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Introducing Bodh Gaya

Best time to visit : October to March (Winter Months)
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Bodh Gaya, a famous Buddhist pilgrimage in the Bihar State of eastern India, has been fervently visited by those intrigued by the karma and purity of soul. Believed to be the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment, Bodh Gaya has some interesting tourist attractions. Apart from those following the religion, the city is also thronged by tourist from across the country. The place is of great archeological and historical importance owing to the interest of some significant Mughal and Gupta rulers. The area in and around Bodh Gaya is rich in architecturally significant monuments inclusive of temples and monasteries of different traditions which serve as important tourist places.

Facts

Gautam Buddha, after a relentless search of truth inside him through meditation under the Bodhi tree, became the enlightened one. Buddhism gained importance in Indian history after Mughal Emperor Ashoka started propagating the teachings of Buddha. The Mahabodhi temple, one of the main attractions of Bodh Gaya, is believed to be founded by him. The original tree, which is supposed to be dated 2500 years old, was destroyed but a new tree from the sapling of the original Bodhi Tree was planted by the daughter of Ashoka. The site, after being in ruins for centuries, was excavated and restored to its former glory. It was declared a World Heritage Sight by UNESCO in the year 2002.

Being a house of various immigrants from different parts of world, the village has an agglomeration of cafés and hotels set up by both Indians and immigrants. Indian and international cuisine is available at the Bowl of Compassion café. Be Happy Café and the Fujiya Green café specialize in Italian and Tibetan food respectively. Travellers having sweet tooth can enjoy the a-la-carte menu of pastries offered in Café Om.

The simplicity of the area is reflected in the array of shops around the area. In most of the shops, decorative items significantly related to Buddhism are sold. From statues of Buddha to small imitations of Mahabodhi temple, you can find a variety of souvenirs in shops around the area. Tibetan market and Kundan Bazaar are also famous for clothes, books and gifts.

Nearby Places:
  • Sun temple, around 78 km. from Bodh Gaya, is famous for its architecture and the Hindu festival of Chhath.
  • A famous site for Hindu’s Pind Daan, Pretshila Hill, is just few miles away from Bodh Gaya. Apart from the ritual, the place is also known for its architecturally rich Ahilya Bai and Vishnupad temple.
  • At a distance of about 39 km. are the Barabar Caves, built in Mauryan period. These caves are carved out of stones and pictorially depict Buddha’s life.
  • Nalanda, the longest running university of India, is 76 km. away from Bodh Gaya.

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