One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists, Bodhgaya is a village in the state of Bihar. It was here under the Bodhi tree that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The place is bustling with pilgrims all through the year who come to pay their homage in the monasteries, shrines and temples. It also attracts tourists from India and abroad owing to its magnificent Buddha statue, the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi tree.
Bodh Gaya is the very place that houses the Mahabodhi tree, under which Gautam Buddha meditated and attained enlightenment. The Mahabodhi temple built near the Mahabodhi tree is highly revered and it is an enriching experience to visit the temple. One can still find the remnants and descendants of the original Mahabodhi Tree. Bodh Gaya is the single biggest pilgrimage for all sects of Buddhists throughout the world. It is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a lot of foreign countries including Japan and China have helped the Indian government in building facilities for the Buddhist pilgrims. Bodh Gaya also has other various temples and monasteries dedicated to Buddhism. Located near the river Neranjana, Bodh Gaya was earlier known as Uruwela. It was also known as Sambodhi, Vajrasana or Mahabodhi until the 18th century CE. A trip to Bodh Gaya provides valuable insights into the culture of Indian religious philosophies and also showcases some architectural masterpieces that would leave one spellbound.
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Peaceful environment. Culturally and spiritually rich.
Extremely hot in summers. Not many non-vegetarian eateries available. Travelling at night might be risky.
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Q. I want to spend some time meditating in some Buddhist monastery in Bodh Gaya. How do I go about it?