Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment in this particular place
after he was disturbed and disillusioned by the miseries of
the poor. Lying south of the city of Patna, the place of Gaya
houses the sacred Mahabodhi temple and the sacred sampling
of the Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha attained eternal
wisdom. Gaya lies in the state of Bihar, an ancient place
of historic importance in terms of knowledge and learning.
Gaya is one of the important holy places for Hindus and thousands
of devotees throng this small town every year for pilgrimage.
The main pilgrim center in Gaya is the Vishnu temple. Legend
has it that this temple was built on Lord Vishnu?s footsteps
and is thus considered very sacred by the devotees. It is
also believed by Hindus that if the final rights are performed
in Gaya, the departed soul goes to heaven.
Gaya is located in the central part of the state of Bihar,
in the northeastern part of India. It is a part of the great
Gangetic plains. It is located to the west of the Falgu River,
which is a tributary of river Ganga. It is 13 km north of
Bodhgaya and 100 km south of Patna city. The climate of Gaya
is tropical. Summers are generally hot (April?June), while
winters are cool (October?February). It experiences southwestern
monsoon rains from July to September.
The main tourist attraction of Gaya is the Vishnupad temple.
This temple was built in the Hindu Shikhar style of architecture
and is located on the west bank of Falgu River at the southeastern
edge of the town. Gaya is a religious center and it is believed
that the principal Hindu God, Vishnu has bestowed upon Gaya
the power to absolve the sin of the sinners, who come here
for pilgrimage. Pilgrims also come to offer funerary offerings
(or pinds) at the ghats along the river and pray for the souls
of their ancestors. There is a small archeological museum
in Gaya. The Brahmajuni hill 1 km southwest of the Vishnupad
temple is an important spot. One thousand stone steps lead
the travelers to the top of this hill, from where one can
have a full view of Gaya. The Brahmajuni hill 1 km southwest
of the Vishnupad temple is an important spot. One thousand
stone steps lead the travelers to the top of this hill, from
where one can have a full view of Gaya.