Top 10 places to visit in Gaya

Gaya represents a breathtaking amalgamation of various age old traditions, a well preserved collection of ancient heritage and an undeniable presence of deep spirituality. People who are looking for a spiritual addition to their vacation then a visit to Gaya will definitely fulfill your whishes. This holy site appeals to all the devout Hindus, Buddhists as well as the Jain population. All year long this majestic city remains thronged with pilgrims, devotees and visitors looking for some spiritual upliftment. During your visit to this glorious centre of spirituality here are a few places which would definitely appeal to your spiritual side:

Mahabodhi Temple

Showcasing a grand architectural style and home to the holy Bodhi tree under which Gautam Buddha had attained his enlightenment, this temple is extremely highly revered in the loves of Hindus as well as Buddhists. Originally belonging to the 7th century this temple was reconstructed in the year 1880 by Ashoka. This UNESCO world heritage site is an ancient sign of enlightenment and an important pilgrimage site for people seeking spirituality. there are several ancient sculptural elements present inside the museum of the temple which showcases the glorious by gone era.

Vishnupad Temple

This ancient Hindu temple in Gaya which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu counts among one of the most popular and extremely holy sites of worship for devout Hindus in Gaya. Located along the banks of river Falgu one of the main attractions here is the fact that it contains the footprints of Lord Vishnu which is popularly named as Dharamshila and is carefully incised into a block of basalt. This holy centre of spirituality has been visited by several legendary saints and sages like Ramanujacharya, Madhavacharya, Sri Ramakrishna among others.

Dungeshwari Cave Temple

Located in Pragbodhi hills, and referred popularly as Mahakala caves, this is the place which holds immense importance among Buddhists. It is said that gautam Buddha had spent some valuable time here before heading on for Gaya in order to achieve his enlightenment. The only factor which keeps tourism alive at this place is the fact that it gives you an incredible sense of serenity and deep spirituality. if you are on a soul searching journey then a visit to this place is the perfect option for you to meditate and amplify your positive vibes.

Barabar Caves

Popular for being the oldest surviving rock cut caves in the entire Indian subcontinent, these caves date back to as early as the Mauryan empire. The caves are located in the twin hills of Barabar caves and the rock cut chambers dates back to as ancient as the 3rd century BCE. Standing on the entrance is a grand and majestic, finely carved door of Lomas rishi caves which is dated to be from 250 BC, pegging it as the first known Mauryan relief feature.

The great Buddha Statue

Home for the enlightenment of gautam Buddha this statue stands at a whopping elevation of 64 feet, which took 7 years to complete after the foundation stone was laid in the year 1982. Sitting in a peaceful looking deep meditation pose or in Dhyan mudra, the entire statue is seated comfortably on an open air lotus structure. The lanes and paths leading up to the grand statue is lined with neat green hedges. This statue is adorned with intricate sandstone and red granite carvings.

Bodhi Tree

Considered to be an extremely spiritual tree this is one of the most sacred places to visit in Gaya which evokes a sense of deep devotion. This tree is famed for being the place where Guatam Buddha had attained his enlightenment. It is under this tree where siddharth gautam used to meditate for seven days a week before attaining his enlightenment. It is located inside the premises of the UNESCO world heritage site of Mahabodhi temple and every day saints and sages gather here to perform their daily meditation services.

Thai Monastery

This is popular for being the only Thai temple in India that was built by the monarch of Thailand in 1956. This temple was built with an aim of strengthening the Thai and Indian relations by spreading the teachings of Lord Buddha across the borders. The entire edifice is blanketed in golden tiles and the ceiling is in the form of a curved roof which is an obvious representation of a typical Thai architecture. The overall aura of this place is extremely serene and one of the prime pilgrimages stops for devout Buddhists. This is also a prime spot for people who want to indulge in yoga and other meditation activities.

Royal Bhutan Monastery

This magnificent monastery was built by the king of Bhutan as a tribute to Lord Buddha which showcases some of the most vital instances from the lives of Lord Buddha. These finely created depictions of his life which are carved intricately on the clay all over the monastery works as the major attraction among travelers and pilgrims. The monastery also houses a temple inside it with a 7 feet tall statue of Lord Buddha. The entire temple is known for its Buddhist sculptures which can be an alluring feature to lovers of arts and architecture.

Brahmayoni Temple

Located at a mere distance of 1 km from Vishnupad temple this holy centre of spirituality is one of the most popular attractions in Gaya. The temple is perched on top of a hill and the pilgrims are expected to climb up to 424 stairs. This site is made up of two different caves known as Brahmayoni and Matreoni. These hills also mark the place where Buddha is said to have given his very first sermon to his ascetics who are said to have attained their enlightenment after listening to his speech.

Chinese Temple

Situated in close proximity to the iconic Mahabodhi temple, this majestic centre of spiritualism and devotion is one of the most stunning and glorious looking piece of architecture in Gaya. Created by Chinese monks along with the Government of China in the year 1945, the temple is home to three beautiful statues in golden covering which serves as the primary attraction here. one of the most popular time to visit here is during the time of Buddha jayanti which is attended by a throng of Buddhists from across the globe.

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