Located in Northeast India in Bihar state, Bodhgaya is the most revered of all Buddhist sacred sites. History of Bodhgaya can be traced back to 500 BC. Earlier known as Bodhimanda, it is one of the 4 most important sites related to life of Gautama Buddha. It is the place where Buddha gained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The city is full of numerous places and monuments representing the various facets and stages of Buddha. The area remained a hotbed of Buddhism till 13th century after which it fell to Turkish invasion.
Must visit attractions in Bodhgaya
Is one of the highlights of Bodhgaya and a World Heritage site. This is the place where Buddha attained supreme and perfect insight. The shrine is constructed around the original Bodhi tree in the 7th century. The shrine was built by a Burmese king identical to King Asoka's stupa. The temple houses an ancient Shiva lingam which was installed in 860 AD. The gold painted statue of Buddha in the sanctum shrine is made of black stone. The Buddha is seen seated in the earth touching posture.
the Tree of Awakening is at the core of the Mahavir temple complex and the center of the world where all Buddhas attain enlightenment. The tree is the direct descendant of the original. Under this sacred papal tree, Buddha meditated and attained enlightenment on a full moon day. Pilgrims customarily tie scarves to its branches, lay cut flowers and small lamps around its base. Both the trees' heart shaped leaves and tree itself are Buddhist and Hindu religious symbols.
Vajrasana, known as the Diamond Throne, is the stone platform where Lord Buddha sat in meditation. This is considered as the center of the universe.
Great Buddha Statue
Standing at an elevation of 80 ft, the statue is one of the religious and spiritual monuments. The structure was instated in 1989 by the XIV Dalai Lama using sandstone blocks and red granite. The structure displays meditating Lord Buddha, resting on a giant lotus in the open air. The statue is surrounded by 10 smaller structures of Buddha's disciples. It is partially hollow and said to contain some 20,000 bronze Buddhas.
Bodhgaya has plenty of reasonable accommodation options. Tourists can choose from guest houses, budget hotels, luxury hotels and monasteries.
How to Reach
The airport in Gaya is about 13 km away from city centre well connected to most of the Indian cities.
Gaya junction is the nearest railhead, 13 km away and is connected to major cities.
Bodhgaya State Transport Corporation run regular buses. One can also opt for taxis.