Gaya or Bodhgaya is a renowned spiritual destination enriched with unique traditions, crafts and arts. This is the place where Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained the divine knowledge and transcended the petty, worldly feelings of greed, desire and selfishness to become the Buddha or the awakened one. Therefore, the place is dotted with many Buddhist monasteries and stupas as well as Hindu temples. Pilgrims from both Buddhist as well as Hindu communities visit Bodhgaya each year to pay their tribute to the Lord. Of the many visit-able places in Bodh Gaya, the Maha Bodhi Temple holds prime importance and is an emblem of Gaya’s rich historic past & culture. The temple symbolizes the rise of Buddha because the place where the temple stands currently is the same place where Lord Buddha had attained his enlightenment. Thus, intense religious sentiments permeate the history, culture, arts & crafts of Bodhgaya. To know in details about the Art & Culture of Bodhgaya read on:
People of Gaya
The natives of Gaya are very religious minded and deeply imbued with the philosophy & idealism of Buddhism. They follow a simple way of life & never deviate from the paths of righteousness. The teachings of Lord Buddha make the centre of their existence. The piety & simplicity of Buddhist monks serve to influence the life and mindset of the people of Gaya in manifold ways.
Fairs & Festivals of Gaya
In Gaya or Bodhgaya, the biggest and the most pompous festival is the Buddha Jayanti festival held in the month of May each year. It is also differently referred to as Buddha Purnima as the festival is held on the day of Full Moon. On the occasion of this festival, the city of Gaya is adorned most beautifully and several processions and religious discourses are held in various places. Buddha Mahautsava is another 3-day spanned festival held most pompously in Gaya. Several cultural programs are organized on the occasion of this festival. Apart from this, two other festival observed in Gaya for the sake of world piece are Nyimgna Monlam Chenmo and Kagya Monlam Cheno.
Food of Gaya
In Gaya, both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian food items are available. Apart from food items hailing from the typical Bihari cuisine, you get to sample a vast array of Tibetan and Thai dishes as well. The common Bihari food items available in Gaya are Litti Chokha, Khaja, Thekua, Kadhi badi, Malpua, Dal puri, Pedakiya, Balushahi. The food items from Tibetan, Thai and Chinese cuisine that you come across in Gaya are Soups, Noodles, Tofu-based dishes, Chicken fritters dipped in colorful hot and sour sauces, Thukpas, momos, malai koftas, spring rolls, fluffy pancakes.
Religion & Language of Gaya
The chief religions practiced in Gaya are Hinduism and Buddhism. The chief languages spoken by the natives of Gaya are Hindi, English and Bhojpuri.
Arts & Crafts of Gaya
The arts and crafts of Gaya showcase the unique creativeness of the local artisans and also reflect the simplicity of their ideas. Each artifact or piece of art you come across in Gaya is marked with an unparalleled, intrinsic beauty. Madhubani paintings depicting various scenes from Indian mythology, sculptures or statues carved out of wood, stone, metal etc, lacquer works, artistic block printing on cloth, zari work on textile fabrics, Khatwa works, Sikki works, Pottery works, bamboo work, artistic jewelry works, Fresco rock paintings, Tikuli works, brass works are some of the most notable works of art you get to witness in the holy city of Gaya. In the paintings generally natural, indigenous dyes are used and each artwork portrays great precision and intricacy.