Gautama achieved enlightenment in this sacred place under the Bodhi or
Asvatta tree some 2500 years ago and came to be known as Lord Buddha. Bodhgaya is
counted as one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage center apart from the other
three viz, Lumbini where his highness had taken birth, Sarnath the place of
the first lecture near Varanasi, and finally the place of his death at
Kushinagar, near Gorakhpur.
The surroundings of Bodhgaya are all filled with temples and even the
Tibetan pilgrims are seen coming for worship in the winters. The temple in Bodhgaya is
made on a square platform, with four pillars around each corner. The 1700
years old image of Buddha inside the temple is in the Marshallings Audra
touching the groundwater. Tourists from all over the world travel Bodhgaya,
to study Buddhism and the art of meditation or to simple pay homage to Lord
Location of Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya is situated in the state of Bihar, that takes pride for being the
gateway to the places of Buddhist importance like Nalanda and Vaishali. The
place is located about 13 km from Gaya and around 450 km west of Calcutta,
and 90 km south of Patna.
The best time to travel Bodhgaya is during the winters from October to
March. The place is full of pilgrim tourists in the month of January every
Major Buddhist Travel Attractions
Bodhisattva Temple -
The temple is located at the same
place at which Lord Buddha got enlightenment. It consists of a tower 179 ft
in height. To the inner side of the sanctum there is a statue of Lord Buddha
and a Siva linga to the center of the temple. The temple is also considered
sacred to the Hindus since it was believed that Lord Buddha was the ninth
incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The place of Bodhgaya is so special to the Hindus that if the last rites
are offered to the 'Akshayabat' or immortal banyan tree, in the yard of
Vishnupad temple it is believed that the soul of the dead reaches heaven.
The temple is believed to be standing on the site of a shrine, erected by
Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C.
Bodhi Tree -
Considered to be a descendent of the tree
under which Lord Gautam took enlightenment, it lies besides a red sand stone
slab that is thought to be vajrasana or the diamond throne on which Buddha
sat during his period of attaining nirvana. The tree located behind the
temple is of 80 feet in height and around 115 year old. It is the place from
where the ten commandments had spread far and wide through out the world.
Dharma Chakra -
The Tibetan monastery houses the massive
Dharma Chakra or the wheel of law. The monks at these places gives vital
discourses leading to purification of the mind and heart according to the
principles laid down in the Buddhist scriptures.
Parasnath Hill -
At a distance of just 40 km from Bodh
Gaya lies the earliest Buddhist rock cut caves. In this sacred place, it is
believed that 22 'tirthankaras' out of the 24 tirthankaras attained
salvation. It is deemed one of the most important pilgrim centers for the
Gaya lying near about 16 km from Bodhgaya is a
holy place of the Hindus who come to offer oblation for obtaining salvation
of their forefathers by offering the ashes of the deceased in the holy
place. The temple of Vishnupad on the bank of river Falgu is also a place
often visited by the pilgrims.