Gaya

For the mountain in Korea, see Gayasan Mountain National Park.

Gaya is a major pilgrimage city in Bihar for Hindus and Buddhists. It is visited for doing Pind Dan (funeral offerings for the benefit of the soul of the deceased) and for visiting Bodh Gaya and Vishnupad temple.

Understand

Gaya is a ritual place and it is famous for Pind daan. People from all over the country, as well as Hindus from abroad, come here to perform pind daan puja for their deceased ancestors. This rituals brings peace to the wandering souls. Many people come here during the monsoon months (September - October) for the pitripaksh tarpan (prayers offered for the dead). The pilgrims take a dip in the seasonal holy river 'Phalgu' during this season. There is huge gathering of people for 2 weeks for pitripaksha mela.

"Gaya is a picturesque city surrounded by temple-crowned hills… It is a place of great sanctity and a very important place for pilgrimage, the central point of which is the Vishnupad temple that enshrines a footprint of Vishnu. The temple was built in the 18th century by the Maratha princess Ahliyabai. The hills around the city are also places of sanctity. The highest is that of Brahmayoni, which rises precipitately to a height of 450 feet above the plain. Six miles south of Gaya is the great temple of Bodh Gaya, one of the holiest places in the world, and the most sacred of all places to the Buddhists. These (Barabar) hills are 6-8 miles east of Bela railway station, the second railway station on the way to Patna… This is the site of the ancient Silabhadra monastery. On a low ridge of granite in the southern corner of the valley are the famous Barabar caves. The reader of E.M.Forster’s book A Passage to India will recall the incident of which the scene is one of these caves." - Sir John Houlton in Bihar the Heart of India

Now a days it is an ordinary district headquarter of India and bears a polluted, not so clean and dusty look though it still draws thousands of Hindu pilgrims as a pilgrimage and place for a compulsory pindadaan (funeral offerings to the deceased) for Hindus.

Get in

Gaya is well connected through air, rail and road.

By plane

By train

By road

Get around

You can easily visit Gaya by car. There are many car rental companies available. Nalanda Travels provides cabs on rent for Rajgir, Nalanda, Patna, Vaishali,Varanasi.

See

Vishnupad Temple

Do

Worship in Vishnupad temple of lord Vishnu. Worship in Mangla Gauri (first wife of lord Shiva) Asthan.

Buy

Eat

Khajur or Thakwa is made up of wheat flour, maidha, sugar and dry fruits.

The main sweets are Enursa, Tilkut and Lai all of which are exclusive to the city. One can easily get these in shops at Tekari Road and Ramna Road. Two of the famous sweet stores are Kaveri and Pramod misthan bhandar.

Sleep

Budget

There are a lot of budget hotels in Gaya situated in the station road.

Mid-range

Also there are a few good hotels in the city

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.