Known as the pilgrimage site for the Buddhists, Gaya is a must-visit destination. The city features numerous temples and abbeys that are dedicated to Buddhism. Its major tourist attractions include the marvellous Buddha sculpture, the Bodhi Tree and the Mahabodhi Temple. As commonly called by the locals, a trip to Gaya or Buddh Gaya will give you an in-depth insight into the city's religious values. Taking a stroll at its architectural masterpieces will leave you charmed.
The sacred city of Bihar is where Prince Siddhartha meditated under the Bodhi Tree to achieve spiritual enlightenment. The city is known for serenity and hence is surrounded by pacific spots all over. After covering the major attractions, there are chances you might miss the hidden places that are not known but are a must-visit. So, take a ramble at the Daijokyo Buddhist Temple, aBuddhist temple that features a three-story pagoda building, including the main hall on the first floor, a founder's hall on the second floor the reliquary hall on the rooftop. The Barabar Cave is the ancient rock-cut cave that features Lomas Rishi caves and is a treat to watch. You can also plan your day to visit places like the Chinese Temple and Monastery, Muchalinda Lake, etc. Enjoy the city's beautiful architectural sight along with its tranquil ambience.
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How to reach Gaya
Be Happy is an authentic vegetarian cafe that offers vegetarian food options along with coffee and delicious bakery products. Located in the heart of Gaya, the restaurant is just a walk away from the popular Mahabodhi Temple. One of their popular food options include the flavoursome thin crust pizza with homemade sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese.
If you are looking for multiple cuisines, then head to Nirvana the Veg Café. The café is known to serve delicacies, such as fried noodles, rice, sandwiches, dosai, uttapam, etc. So, you will enjoy your visit here if you are looking for North Indian, as well as South Indian cuisines.
If you are looking for a place to eat along with buying some souvenirs to take back home, then head to Tibetan Om Cafe. This authentic café is known to serve kid-friendly cuisine too, so if you are travelling along with your kids, then head to this restaurant.
The Hari Om International Café is a restaurant that offers backpacker-friendly menu along with popular vegetarian delicacies. The eatery’s specialty includes litti chokha, a snack which includes dough balls served with eggplant. So, visit the place to get the flavour of the local specialties.
Your visit to Gaya is never complete without going on a shopping spree. So, take a stroll at its local markets to explore their offerings, such as woollen wear, Tibetan handicrafts, souvenirs, etc.
The Maha Bodhi Hotel Resort Convention Centre Located near the Mahabodhi Temple, the Maha Bodhi Hotel Resort Convention Centre is a property that offers air-conditioned rooms along with necessary amenities, such as wardrobe, flat-screen satellite TV, minibar and work desk. So, stay here if you have plans to visit the Mahabodhi Temple.
The Bodh Gaya Gautam The Bodh Gaya Gautam is a property that offers accommodation at an affordable price. The nearest attraction to the hotel includes Thai Monastery, Bodh Gaya Bus Station and Great Buddha Statue. Not only this, the hotel offers a front desk facility to serve you for 24-hours.
The Tara Guest House Tara Guest House is a comfortable, yet affordable property. The apartment offers services like free Wi-Fi access, iron and ironing board, and a seating area. You can also go for a stroll to relax at the property’s garden and a terrace area.
The Bodh Gaya Hotel School The Bodh Gaya School is a hotel that offers cozy rooms at decent prices. The property is known to offer a flat TV screen with cable connection, kettle and free Wi-Fi. Apart from that, the hotel offers a private parking facility too.
Constructed in 1956, the Wat Thai Buddhagaya is a Thai Monastery that was constructed on Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's demand. This unique monastery is the only shrine in India that exhibits the grace of Thai architecture. The temple's sloping and curved roof is enclosed with golden tiles. The recently built statue of Lord Buddha is 25 meters in height and has been constructed close to the Wat Thai Temple. A step inside the temple will give you a serene vibe. Must visit to acquire some peace of mind.
Another tourist and religious site in Gaya is the Brahmyoni valley. The temple can be reached through an arduous climb of approximately 424 steps. Rao Bhau Saheb, the Maratha-chieftain, constructed it. The temple signifies the Hindu Lord Brahma's positive energy, who is known as the creator of the world as per the religious Hindu texts. You can also visit two caves, namely Brahmayoni and Matreoni.
Located 150 km from Gaya, Patna is the capital of Bihar. Places to visit in Patna include Buddha Smriti Park, Golghar and Patna Museum.
Located 120 km from Gaya, Nalanda is known for its ancient Nalanda university, Jal Mandir, Venu van and Xuan Zang Memorial hall.
Located 74 km from Gaya, Rajgir is located in the Nalanda district. Places to visit in Rajgir include, Griddhakuta (Vulture's peak), Pippala cave and Vishwa Shanti Stupa.
Like most ancient fairs in India, Sonepur Fair is also rooted in mythology and folklore. Today, it is a magnificent cattle fair, perhaps the largest in Asia. The fortnight-long fair takes place on the full moon day of Kartik (November).
Lord Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and passed away, all on the same full moon day of April/May. Thus, Vaisakhi Poornima, one of the most majestic full moon nights in the year, is celebrated as Buddha Jayanthi.
Bihar is a holy land for the Jains. Two major Jain festivals rejoice here - Mahavir Jayanthi at Parasnath Hill in April and Deo Deewali. Both the celebrations commemorate the final liberation of Lord Mahavira.
Exclusive in Bihar is Chhath Puja, or worship of the Sun God. The most famous celebrations are at the Sun Temple in Baragaon near Nalanda, where sweets and fruits are offered in prayer.