Famous For: Dungeshwari Hills, Muchalinda Lake, The Great Buddha Statue, Thai Temple, Archaeological Museum, Root Institute For Wisdom Culture, Mahabodhi Temple, Cankamana etc.
Major Attractions: Specially there here have no marked places for travel. You can walk to any of the places mentioned to satisfy your travel thirst.
Ideal Time For Visit: 2-3 days. Bodh Gaya is an important Buddhist pilgrimage spot where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. It is mainly popular for the UNESCO World Heritage Site- Mahabodhi Temple Complex which is built beside the tree, in which the first temple was built by Ashoka the Emperor. Best time to visit Bodhgaya is actually anytime of the year. Even in summer heat, pilgrims visit it to celebrate Buddha Jayanti.
About Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautam Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment under what became known as the Bodhi Tree. Since antiquity, Bodh Gaya has remained the object of pilgrimage and veneration for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Bodh Gaya is an attractive tourist destination for all tourists as a whole, not just heaven for Buddhists or Buddhists. The main attraction here is the Mahabodhi Temple. Although a child of the royal family, Gautam Buddha is loving for the way in which he has struggled all his life for the spiritual improvement of the people. There are many places all over the country, which were blessed with the touch of Buddha. There are Buddhist temples built everywhere, but the Mahabodhi temple of Buddhagarh has a special significance. The temple was built in the third century under the orders of Emperor Ashoka and later the Gupta kings renovated the temple. This temple is respected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let’s talk about Mahabodhi Temple and some places to visit near it.
Gautam Buddha was put to death in this place and spent seven weeks in various places after the election, the places that stand today in the premises of the Mahabodhi Temple. The Buddha fought against the forces of evil, conquered all temptations and left behind many symbols of his way of life. Here are the seven places-
- Bodhi Tree: This tree is the most attractive place in the Mahabodhi Temple. According to folklore, the prince Siddhartha Gautam was seated in meditation under the tree and his name was Buddha. He also spent the first week sitting under the tree. This tree can be seen on the west side of the main temple.
- Prayer Room: Gautam Buddha spent his second week in a prayer room known as ‘Animeshlochan Chaitya’. It is located north of the main passage to the temple.
- Chakramona: Gautam Buddha spent his third week at this place. He spent this week walking eighteen feet forward and eighteen feet back. It is located on the north wall of the main temple.
- Ratnagar Chaitya: This is where Gautam Buddha spent his fourth week. It’s situated in the northeast of the main enclosure.
- Padmapukur: This is where Gautam Buddha spent his sixth week and this temple is situated in the main enclosure south of the temple premises.
- “Rajjotan” Tree: Gautam Buddha spent the last seven weeks of his meditation. A tree has been planted to mark this place on the southwest side of the temple.
- “Ajpola Nigrodh” Tree: In his fifth week, he meditated on the floor of this tree and answered the questions of the Brahman’s.
Let’s talk about some attractive places around Bodh Gaya to visit :
The Great Buddha Statue
The Great Buddha statue is one of the many stops in the Buddhist pilgrimage and tourist routes in Bodhgaya, Bihar (India). The statue is 19.507 m (64.00 ft) high in meditation pose or dhyana mudra seated on a lotus in open air. The total height of the architecture is 80 ft with statue of 64 ft, lotus on which statue sits is of 6ft and the lower pedestal is of 10ft. It took seven years to complete with the help of 12,000 masons. It is a mix of sandstone blocks and red granite. It is possibly the largest built and was consecrated on 18 November 1989 by the’s 14th Dalai Lama. The foundation stone for the statue was placed in 1982. Besides the main statue, there are 10 smaller sculptures of Buddha’s disciples surrounding the impressive monument. The peaceful ambiance and the beauty of the statue attract thousands of tourists every year from all across the world. It is said that Daijookyo was inspired by the slogan, Spread Buddha’s rays to the Whole World, and thus invested seven years in constructing this gigantic statue. He mobilized almost 120,000 masons to accomplish the construction. People who truly follow the teachings of Buddha visit the place for sure second to the Mahabodhi temple.
Dungeshwari Hills, also known as Mahakala Caves, is the place where Lord Buddha spent many years before depraved to Bodhgaya. However, his stay in the cave did not prove useful because he later traveled to different places in search of true knowledge. These caves are situated along River Phalgu. If you need to spend a good time, visiting these hills is a great choice. The entire drive till the caves is very enjoyable and pleasing. These caves have several Hindu and Buddhist temples and stupas. Interestingly, one of the caves has a golden Buddha sculpture as well. These caves remind us of the rigid penance Lord Buddha underwent. An idol of Hindu goddess ‘Dungeshwari’ is also placed in the cave temple. People are attracted to the absolute energy that these caves generate, because of their association with Lord Buddha. While the aesthetics of these caves is not as appealing as Ellora or Ajanta’s, its numinous has remained integral over the years. The hills also attract visitors to take a small trek and soak the mesmerizing views of its surroundings.
Named after the king of the serpents, Muchalinda, it is a beautiful lake located next to the sacred shrine of Mahabodhi Temple. The lake is also known by the name of Lotus Pond and houses an idol of Buddha in a meditating position. People visit Muchalinda Lake on a huge scale, especially the Buddhist Monks for meditation.
1. According to the historical context, Buddha chose Muchalinda Lake for meditation.
2. While he was in deep meditation, a storm broke out due to which Buddha wasn’t comfortable.
3. Sensing his discomfort, Muchalinda, the king of serpents, came out from his abode and coiled around Buddha while protecting him for discomfort under his hood.
4. A statue depicting the same scene is installed in the middle of the lake. Also, there are many fishes in the lake that can be fed with the puffed rice.
Mahabodhi Temple is a Buddhist temple located at Bodh Gaya. Here Siddhartha Gautam attained intellect. Bodh Gaya is located 96 km from Patna, the capital of the Indian state of Bihar. On the west side of the temple is the sacred Bodhi Tree. The name of the tree is “Bodhimanda” in the “Palishastra” and the monastery here is Bodhimanda Bihar. The highest peak of the temple is 55 meters in height. The ornately made Mahabodhi Temple is the main draw of Bodh Gaya. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site preserved for its sheer antiquity.
There is a Thai temple made in glistening gold, which is quite an attractive sight. In addition, the 80 ft long sandstone and granite image of Gautam Buddha is also a remarkable attraction in Bodh Gaya.
You can also wander around the Bodh Gaya to many smaller places with the help of local people. Bodh Gaya can be an important place to spread your vision. So, go on a tour and feed your inner self.
How To Reach
By Road: The town of Bodh Gaya and city of Gaya are connected via the main road. In order to travel within or outside the state of Bihar, you can opt for government bus service or privately owned buses. Cities such as Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi and Kathmandu are easily connected through frequent bus services. You can choose to travel in luxurious air-conditioned Volvo buses which are also connected to nearby towns and cities of Bodhgaya. Taxi services are also available.
By Train: Gaya Junction is a broad-gauged railway station located just 13 kilometers away from the town. It is regularly connected to major cities of India such as Delhi, Kolkata, Kota, Varanasi, Amritsar, Ranchi, Mumbai, Pune, Gwalior, Dehradun and among others. Another option is Patna Railway Station, at a distance of 110 kilometers away from Bodh Gaya. This railway station has great connectivity to metro cities of India like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune.
By Air: Gaya International Airport is located around 17 km away from the town. This airport is connected to Varanasi, Colombo (seasonal), Mandalay, Paro, Kathmandu and others with the services of Sri Lankan Airlines, Air India, Druk Air, Myanmar Airways International, Golden Myanmar Airlines and Thai Airways International. Many of these flights are not frequent, so you need to have a look once before planning a trip to Bodh Gaya, like Thai Airways and Druk Air that fly once a week. Another option is Patna Airport (Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport) which is located about 135 km away from the town. This airport is connected to Indian cities, such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Bangalore, Goa and Ranchi among others, through the services of Air India, GoAir, Jet Airways, Indigo and Spirit Air.