The city of Bodhgaya witnessed the turning point in the life of Prince Siddhartha. From a wandering ascetic, here he attained supreme knowledge or enlightenment under the shade of a banyan tree, now known as Bodhi Tree and became Buddha - the enlightened one. Located in modern day Bihar, Bodhgaya is the place where Buddha began his journey to spread the message of peace and nirvana. A world heritage site, Bodhgaya filled with a sense of spiritual & meditative atmosphere and offers a visitor a real Buddhist perspective of exploring his soul.
Major Tourist Attractions
One of the four sites related deeply to Lord Buddha, Mahabodhi Temple is constructed on the exact location where Siddhartha Gautama gained enlightenment. Towards the west of the holy temple is the holy Bodhi Tree (Banyan Tree). Under the Bodhi Tree, there is a stone platform called Vajrasana, on which Buddha is believed to have sat in meditation. The present day Mahabodhi Temple dates back to 5th century. Made entirely in bricks, the temple's edifice proclaims to the world the efforts of the Buddha to resolve human miseries, to rise above worldly worries and to achieve uplifting peace through wisdom, good conduct and disciplined life.
Animesh Lochan Chaitya
It is the site where Buddha spent one week looking at 'The Great Bodhi Tree' out of sheer gratitude without twinkling his eyes.
Chankramana is the sacred place where Buddha in his meditative phase walked through during the third week after his enlightenment. It is believed that wherever the Buddha put his step, lotus sprang up.
80 ft statue of Buddha
Though the entire Bodhgaya is blessed with Buddha's presence, but the colossal statue of The Great Buddha in meditative calm (dhyana mudra) while seated on a giant lotus is truly inspiring. This tallest statue in the country is made from a mix of sandstone blocks and red granite.
The statue of Buddha amidst the lake meditating on a snake coil is a rare site visible only in Muchalinda Lake at Bodhgaya. Buddha was considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and during the sixth week of his meditation at Bodhgaya, a strong storm broke out. During that time, Lord Buddha was protected by the Snake King, Muchalinda from the disrupting waves which is presently a beautiful lake offering serenity and calm to the much revered site.
Buddhism is popular not only in India but in various other countries like Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Burma, Vietnam, Nepal, Korea, Tibet, Thailand and many more. At Bodhgaya, the presence of monasteries from each of the countries states the popularity of the religion. They also act as centers of religious learning, conduct meditations, spiritual camps and provide accommodation to the pilgrims.
Best Time to Visit - September to March
How to get there -
By Air - The nearest airport is at Gaya (16 km) connected to many national and international cities.
By Road - Bodhgaya is well connected by road to Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Patna, Varanasi and Calcutta By
Train - Special train journeys to Bodhgaya and other Buddhist Circuit Sites like Nalanda, Rajgir, Sravasti along with Kushinagar and Sarnath can be explored through Mahaparinirvana Express.
The land of Lord Vishnu and Lord Buddha, Gaya is sacred pilgrimage famous for offering pind dan funeral offerings at the Ghats of River Niranjana to free a deceased from the bondage to the earth. The much revered Vishnupad Temple houses the imprints of Vishnu's Foot on a 40 cm solid rock draws a lot of pilgrims towards Gaya. 1 km south west to the temple is Brahmajuni Hill, the place where Buddha is said to have preached fire sermon.
The ancient capital of Magadha Kingdom, Rajgir is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Jains. Vishwashanti Stupa features the four remarkable stages in the life of Buddha - birth, enlightenment, preaching and mahaparinirvana. Also, the remains of stupa can be seen at Girdkut, the place where Buddha used to meditate and preach his disciples.
Nalanda was one of the ancient world's greatest universities and a center of higher learning. Marked by a lofty wall and one gate, the university was considered an architectural masterpiece with in-house dormitories. It also served as an important Buddhist center. Buddha visited Nalanda during his last tour to Magadha.
The oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India, Barabar Caves offer glimpses of Mauryan period featuring Buddhist and Hindu Sculptures.
Nearby cities - Gaya (16 km), Nalanda (101 km), Rajgir (78 km), Patna (135km), Varanasi (252 km), Calcutta (495 km) Kushinagar (270 km)
Where to Stay