Bodhgaya

Why To Go

The site of the enlightenment of the Buddha, Bodhgaya has today become the essential place of Budhhist pilgrimage, drawing people from all corners of the globe. The chirping of the birds and soft chants of Buddham Sharanam Gachchami will soothe your spirit as you walk on this hallowed land.

Situated by the banks of Neranjana river in Gaya district under Bihar state, Bodhgaya is said to be a pilgrimage spot and is connected with the famous Bodhgaya Temple. Formerly, the place was known as Uruwela where king Ashoka built the temple.

Nuns, monks, and laypersons of varied ethnic groups meditate in the famous Mahabodhi Temple. The Temple is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, as declared in the year 2002. With remnants of the sacred Bodhi tree along with monasteries, temples and natural greenery, the place is thronged by tourists all round the year.

Travel Tips

Being a pious and religious place, it remains crowded all through out the year; however, the best time to visit is between October and March, when the weather remains pleasant. Another time when visitors flock here is during Biddha Purnima i.e. in the months of April-May, to celebrate this day since Siddhartha attained enlightenment on this day and became Buddha. As it is a very famous pilgrimage site so, it’s assumable that there will be a rush in every season of the year. Thus, it’s advisable to book tickets and hotels in advance. It’s better to visit the place in spring or autumn time, as the summer and winter create havoc to the state of Bihar.

Things To Do

Mahabodhi Temple: Standing in the east of the Bodhi Tree, the temple has continued to amaze people from the very time it made its presence in the earth with an unworldly beauty and architecture. The 170ft tall temple with ‘chatras’ on the top of it exemplifies supremacy and a significant influence of religion. The four towers rising from the four corners of the main temple also give enough equilibrium and countenance to the whole atmosphere. This consecrated and blessed erection seems to be the proof of nothing but the massive endeavor of the great Buddha to free the world from all of its affliction and angst and give it a touch of supreme bliss and perfection only to help the people vanquish every kind of unhappiness and misery. Inside the temple, there is a grand statue of Buddha in a sitting stance where He is seen to touch the earth by his right hand. It is heard that He attained his ultimate ascendancy and knowledge in this comportment only. In the main sanctum, there are also various votive stupas, the artistry of which still happens to befuddle the visitors worldwide. Bodhi Tree: The current bodhi tree is believed to be the fifth series of the original tree under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. Sitting under this Bodhi Tree in ‘Vajrasana’ the great man is believed to meditate centuries ago. Animesh Lochan Chaitya: It is believed that Lord Buddha spent one week here looking towards the great Bodhi-tree out of reverence and great respect, without twinkling his eyes. Ratnagarh: Goutam Buddha happened to spend one week here, where it is believed that five colors came out of his body. Chankramana: This is the pious and holy spot of Buddha’s meditation during the third week after sacred enlightenment. According to legend it is said that a lotus bloomed wherever Buddha had set his holy feet. Try out the Bihari dishes at Bodhgaya. Savour the taste of sweets like Enursa, Tilkut, Khaja, Peda and main food like Sattu ka roti, Litti, Chana bhujia, Aloo kachalu etc.

Getting Around

The City Bodhgaya is well developed, and getting around is quite comfortable there. The public transport system is quite fair. There are plenty of buses. You can also roam about by hiring a car. You can explore within the temple premises by walking, also.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The nearest airports are Gaya and Patna, which are at 17 km and 135 km, respectively. Different flights connect Patna to Delhi, Lucknow, Ranchi, Mumbai, Calcutta and several other cities. Avail private cars or taxis from the airport to reach the town.

TRAIN

The nearest rail station is Gaya, which is at a distance of around 17 km. It is well connected with the metropolitan cities like Calcutta, Mumbai, Delhi etc. Hop onto a taxi or an auto rickshaw from the station to reach Bodhgaya.

ROAD

Roads well connect Bodhgaya to Rajgir (78 km), Varanasi (252 km), Gaya (17km), Calcutta (495km), Patna (135km), Nalanda (101 km). For local transport, cycle rickshaws, taxis, tongas, auto-rickshaws etc. are available. There is also the Patna-Bodhgaya state bus service twice a day. You can also enjoy regular bus service from Nalanda, Patna, Goya, Varanasi, Rajgir etc.

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Surrounding Attractions

Apart from the Mahabodhi Temple, there also other bewilderments surrounding the place that happens to provide an excellent time to the travelers as well as the pilgrims. Among the attractions, Lotus Tank, Rajayatana, Chinese Temple & Monastery, Archaeological Museum, Thai Temple & Monastery, Buddha Kund, Buddhist Monastery of Bhutan, 80 ft Statue of the Buddha, International Buddhist House & Japanese Temple, Brahma Yoni, Burmese Temple and Tibetan Monastery, etc. are worth mentioning. There is Pretshila Hill, located 100 km away from Patna offers a beautiful scenic beauty. Another attraction is the Vishnupad Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is marked by Dharamshila, the footprints of the Lord himself and it is stated that Lord Buddha meditated for six months.
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