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Gaya Travel

Bodh Gaya (once Uruvela village) is the place where, 2500 years ago, in the 6th century BC, a young ascetic, Siddhartha, attained enlightenment to become the Buddha, and found Buddhism, one of the world's oldest religions. Born into the ruling family of the Sakyas, Siddhartha had renounced his royal heritage, and since then had faced many hardships in his search for Truth. He came to Bodh Gaya looking for a quiet retreat where he could meditate upon the causes for human suffering.

Siddhartha spread Kusha grass beneath the Bodhi or Bo tree (Pipal tree, botanical name Ficus religiosia) and sat cross-legged facing the east with a vow to get up only if he attained supreme knowledge. For 7 weeks, Mara, the temptor, assaulted him with his weapons of flood, fire, thunder and lightening. Then Mara's three beautiful daughters tried to allure him, but in vain. Siddhartha entered deeper states of contemplation. His quest finally ended at dawn on Vaisakha Poornima, the full moon day in April-May, when the kind daughter of the village chief of Senani, Sujata, brought him a bowl of kheer (sweet thickened milk). It is said that the gods had infused the kheer with ambrosia. Siddhartha attained Samma Sambodhi, the Enlightenment that he had been seeking for so long. He was no more a seeker … he had become the Buddha.

As the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodh Gaya is the spiritual home of Buddhists. Located in Bihar, 115kms from Patna, the land is rich and fertile, dotted with green fields and watered by the river Phalgu - the same ancient Nairanjana river where the Buddha bathed after attaining enlightenment. A range of low forested hills silhouette the small hamlets flanking the glistening, sandy banks of the river. Monks and nuns rub shoulders with tourists and believers from all over the world. An all-pervading calm envelops the town, giving visitors a sense of peace.

How to Reach

  • By Air
    The nearest airport is at Patna, 112 kms. All major domestic airlines fly to Patna.
  • By Rail
    The nearest railhead is at Gaya, 16 kms, on the Calcutta-Delhi main line.
  • By Road
    Gaya, 16 kms Dobhi, 22 kms on the Delhi-Calcutta Grand Trunk Road (NH 2) Patna, 115 kms via Jehanabad, and 181 kms via Rajgir Rajgir, 70 kms

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