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Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya: The most revered and sacred site of Buddhism

Dargah of Saint Moinuddin Chishti

Revered for being one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centres in the world, Bodh Gaya is located in the Gaya district of the North Indian state of Bihar. It is believed that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment here, while sitting under a Bodhi tree, around 2500 years ago. Thousands of tourists from all over the world come here to worship and meditate. The Maha Bodhi temple located in Bodh Gaya was included in the list of UNESCO's world heritage sites in 2002.

There are several Buddhist monasteries also located in Bodh Gaya. The Root Institute for Wisdom Culture offers several courses on Buddhist meditation. Ancient statues of Lord Buddha and scriptures are also preserved in the Archaeological Museum.

Following are the main attractions of Bodh Gaya:

Maha Bodhi Temple: Located east to the Bodhi Tree, the Maha Bodhi temple is also called as Bodhimanda. The gold painted statue of Lord Buddha has an ethereal feel to it. The posture of Lord Buddha reflects the achieved state of enlightenment and has a peaceful aura around it. It is believed that Emperor Ashoka built the Maha Bodhi Temple in 260 BC. The current temple is built by the restoration activities of the British Archaeological Survey of India. It opens from 5 a.m. To 9 p.m. The temple complex includes the 50 metre high Temple, the Bodhi Tree and six other sacred sites related to the enlightenment of Lord Buddha.

Animesh Lochan Chaitya:This sacred place is related with the enlightenment of Lord Buddha. It is believed that after attaining enlightenment, Lord Buddha sat at this place and kept looking at the Bodhi tree for seven days, without blinking his eyes. Thereby this name 'animesh lochan' has been inferred, suggesting 'open eyes.' The walk from Animesh Lochan Chaitya to Bodhi Temple is known as Jewel walk or Ratnachankrama.Dargah of Saint Moinuddin Chishti

Ratnagarh: It is believed that when Lord Buddha sat here, five different colours radiated from his body.

Chankramana: It is believed that Lord Buddha used to walk up and down on this raised platform during the third week after attaining the enlightenment'.

Excursions from Bodh Gaya
There are several interesting places to discover near Bodh Gaya. Few of them are as follows:
Vishnupad Temple: This Vishnu Temple was built by Queen Ahilya Bai in 1787 on the banks of the River Falgu. It is located in Gaya, around 12 km away from Bodh Gaya.

Sun Temple: Approximately 32 km away from Bodh Gaya, the Sun Temple is located at Deo. Its construction is similar to the Konark Temple in Odisha.

Barabar Caves: Dating back to the Mauryan age, these are the longest surviving rock cut caves in India, located in the Gaya district of Bihar, around 41 km away Bodh Gaya. These caves are also featured in the famous book by E. M. Forster called ' A Passage to India.'

Tourists can also travel to other near by locations from Bodh Gaya such as Muchalinda Lake ( 3km), Rajgir (80 km) and Nalanda (96 km).

When to Reach: The best time to visit Bodh Gaya is from October to March Dargah of Saint Moinuddin Chishtiwhen the weather is very pleasant. The main festivals celebrated in Bodh Gaya include Budhha Jayanati, often celebrated in the month of April and May.

How to reach:
Air: The nearest airport to Bodh Gaya is located at Patna, the capital city of Bihar. It is 100 km far from Bodh Gaya.
Rail: The nearest railway station to Bodh Gaya is in Gaya, which is 15 km away.
Road: One can easily take a bus from Varanasi, Patna or Gaya and travel to Bodh Gaya.

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