Bodh Gaya or Bodhgaya बोधगया)
is a city in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is
famous for being the place of Gautama Buddha's attainment of nirvana
Historically, it was known as the Bodhimanda Uruvela, Sambodhi,
Vajrasana and Mahabodhi. The name Bodh Gaya did not come into use
until the 18th century. The main monastery of Bodhgaya used to be
called the Bodhimanda-vihāra (Pali). Now it is called the Mahabodhi
For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four
pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other
three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi
Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The surrounding town, by contrast, is dusty, noisy and somewhat
polluted, due in large part to the large numbers of pilgrims and
tourists who visit there. A new development plan has been proposed
to "ensure a sustainable and prosperous future" for Bodh Gaya, but
has become controversial because such a plan may require the
relocation of whole neighborhoods.
According to Buddhist traditions, circa 500 BC Prince Gautama
Siddhartha, wandering as an ascetic, reached the sylvan banks of
Falgu River, near the city of Gaya. There he sat in meditation under
a bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa). After three days and three nights of
meditation, Siddharta attained enlightenment and insight, and the
answers that he had sought. He then spent seven weeks at seven
different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his
experience. After seven weeks, he travelled to Sarnath, where he
began teaching Buddhism.
Disciples of Gautama Siddhartha began to visit the place where he
had gained enlightenment during the full moon in the month of
Vaisakh (April-May), as per the Hindu calendar. Over time, the place
became known as Bodh Gaya, the day of enlightenment as Buddha
Purnima, and the tree as the Bodhi Tree.
The history of Bodh Gaya is documented by many inscriptions and
pilgrimage accounts. Foremost among these are the accounts of the
Chinese pilgrims Faxian in the 5th century and Xuanzang in the 7th
century. The area was at the heart of a Buddhist civilization for
centuries, until it was conquered by Turkish armies in the 13th
How to go to visit Bodh Gaya?
The nearest airport is at Gaya (16 km) - Druk Air flies from Bangkok
once a week. Thai Airways flies to Gaya daily. Indian Airlines flies
from Kolkata on Fridays at 10.00 a.m. and Returns back on Mondays
from Gaya at around 15.00 hrs.
Alternatively, you may take a flight to the Patna Airport (110 km
away) and take a train or a taxi to Bodh Gaya as Patna has multiple
daily direct flights to Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Alternatively if
you need suggestion you can also take help of travel agency.
One may take a flight to the Patna Airport (110 km away) and take a
train or a taxi to Bodh Gaya as Patna has multiple daily direct
flights to Delhi, Kolkata , Mumbai, Pune , Bangalore, Lucknow and
Hyderabad. Amba Travels specializes in car rental services from
The nearest Railway station is Gaya (16 km). From there you can take
a bus or a three wheel taxi to Bodh Gaya. Three-wheel taxi price is
extremely variable, depending on time of day, but should be between
80-120 Rs. You should bargain considerably, there is rarely a
shortage of service.
The train from Patna (which as the nearest good size airport and
railhead) to Gaya costs 34 rupees (as of January 2008). The express
trains take about two hours. Best train travel from Calcutta is
about 8 hours; from Delhi, about 15 hours (2nd class air con costs
161 book upstairs at the gaya station then pay downstairs at window
The road from Patna is in bad condition at the moment, train is also
There is a main road connecting Bodhgaya and Gaya. The Bihar State
Tourist Development Coporation (Tel: 0612-225411) runs daily deluxe
bus services to and from Bodh Gaya. Buses for Varanasi to Bodhgaya,
Bodhgaya to Nalanda, Rajgir, Kathmandu.
Sightseeing and place to see
in Bodh Gaya.
Most temples open from 6 am to
sunset and close between noon and 2 pm.
*** Bodhi Tree - it is believed that this tree is a direct
descendant of the one under which the Buddha Sakyamuni attained
enlightenment, inside the Mahabodhi complex.
*** Mahabodhi Stupa.
*** Thai Monastery.
*** 80-foot Buddha Statue.
*** Japanese temple (Indosan Nippon), Temple Road, 2200743. 5am-6pm.
Daily meditation at 6 AM and 5 PM.
*** Archaelogical Museum, closed Fridays, IR 2 (foreigners and
*** Tergar Monastery, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
*** Phowa Center, Choeje Ayang Rinpoche
*** Gendhen Phelgyeling Monastery.
*** Karma Dhargye Chokhorling Monastery, Beru Khyentse Rinpoche
*** Root Institute, Zopa Rinpoche
*** Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, prayer festival, January
*** Nyingma Monlam Chenmo, prayer festival, January/February
*** Bodhgaya Multimedia Museum, Located next to the Mahabodhi
Temple,Open all 7 days of the week. Museum provides the historical
and Geographical context for the life of Buddha through a set of
Multimedia films and 3D Animation movie. Phone:9199778545.
*** Barabar caves, the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India,
mostly dating from the Mauryan period (322–185 BCE), and some with
Ashokan inscriptions, located in the Jehanabad District, 24 km north
Place to sleep / Hotels in
Bodh Gaya. Visitors, tourist can book hotels online.
*** Bhutan Monastery. checkin: 30.12.2011; checkout:
11.1.2012. Pleasant but basic single and family rooms,
some with private bathroom.
*** Burmese Vihara, Gaya Road. Very basic accommodation.
The Vihara exists mainly to cater to groups of Burmese
pilgrims, but there are often rooms available for
others. Rules are posted prominently. Food service is
only for those arriving in groups, and by prior
*** Mahabodhi Society. Private rooms and dorms
*** Rainbow Guesthouse, next to Burmese Vihara on Gaya
Road. Basic rooms, are cleaned more thoroughly on
request, friendly and reliable staff.
*** Sakya Monastery Guesthouse, Mastipur Village (Near
Bhutan Monastery), 91 631 2200770. Clean, simple,
friendly, peaceful and calm environment.
***Siddhartha Vihar, Bihar Tourist Complex, ''+91
631'' 220-0445. Simple, but comfortable rooms.
*** Hotel Sujata, Buddha Marg, +''91 631''
220-0481/220-0761/220-0011 fax: ''+91 631'' 220-0511).
checkin: 1- 03-09; checkout: 3-03-09. Clean environment
and good restaurant.
*** Welcome Guest House, 2 mins walk from Tamplenear
Mahabodhi Temple (opp-jayprakash prak), +91 631''
2200377. checkout: Noon. Welcome Guest House offers
cheap and pleasant rooms in the center of town.
Royal Residency, Domuhan Road,+91 631'' 220-0124 (fax:
''+91 631'' 220-0181). Comfortable rooms with Japanese
style same-sex communal hot tub.
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