Bodh Gaya, known in history as Bodhimanda, located on the river Niranjana (also known as Falgu) in the Indian state of Bihar, is the most sacred place for Buddhists worldwide. It is one of the most important sites associated with Gautam Buddha’s life.
This is the place where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became Buddha around 2600 years ago, beneath a Bodhi Tree. The first three days of his meditation and the subsequent seven weeks of enlightenment have been linked to various locations in Bodhgaya. This town’s history can be traced back to 500 BC.
Bodhgaya Tourism provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain valuable insights into Buddhist culture and way of life. It draws thousands of Buddhist pilgrims worldwide yearly for prayer, study, and meditation. Furthermore, the numerous monasteries and temples dotting the town, built in their native style by foreign Buddhist communities, lend the area an ethereal tranquility.
Below are the must-visit places for the Bodhgaya Pilgrimage Tour
The Mahabodhi Temple, also called “Buddha Temple Bodhgaya” & "Great Awakening Temple,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is approx 5 hectares in size and is made of brick in the classical style of Indian temple architecture. The temple features a 55-meter-tall pyramidal shikhara (tower) with multiple layers of niches, arch motifs, and fine engravings. In the sanctum sanctorum of Mahabodhi Temple is a 2 m high gold-painted statue of Buddha seated in the bhumisparsa Mudra, or 'Earth touching posture,' dating from the 10th century. The upper portion of the temple was covered in gold in 2013 as a gift from Thailand’s King and devotees. It is the most important site to visit on your Bodhgaya Tourism Pilgrimage Tour.
A descendant of the sacred Bodhi Tree, under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment, stands next to Mahabodhi Temple. After attaining supreme knowledge, Buddha remained seated beneath the tree for seven days without moving. Even today, many monks and devotees perform numerous prostrations to the tree. It’s a purification ritual, and some monks have been known to perform up to 100,000 prostrations at once.
On your Bodhgaya Tourism Tour, IRCTC Buddhist Tourist Train takes you to the Niranjana River. The river is extremely holy and is thought to be an ideal location for performing last rites. According to legend, a woman called into question Buddha's divinity. She presented him with a golden bowl and assured him that it would not flow upstream. All previous bowls sent into the river by Buddha went upstream, whereas ordinary people's bowls went downstream. When Buddha finally sent his dish, it washed away all doubt.
One of the main attractions in Bodhgaya is the ornate Thai Temple. It was built in 1956 by Thailand's then-Monarch. With a sloping roof curved at the corners and adorned with golden tiles, the monastery reflects an exceptional blend of Thai Buddhist architecture.
As you enter inside, a 25-meter-high bronze statue of Lord Budhha catches your attention. This tranquil location brings peace to the mind of the beholder.
The Indonesian Nippon Japanese Temple, located near the Great Buddha Statue, is one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Bodh Gaya.
It was built in 1972 to spread Lord Buddha's teachings throughout the world. The temple is a work of Japanese architectural genius. Important events in Lord Buddha's life are beautifully engraved on the temple walls.
The Great Buddha 80 feet statue is one of the popular sites in Bodh Gaya for tourists and the Buddhist pilgrimage. The XIV Dalai Lama installed the tallest statue of Lord Buddha in India in 1989. The tall statue depicts the Buddha seated in meditation on a lotus in the open air made of intricately carved sandstone and red granite.
Bodhgaya is famous because this is where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. Bodh Gaya has been the place of pilgrimage and veneration for Buddhists since then.
The Mahabodhi Temple complex is within walking distance of the Thai Temple. It is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
On your Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour, you can also visit Muchalinda Lake, Royal Bhutan Monastery, the Chinese Temple, the Vietnamese Temple, and Sujata Kuti.
No, most of the sites in Bodhgaya are easy to find and within 5-20 minutes walking distance of the Mahabodhi temple complex.
You can easily reach Bodhgaya with Buddhist Circuit Train. You can book your Bodhgaya tour package at www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com for the season 2023-2024.
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