Bodh Gaya India - The place where the Buddha attained enlightenment is amongst the four sacred sites in Buddhism. Visit Bodhagaya

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Bihar Attractions
- Mahabodhi Temple
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Bodh Gaya , the hub of Buddhism is located in the Indian state of Bihar. This place is revered all across th globe because it is here, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. The sacred Bodhi tree is also located here, which is the witness of Buddha's incarnation as Lord Buddha. Bodh Gaya is the most important of the four main pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautam Buddha. The other three sites are : Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sarnath. The place also has the famous Mahabodhi Temple, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sight of this temple turns miraculous at the time of sunset, when numerous clay lamps are lit around the temple premises. The number of outbound tourists surpasses the number of inbound tourists here. It is probably the simplicity of Buddhist religion and the serenity of the place that brings people to this land in huge numbers.

Gautam Buddha is said to be the father of Buddhism religion. Major events of his life occurred in Bihar. The world known mantra of "Buddhham Sharanam Gachhammi" floats in the air of Bodh Gaya and offers a peace of mind, body and soul.
Sightseeing
Mahabodhi TempleBodhi Tree - The Bodhi tree (Asvatta tree ) is located in the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya. Under this very tree, Gautam Buddha meditated and finally attained enlightenment. A sapling of the original tree was brought by Emperor Ashoka's daughter to Sri Lanka. A cutting of the tree was planted in Bodh Gaya, when the original tree died away. A red sand stone slab is found under the Bodhi tree, famously called as Vajrasana ( the diamond throne) where Buddha sat and attained Nirvana. The tree is 80 feet in height and is about 115 years old.

Mahabodhi Temple - 250 years after Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment, the Mauryan king Ashoka visited Bodh Gaya and got built the Mahabodhi Temple. However the original Mahabodhi temple had to be reconstructed and renovated. This was done during the Kushan period in the 1st century. With the passage of time the temple was abandoned and forgotten and got buried under the soil. It was later that Alexander Cunningham as a part of his archaeological work restored the temple.

It houses a large, glided black stone image of the Buddha in the Bhumisparshamudra ( earth touching posture). The Mahabodhi Temple is very sacred for the Hindus because Lord Buddha is the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Monasteries - Many countries having strong faith on Buddhism like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Sri Lanka have built temples and monasteries in Bodh Gaya. Each temple has its own distinctive architectural styles and form of worship. A traveller by visiting thiese monasteries can have great information of the various schools of architecture.

Sujata Temple - Phalgu river flows in bodh Gaya. There lies a small shrine dedicated to Sujata, the tribal woman who offered kheer to the starving Siddharatha.

Bodh Gaya MuseumMuchhalinda Pond - The Buddha spent the sixth week after enlightenment at this pond on the southern side of the temple.

Bodh Gaya Museum - This museum is run by the Archaeological Survey of India. It is located near the Mahabodhi temple. It displays antiquities excavated in and around Bodh Gaya. It has a large collection of Buddhist and Hindu relics, terracotta seals, scriptures and railings/pillars from the Sunga period (1 BC to 1 AD). It is open from 9 am to 4.30 pm, closed on Fridays, and there is an entry fee of Rs 2.

Shopping
October to March is the most favourable time to visit Bodh Gaya. During this time the whole of the city is flooded with both inbound and outbound tourists. For all those who are keen to see his holiness Dalai Lama, who presides over the Kalachakra festival here, can visit Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya is not a great shopping hub. There are certain roadside stalls that sells curios and trinkets. The seasonal Tibetan market is very good for all those who are looking forward to buying woolen garments. The government - authorised handicraft stores sell thangkas, dried peepul leaves, peepul-bead rosaries for meditation and lotus- bead malas from Mongolia.

How To Reach
Air : Bodh Gaya does not have an airport of its own. However there is an airport in Gaya., which is 17 km away from Bodh Gaya. Major airlines from important cities of India touch Patna, which is 135 km from Bodh Gaya.

Rail : The nearest railway station to Bodh Gaya is Gaya. Trains from all major cities of India halt at Gaya. A new train by the Indian Railways called as Buddha Parikrama has been introduced. It 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 north eastern edge of the town. 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.


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