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This is a temple with a history of over 2500 years and is the same place where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. It is in Gaya which is a few kilomteres away from Patna and is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple around what is known as the Mahabodhi tree is said to have been built by Emperor Ashoka, who was an ardent follower of Lord Buddha after he left the path of violence and shifted completely to non- violence following the teachings of Lord Buddha. The Emperor visited this place in the 3rd Century BC and decided to pay his respects to Buddha. Afterwards also when Fa Hien, the ambassador from China visited this place he has mentioned it in his account. He has mentioned seeing the Bodhi Tree surrounded by brick walls. This temple is the forst brick temple dedicated to Lord Buddha and is often considered as the oldest and most important place of Buddhist worship in the country. Later with the advent of the Delhi Sultanate in the 18th Century, the temple lost its importance completely and was not repaired or maintained at all. Later again with the fall of the intolerant Delhi Sultans and the advent of the Burmese rulers, the temple recieved its necessary maintenance and this carried on till the time of the British. People flock here in huge numbers every year to seek blessings from the lord.
If you go in the second half of any year, you’ll see a flock of Tibetan monks, gathering around the grand Bodhi tree, chanting hymns and reading from Buddhist scriptures. To reach Bodh Gaya is much easy. One can descend at the Gaya airport or take a four to five hour drive from Patna (the state capital).
The city of Gaya is home to four major religions of India; Buddhism, Jain, Hinduism and Islam. Gaya's origins date back several thousand years when the epic of Ramayana was written. The Buddhist relevance of the city is for being the place where Siddhartha achieved enlightenment and became Buddha, the Enlightened One. Just 11km from the city is the exact tree under which enlightenment was attained. Travellers, especially Buddhists, from all over the world visit this particular place to pay respect to the place that gave birth to the religion of Buddhism.Where to eat: Hari Om International Café on the Bodh Gaya Road is known to serve the best ginger tea and coffee in Gaya. For European offerings and Italian dishes, head to Be Happy Café.Where to stay: Check out Hotel Buddha and Maha Bodhi Resort, which are both at a convenient distance to the Bodh Gaya Temple.How to reach: It is very easy to reach Gaya from the major cities of India. The Gaya Junction railway station is the main station for Gaya. The nearest airport is Gaya Airport, situated between Gaya and Bodh Gaya. Buses from Patna, Varanasi, Bhagalpur and Nalanda go to Gaya several times in a day.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Gaya is from October to March