Gaya in Bihar is the ancient city of historical and mythological importance. Gaya is the 2nd largest city in the state and one of the major tourist attractions in the country. There are plenty of hotels in Gaya to accommodate visitors. It is a place sanctified by Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain religions.
Following are the 8 sacred sites one must visit in Gaya for self-discovery, the idea getting more and more important with time:
1. Mahabodhi Temple: The temple depicts the architectural vigour of the past. Lord Buddha is the chief deity of the temple. The Chatras built at the top of the temple preach the sovereignty of religion. A Shiva Lingam from the 9th century is also present in the temple.
2. Chinese Temple And Monastery: Chinese temple is located near Mahabodhi Temple. The temple has a complete Chinese architecture influence. The 200-year-old Buddha statue found in the temple is said to be from China.
3. Bodhi Tree: Bodhi Tree is considered to be the place where Buddha attained spiritual enlightenment. The tree is the fifth generation of the original tree. The tree is recognised by its heart-shaped leaves.
4. Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum: The museum was established in 1956 and is home to several relics found from this part of the world. The collections include sculptures belonging to 1st century BC, antiques of Hindu deities and Buddha.
5. Vishnupad Temple: Vishnupad Temple is said to be constructed on Lord Vishnu’s footprints and giving the temple its name. The footprints are 40 cm in length. The temple complex is vast and displays images of many gods and goddesses. The eastern side of the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
6. Dungeshwari Cave Temples: Dungeshwari Caves are also known as Mahakala Caves. Buddha spent many years at this place before heading to Gaya. The site is the right place for those who want to discover self and meditate.
7. Thai Temple And Monastery: This is the only Thai Temple found in India. It was built in the year 1956 by Thailand Monarch. The beautiful construction with a sloping roof is a visual delight. The calm atmosphere in the temple and outside the monastery is incredible. A bronze statue of Buddha is present inside the temple.
8. Royal Bhutan Monastery: The monastery depicts the life of Buddha. Constructed by the king of Bhutan, the monastery ranks amongst the best monasteries in the land. The monastery has a conventional architecture, and it houses a beautiful temple in with a 7 feet tall Buddha statue.
Gaya is rich in natural beauty and architectural splendour. The land of Gaya is certainly tolerant towards other religions. Visit this place with rich cultural past and set out for self-discovery. There are many hotels in Gaya that offers a pleasant stay, just like the city.