Considered the world's most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage centre, Bodh Gaya is believed to be the place where Gautam Buddha achieved Enlightenment.
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.
Multiple hotels and guest houses are available here, but prior bookings must be made in peak periods. Monastery guest houses are also a cheaper option than the hotels.
Maha Bodhi Hotel.Resort.Convention Centre
Staring from INR 2805
Kundanbazar Guest House
Staring from INR 1,100
Peaceful environment. Culturally and spiritually rich.
Extremely hot in summers. Not many non-vegetarian eateries available. Travelling at night might be risky.
Bodh, commonly known as Bodhgaya, is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage centres in the world. Apart from pilgrims, Bodhgaya is a major attraction for historians, anthropologists and linguists.
Day 1: Start off your tour with a visit to the banks of the Neranjana River. Explore the Mahabodhi Temple. Let peace sink into your system under the holy Bodhi tree and get enchanted by the Great statue of Buddha.
Day 2: Visit the monasteries in the region.
Situated on the banks of river Neranjana, Bodh is a holy city in the state of Bihar. A UNESCO World Heritage Site today, Bodh was the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and earned the name Bodhisattva. Thus, the small town is believed to be the most sacred place for Buddhists. Formerly known as Sambodhi, the city still holds evidence of Ashoka's contribution to commemorate Buddha's enlightenment and preach Buddhism. The small city holds several mysteries which leaves even historians mesmerised.
Bodhgaya, being a religious centre does not offer a lot of options when it comes to non-vegetarian food or alcohol. However the town sustains quiet a variety from Tibetan dishes, Italian dishes including pastas and pizzas, Thai cuisine, Korean cuisine to traditional Bihari Cuisine.
Gaya is also famous for its sweets and is the place of origination for a number of the same. The main sweets here are Enursa, Tilkut, Khaja, Lai and Kesariya peda all of which are exclusive to Bihar. Other Bihari dishes like Sattu ka roti, Litti-chokha, Pua, Marua ka roti, Chana Bhuja, Aaloo Kachalu etc. are also easily available here.
By Rohit Shroff
I want to spend some time meditating in some Buddhist monastery in Bodh Gaya. How do I go about it?