About Bodhgaya

Country: India | State: Bihar

Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest City to Bodhgaya: Gaya (15 Kms), Patna (113 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Bodhgaya: October to March

Peak Season: November to January

At a distance of 16 km from Gaya, 85 km from Aurangabad, 113 km from Patna, 182 km from Muzzafarpur, 207 km from Dhanbad, 211 km from Ranchi, 244 km from Darbhanga, 245 km from Varanasi, 305 km from Durgapur, 318 km from Jamshedpur, 365 km from Prayagraj, 373 km from Bankura, and 469 km from Kolkata, Bodh Gaya is a Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the Gaya district of Bihar, India. It is one of the must include places in Buddhist pilgrimage tours in India and among the must-visit places as part of Bihar Tour Packages.

Situated on the banks of the River Niranjana, Bodh Gaya is revered by Buddhists all over the world as it is the place where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment in 534 BC under the Bodhi Tree. The Mahabodhi Temple which houses the Bodhi Tree attracts hordes of visitors across the world and is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Bodh Gaya is one of the four important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of India's Buddhist Circuit, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath.

Formerly known as Uruwela or Sambodhi, the history of this small town is associated with Buddhism when Prince Siddhartha Gautama, after renouncing his family at the age of 29, attained spiritual enlightenment at this holy place. According to legend, after practicing self-mortification for six years at Uruwela (now Bodhgaya), he gave up the practice as it didn't give him Vimukthi. Then he discovered the Eight-fold path which freed him from lust, hatred, and delusion and thus attained enlightenment. The tree under which he gained enlightenment is the renowned Bodhi tree.

King Ashoka was one of the biggest disciples of Lord Buddha and he built the famous Mahabodhi temple. The sacred place gained popularity around the 13th century and plenty of shrines and temples were built. But soon after the area fell into the hands of the Turkish emperors and they ransacked the city. Later, the British restored the city to its pure sacred form. Today, Bodhgaya is a pilgrimage destination for the entire Buddhist world and many others who seek spiritual presence.

The place emanates an aura of enduring serenity, spiritual solitude, and supreme peace. Bodhgaya is mostly known for all the places associated with Buddha's meditation and enlightenment. Mahabodhi Temple is the main attraction of this town. Besides, Great Buddha Statue, Bodhi Tree, Thai Monastery, Muchalinda Lake, Dungeshwari Hills, Wat Thai Buddhagaya, Japanese Temple, Sujatha Temple, Vishnupad Temple, etc., are some of the other prominent places to visit in Bodhgaya.

Buddha Jayanti is one of the biggest and main festivals celebrated in Bodhgaya. Observed on a full moon day in May each year, this festival celebrates the birth anniversary and enlightenment of Lord Buddha. Maha Kala Chakra Puja is the other important annual event here that focuses on performing puja and reciting verses and chants over 7 to 10 days and is believed to remove the obstacles and welcome the coming year on a positive note. Other festivals in Bodhgaya include the annual Buddha Mahotsava, a three-day celebration filled with cultural and religious activities.

Being a pilgrimage site, Bodh Gaya doesn't have any accommodation options. However, one can stay at various monasteries that provide basic rooms for free but one needs to make some donation. Gaya is the best place to stay and explore the site as a day trip as it has several accommodation options ranging from Budget to luxury.

Gaya Airport is the nearest airport which is about 10 km from Bodhgaya. It has direct flights from Delhi and Varanasi. About 15 km from Bodhgaya, Gaya Junction Railway Station is the nearest railhead and has well-connected trains from Howrah, Agra, Islampur, Patna, Mumbai, Ranchi, New Delhi, Kamakhya, Hyderabad, Ajmer, Shalimar, Varanasi, Asansol, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Jharkhand, Bhagalpur, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, Mathura, and Gwalior. Gaya is the nearest bus stand that has well-connected buses from all the major cities of Bihar. From Gaya, one can hire a cab or an auto to reach Bodh Gaya.

October to March is the best time to visit Bodhgaya when the town experiences cool and pleasant weather. Summers, from March to May, are very hot. However, Bodh Gaya still attracts a large number of devotees during this time for Buddha Jayanti when the entire city is decked up for huge celebrations. Avoid the monsoon season between June and September when the weather is quite oppressive, followed by heavy rains.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Average
STD Code: 0631
Languages Spoken: Magadhi, Hindi, Maithili & English
Major Festivals: Buddha Jayanti, Maha Kala Chakra Puja & Buddha Mahotsava

How to Reach Bodhgaya

By Air

Nearest Airport: Gaya - Gaya Airport (10 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Gaya Junction (15 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Bodhgaya Bus Stand (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

#1 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 1.5 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station, Mahabodhi Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. Situated near Muchalinda Pond, it is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in India and among the prime places to visit in Bodh Gaya as part of the Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour in India.

Situated on the banks of Niranjana River, Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha. The temple is fondly called as the 'Great Awakening Temple' as this is the very place where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. The original temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC, however, the present structure is estimated to be erected between 5th and 6th century BC during the Gupta Period. The Temple was restored by the British in the year 1880 and the Indian Government after independence. Due to its religious and historical significance, the temple has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year .....

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#2 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 1 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station and 1.5 km from Mahabodhi Temple, the Great Buddha Statue is a giant statue located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. It is one of the tallest statues in India and among the prime spots to visit as part of the Buddhist Circuit in India.

About 25 m tall, the Great Buddha Statue is by far the tallest and the first Buddha statue ever built in India. The construction of the statue was started in 1982 and was consecrated by the XIV Dalai Lama in 1989. Carved from red granite and sandstone, the magnificent figure is resembling Lord Buddha in his meditation pose on top of a blooming lotus. The statue is partly hollow and contains about 20,000 bronze Buddhas.

Surrounded by 10 smaller sculptures of Buddha's disciples, the peaceful ambiance and the beauty of the statue attract thousands of tourists every year from all across the world. Of the ten standing statues, those of Sariputta and Mahamoggallana were unveiled and consecrated in 1993 while the .....

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#3 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 700 m from Mahabodhi Temple, and 1 km from Bodh Gaya Bus Station, Wat Thai is a Thai monastery located in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Situated near Maya Sarovar, it is one of the exquisite monasteries in Bodh Gaya and among the must-visit places in Bodh Gaya.

Popularly known as Thai Monastery, Wat Thai Buddhagaya was established in 1956 by the government of Thailand on the request of the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. The monastery was constructed with an idea of propagating the philosophies of Buddhism among the masses. It is the only Thai Temple in India. The place abounds with peace and serenity and is ideal for solace seekers and those looking for a break from the humdrum of city life.

Known for its exceptional architecture and stunning beauty, Wat Thai Bodhgaya is strikingly similar to the temples of Bangkok and is richly gilt and highly ornamental. It has a sloping roof covered with golden tiles. .....

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#4 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 500 m from Mahabodhi Temple, and 1 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station, Archaeological Museum is a museum located in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Situated near Chinese Temple, it is one of the best museums in Bihar, and among the must-visit tourist places in Bodhgaya.

Established in 1956, the Archaeological Museum in Bodh Gaya was established to display ancient articles belonging to the Brahmanical and Buddhist beliefs, mostly related to the Pala period. The museum has several displays on various Buddha preachings and his ideals. Apart from articles from Gautam Buddha's age, you will also find various artifacts, scriptures, and educational aids that belonged to the ancient universities at this museum.

The museum has two galleries and an open courtyard, along with two verandahs that boast various antiques. The first gallery exhibits the sculptures depicting crowned Buddha in Bhumisparsamudra, Maitreya, a standing image of Manjusri, images of Buddha in a different attitude, standing .....

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#5 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 500 m from Giant Buddha Statue, and 1 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station, Royal Bhutan Monastery is a magnificent Buddhist monastery and temple located in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Situated beside Wat Thai Buddhagaya, it is one of the peaceful places to visit in Bodh Gaya.

Built by the King of Bhutan as a tribute to Lord Buddha, the Royal Bhutan Monastery is one of the remarkable Buddhist monasteries in the pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya. The monastery featuring important instances from the life of Gauthama Buddha in the form of clay carvings which attracts millions of Buddhism followers from across the world. It is a peaceful place where you can learn and practice Buddhism.

Standing in the Bhutanese architecture, the monastery is home to a magnificent temple and a rest house for the Bhutanese monks. The temple inside the monastery has a 7-feet high image of the Lord Buddha, which is further carved with the Buddhist symbols and scriptures. Besides, the monastery also carries .....

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#6 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 3 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station, Sujatha Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in the Bakraur area of Bodh Gaya, Bihar. It is one of the many places of pilgrimage in Bodhgaya.

Sujatha Temple is dedicated to a humble tribal woman named Sujatha, who offered pudding to Gautam Buddha. The temple is considered to be religiously important as the offering is believed to have saved Lord Buddha's life. According to legend, it is said that kheer was the first meal Gautam Buddha had consumed after years of starvation ever since he renounced the materialistic life including food to attain enlightenment. Later Gautama Buddha realized that one cannot attain enlightenment by Immoderation, after that he continued his journey and reached Bodh Gaya where he finally attained enlightenment. So, a small temple is built here to remark that historical incident.

Besides, one can also visit the Sujata Stupa located nearby. It was built to commemorate the living site of the doomed village .....

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#7 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 4 km from Gaya Junction Railway Station, and 10 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station, Vishnupad Mandir is a Hindu temple located in the city of Gaya, Bihar. It is one of the ancient sacred temples in Gaya and among the well-known places to visit as part of the Bodhgaya Tour Packages.

Situated on the banks of Falgu River, Vishnupad Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. According to the historical records, the existence of the Vishnupad temple goes back to the period of Samudragupta, who ruled over a vast empire during the 5th Century CE. The inscriptional source for this evidence is based on the Basarh Seal discovered in Vaishali. Further evidence is found in the Mehrauli Pillar inscription of King Chandragupta II. The inscription mentions this King as a devotee of Lord Vishnu and records the installation of 'dhvaja' or pillar of Vishnu on the Vishnupad Hill. A 9th-century inscription commemorates the dedication of a house for ascetics at Vishnupad by the Pala king Narayanapala. .....

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#8 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 500 m from Bodhgaya Bus Station, Tibetan Refugee Market is a shopping area in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Situated opposite to Bodhgaya Bus Stand, it is one of the best places for shopping lovers in Bodhgaya.

Located on the northern side of the Mahabodhi Temple, the Tibetan Refugee Market is a seasonal market set up in the month of November till March. This market is especially for warm clothes and other textile materials. The market is quite famous among the locals and travelers, as they can get knickknacks along with some exotic Tibetan and Chinese food stalls. Right from budget products to expensive items, one can get complete solutions for fashion and lifestyle at this market.

Tibetan Refugee Market is the best place to buy a souvenir in Bodhgaya. A visit to this market is never boring, and it is not complete without buying something from here. One can spend a couple of hours by just looking at various handicraft articles of the Tibetan faith. The statues of Lord .....

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#9 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 1.5 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station, Muchalinda Lake or Lotus Pond is a sacred lake in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. Situated right of Mahabodhi Temple, it is one of the best places to visit in Bodhgaya.

Named after Muchalinda, the king of the serpents, the Muchalinda Lake is yet another peaceful spot in Bodh Gaya. There is a legend associated with this lake. It is believed that during Buddha's sixth week of meditation, a huge storm broke out here while Buddha was meditating. It was then that Muchalinda came out from his abode beneath the lake to protect Lord Buddha from the uproar of the storm and used his hood so as not to disrupt Buddha from his meditation. The structure depicting the epic story is placed at the center of Muchalinda Lake. On the boundary of the lake, one may found the epic tale inscribe on the rocks.

A huge number of people visit Muchalinda Lake, especially the Buddhist Monks for meditation as the lake is surrounded by lush greenery and a peaceful atmosphere. .....

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#10 of 19 Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

At a distance of 1 km from Bodhgaya Bus Station, the Chinese Temple is a sacred Buddhist shrine located in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Situated just opposite to the entrance of the Mahabodhi Temple complex, it is one of the many temples in Bodh Gaya and among the must include places in Bodh Gaya Packages.

The Chinese Temple is a spectacular Buddhist temple built by Chinese-Buddhist monks in collaboration with the government of China in 1945. It was renovated in the year 1997. The architecture of the temple is an amalgamation of the beautiful Indian and Chinese designs, especially the temple exterior, which resembles a Chinese monastery. The temple houses a 200-year old Buddha statue which was brought from China and erected as a sacred shrine. Apart from the main shrine, the temple boasts three beautiful golden statues of Lord Buddha that are the primary attractions of this place.

Another attraction to the temple is the rich and detailed travelogues drawn by Chinese religious scholars .....

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