trunk Road There
are regular direct bus services from Gaya, Patna, Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi.
Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation run buses from Patna- Bodhgaya
route twice a day.
All the hotels in Bodhgaya
are located near the major landmarks of the town and can be accessed easily.
The rooms are elegantly done up and are quite cozy giving you optimum level
You can also accomplish the
business and recreational needs here since the hotels also extend the
facility of business and conferencing and arranges for the sightseeing tours
to the various important destinations that are located in the vicinity of
the city. The services provided by the various hotels are customized
according to the individual tastes and preferences of the discerning guests
and make them feel at home.
Among the various Bodhgaya Hotels, you can also accommodate your self in the
budget hotels in Bodhgaya that are just right for the travelers who are
traveling on a shoe-string budget. A comprehensive range of facilities and
services are provided to the guests at a reasonable