Gaya or Bodhgaya is considered to be one of the most sacred and popular spiritual destinations of the country and receives visitors of all age groups and from all parts of the country. If you are planning on visiting Gaya, you should plan your trip between months November and February. The city is dotted with elaborate and gorgeous temples, Buddhist shrines and other tourist attractions. Followers of three different religions find Gaya to be extremely sacred. If you want to know about the things you can do in Gaya, here follows the list…read on to learn:
Admire the Sacred Tree- The Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree has a special significance in Buddhism. It is actually a peepal tree under which lord Buddha is said to have got his divine enlightenment; a landmark event that led to the rise of Buddha. This iconic Bodhi Tree is therefore a must-visit indeed. The serene ambience around the tree is both holy and relaxing. Around the tree, you can catch sight of meditating monks and that inculcates inner peace in every visitor visiting the Bodhi Tree. Please bear in mind to take off your shoes when you are around the Bodhi Tree. You will carry your inner peace along with you back home after having visited the Bodhi Tree.
Feel holy at the Vishnupad Temple
The Vishnupad temple was built in the year 1787. The temple’s most stunning architectural feature is its spires. The temple enshrines Lord Vishnu’s footprint that’s 40cm in length. The sacred footprint is engraved on a piece of hard rock. Rani Ahilya Bai, the queen of Indore had constructed this temple. The temple’s eastern side is an abode of Lord Shiva. The temple being home to two of the most significant deities of the holy trinity of Hindu Gods, had been a very important Hindu pilgrimage destination in the past.
Dive Deep in Time at Archaeological Museum
The city has a wealth of mythological, historic and religious significance and relics associated with this wealth may be seen in the archaeological museum. The collection at the museum includes statues/images of Lord Buddha, coins that date back to the Mughal era, mementos and antiques from Maurya and Gupta eras, Buddhist coping stones.
Explore the serenity around Muchalinda Lake
The air around the serene Muchalinda Lake is thoroughly invigorating. According to myths Lord Buddha, after gaining divine enlightenment visited this lakeside. Lush greenery surrounds the lake making the lakeside truly visually appealing.
Go On A Shopping Spree
The city offers many good market places where you can shop a variety of knick-knacks, souvenirs, home décor items, textile materials, lacquer ornaments etc. Markets like Kundan bazaar, Tibetan Refugee Market, Gaya Handicrafts centre etc. are the best places to shop in Gaya. Some of the items in these markets are high priced. So, don’t forget to bargain.
Sample The Local Food
The typical Bihari thali consists in a platter of rice, roti, sabzis, achar, chatni, aloo ka chokha, dahi, both dry and juicy sweets. You can sample one such thali in any of the local restaurants of Gaya. Besides, there are a number of street vendors selling lip-smacking street foods such aaloo chaat, chole chaat, samosa chaat, bhurta, bajka, litti-chokha, bhelpuri, batatapuri, dahi-jalebi, bhunjia. Some of the top eating joints as well as restaurants of Gaya are Swagat restaurant, Sujata restaurant, Hari Om Café, Fujia Green, The Olive. Apart from these local foods you can also savor some yummy Tibetan foods in Gaya such as Noodles, Momos, Thukpas. Tibetan Om Café is an ideal place to dig into Tibetan delicacies.
Indulge in Nature Walk At Jaiprakash Park
Jaiprakash Park is a patch of lush greenery located in vicinity to Mahabodhi temple. The cool shade of really tall trees growing in the park and vibrant colors radiating from the floral bushes offer one with a pretty rejuvenating experience during strolls across the park.
Explore The Monasteries of Gaya
The city of Gaya is dotted with many famed monasteries. The peaceful atmosphere and architectural brilliance of each of these monasteries touches the soul of every visitor. Among the monasteries of Gaya, Royal Bhutan Monastery holds great prominence. The other popular monasteries of Gaya are Burmese Vihara monastery, Thai monastery, Chinese temple, Indosan Nippon Japanese temple, Vietnamese temple.
Connect With Your Inner Self Through Meditation
Gaya has a serene, overtly religious ambiance consisting of several monasteries and temples. If you are drawn to the spirituality of the place why not try some meditation for self healing and to connect with God? There are numerous institutes that offers meditation courses that you can enroll in and experience high levels of spirituality.
Soak in The Sacredness That Pervades The Mahabodhi Temple
The Mahabodhi temple is one of the most crucial Buddhist shrines in the entire India. The temple is beautifully architectured. The temple is mythologically and historically significant. The serene ambience of the temple offers inner peace to visitors.
Explore the Barabar Caves
This rock cut cave dating back to the Mauryan era is one of the most ancient caves surviving in the country. Once upon a time these caves were the residences of several monks and thus holds special importance for the followers of Buddhism
Explore The Collection At Mahabodhi Bookshop
For avid readers of philosophy, religion and theology this is an ideal place. The Mahabodhi bookshop located within Mahabodhi temple campus has a good stock of rare books on Buddhism and other religions. Get your pick at a reasonable price and gather some profound spiritual knowledge by reading them.
Take a Sneak Peek into Buddhist Culture At Indian Mahabodhi Society
Indian Mahabodhi society will let you gain an understanding of Buddhist culture. This society was set up with the aim of reviving Buddhist religion and culture. British poet Sir Edwin Arnold and Angarika Dharmapala jointly founded this society with the purpose of letting the religion survive. It is a must-visit place in Gaya for those seeking for cultural awakening. Visit the place to gain in knowledge and inspiration about Buddhism.