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Best Place to Visit in Gaya-Vishnupad Temple

Gaya Travel Guide : 12 Places in Gaya Which Every Curious Traveller Must Visit (2021)

Located 100 km away from Patna, Gaya is one of the oldest and most enchanting cities in the world. Gaya is a popular tourist spot as well as a sacred site for the people of the Hindu religion. Apart from the Hindus, Gaya is quite famous among the people of Buddhist and Jain religion as well. The entire town of Gaya seems like something out of a historical tale. In the current modern times, Gaya has not changed that much.

When you go there for the first time, you will be pretty surprised. You will feel as if you have time-travelled back to the 19th century. The town has strong mythological and traditional influence. That is the main reason behind the name of the city. The name Gaya is dedicated to a mythological demon named Gayasur. According to local folklore, Gayasur learnt from his mistakes and received blessings from Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the monster took the shape of the town.

Usually, people visit Gaya to attain salvation. Among the Hindu community, Pindadaan is one of the most important traditions that are related to death. People visit Gaya to offer Pinds so that their deceased close ones can rest in peace. For the Buddhists people, Gaya is so essential because Lord Buddha visited Brahmayoni Hill to preach the fire sermon. They even renamed this town “Gayasisa”. Many people know Gaya as Bodhgaya due to the presence of Lord Buddha in the city. There are many Jain temples located in Gaya as well which make the city popular among Jain people. Apart from religious influences, Gaya is quite beautiful. It is located by the river Lilanjan, and the view surrounding the river is quite pretty. In case you also want to soak in the beauty of Gaya, you will find this blog pretty helpful. Over here, you will get to learn about the top places located in Gaya which are visited by tourists from all over the world.

Top Places To Visit In Gaya To Get Spiritually Uplifted

The following sites mentioned in this blog are incredibly famous for both mythological as well as legal reasons. If you visit Gaya, you should try to see all the areas included in the following part of this blog.

1. Vishnupad Temple

Located right at the heart of the city centre of Gaya, Vishnupad temple is one of the most important monuments located in the town by the bank of river Falgu. This temple was founded in 1787 by the fearless queen of Indore, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar. The name Vishnupad means “the footprint of Lord Vishnu”. When you enter the premises of the Vishnupad temple in Gaya, you will understand that it is right to its name. You will find a footprint which is of 40 cm in length inside the temple.

Apart from the footprint, this temple has idols of different famous Gods and Goddesses. You will also see a smaller temple dedicated to Lord Nrisimha inside the property. Moreover, the temple is partly devoted to Lord Shiva as well.

Best Place to Visit in Gaya-Vishnupad TempleImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Vishnupad Temple: 4.5 km.

Address: Reshmi Road, Chand Chaura, Gaya, Bihar 823001.

Timings: 6 am to 9 pm.

2. Mahabodhi Temple

Initially constructed in the 7th century, Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya is one of the most beautiful architectural masterpieces in India. This temple was built to be dedicated to Lord Buddha and have undergone many reconstructions in 1880. You will notice that the design of the temple resembles a pyramid, and it has a base with an area of 48 square kilometres. Even if you are not a Buddhist, this temple will accept you with open arms. The authorities of the temple are tolerant of all religions.

As many Hindus believe that Lord Buddha was the ninth reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, this temple is quite essential for them as well. That is why you will find a Shivalingam in the premises of the temple.

Amazing Place to Visit In Gaya-Mahabodhi TempleImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Mahabodhi Temple: 12.4 km.

Address: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231.

3. Barabar Caves

If you are a lover of history, you will find Barabar Caves to be one of the unique places in Gaya. These caves were found in the ancient period of the Mauryan reign between 322 to 185 BC. You will be surprised to know that these caves are the oldest rock-cut caves in the world. There are four different caves located over there, but the Lomas Rishi cave is the most popular one among them. As Lomas Rishi is the oldest among all the caves, you will find that it has been the influence for many caves in India.

You will be quite stunned to see the designs of the caves as most of them date back to 240 BC. There are many Hindu and Jain sculptures created on the caves which make them quite sacred to the people of both Hindu and Jain communities.

Incredible Place To Visit In Gaya-Barabar CavesImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Barabar Caves: 35 km.

Address: Barabar Hill Road, Barabar, Sultanpur, Bihar 804405.

4. Chinese Temple and Monastery

When you visit the Mahabodhi temple near Gaya, you will also notice the massive Chinese temple and monastery located over there. The Buddhist monks from China built this monastery in 1945, to preach Buddhism to India as well as strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Inside the temple, you will find a statue of Lord Buddha which is over 200 years old. In the year 1997, the temple underwent severe renovation. It is believed that the figure inside the temple is originally from China. There are three more statues of Lord Buddha which can be found over there.

Many chinese scholars took shelter inside the monastery of this temple in Gaya while exploring India. You will get a good idea about Buddhism in Bihar if you visit this temple.

Top Place to Visit In Gaya-Chinese Temple and MonasteryImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Chinese Temple and monastery: 12. 1 km.

Address: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231.

Timings: 8 am to 6 pm.

5. Bodhi Tree

Even if you are not a Buddhist, you must know about the famous Bodhi Tree. This tree is immensely renowned and sacred in the world because Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under it. As the temple is located quite close to the Mahabodhi temple, you will have no problem in finding it. But you must know the original tree is not present anymore. Instead, this tree is the fifth generation of the said tree. It is believed that the wife of King Ashoka killed the original tree as she could not take the amount of dedication her husband provided towards Buddhism.

According to local folklore, Emperor Ashoka poured a lot of milk on the uprooted tree to revive it. Even though the said facts do not have any concrete proof, people believe them. King Sesaka in 600 AD again destroyed the tree. But finally, the current tree was planted by King Purnavarma in 620 AD.

Nice Place to Visit In Gaya-Bodhi TreeImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Bodhi Tree: 12.5 km.

Address: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231.

6. Royal Bhutan Monastery

Royal Bhutan Monastery is one of the most beautiful monasteries in India, and it is a perfect place to sharpen your knowledge about Lord Buddha and Buddhism. In this museum, you will get to know about the life and dedication of Gautam Buddha in great details. The architecture of the monastery is also quite grand, and it is one of the most coveted monasteries in the world. When you enter the building, you will notice a statue of Lord Buddha which is around seven-feet tall.

The best part about this monastery is the atmosphere surrounding the building. It is so peaceful that your mind will instantly be at rest when you enter its premises. The different depictions made on the wall of the monastery will allow you to know a lot about Gautam Buddha.

Beautiful Place to Visit In Gaya-Royal Bhutan MonasteryImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Royal Bhutan Monastery: 12.1 km.

Address: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231.

7. Dungeshwari Cave Temples

Dungeshwari cave temples are an important place for the Hindu as well as the Buddhist people because it is said that Lord Buddha spent many years over there. The temple is commonly known as Mahakala temple because it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. You will find many caves in the area where you might find many unique facts about Gautam Buddha. He went there to do some soul-searching before he started his journey in Bodh Gaya. When you enter the premises of the temple, you will feel the calmness of the atmosphere.

We would suggest you go there by keeping some time in your hands and stay there for a bit. You will feel rejuvenated by spending some quiet time in the temple caves.

Sightseeing Place to Visit In Gaya-Dungeshwari Cave TemplesImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Dungeshwari cave temples: 17.3 km.

Address: Bihar 823003.

8. Muchalinda Lake

Muchalinda Lake is yet another site in this list which is one of the most sacred places for the people of the Buddhist religion. It is believed that Lord Buddha was saved by Muchalinda, a snake from a tremendous storm when he was meditating by the bank of the lake for six straight weeks. Nobody knows the actual truth regarding this place, but it is what people believe. There is even a temple constructed close to the lake where a statue of Lord Buddha with the snake can be seen.

Even if you are not religiously inclined, you will find this lake to be quite beautiful. The picturesque view of the lake is enough for anyone to spend some time there.

Must Visit Place Visit In Gaya-Muchalinda LakeImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Muchalinda Lake: 14.2 km.

Address: Mocharim, Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231.

9. Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum

Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum was created in 1956 to help people know about the different relics which were discovered. You will be able to witness some artefacts which are from the first century BC. Most of the relics found in this museum are of Hindu deities of Lord Buddha. Some of the artefacts are made of Gold, and some are even made of Silver and Bronze.

This museum is perfect for you if you are interested in archaeology. It is one of the unique places in Gaya.

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum: 12 km.

Address: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231.

10. Thai Temple and Monastery

The Thai monarch founded Thai Temple and Monastery in the year 1956 during the time of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The architecture of the temple is spectacular, and you will see the influence of Thai design quite vividly. As this is the only Thai temple in India, this spot is visited by several tourists throughout the year. You will see a statue of Lord Buddha inside the temple, which is 25-meter tall. The bronze statue of Gautam Buddha is not the only beautiful thing about this temple.

As a gorgeously landscaped garden surrounds the temple, you will find the outer view of the temple to be quite beautiful as well. Apart from the gorgeous architecture, this temple offers a peaceful ambience as well.

Top Tour Place In Gaya-Thai Temple and MonasteryImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Thai Temple and Monastery: 12 km.

Address: Bihar 823003.

11. Sujata Kuti

You might already know that a tribal woman named Sujata saved Gautam Buddha’s life by providing him with food when he was starving. That is why a structure was built to commemorate Sujata, and it was called Sujata Kuti.

It is believed Lord Buddha gave everything up in his life, including food to dedicate himself to the greater good. Sujata is the person who brought him back from the dead.

Top Tourist Place In Gaya-Sujata KutiImage Source

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Sujata Kuti: 12 km.

Address: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231.

12. Animesh Lochana Chaitanya Shrine

We have already mentioned that Gautam Buddha spent six continuous weeks meditating and Animesh Lochana Chaitanya Shrine is that spot where he spent the second week of meditation. Local people in Gaya believe, Lord Buddha continually stared at the Bodhi tree for weeks without even blinking once.

The name Animesh Lochan was provided because it means “Open Eyes”. You will find this site to be relatively peaceful.

The distance from Gaya bus stand to Animesh Lochana Chaitanya Shrine: 14 km.

Time: 7 am to 7 pm.

The places included in this blog are mostly dedicated to Lord Buddha. That is why Gaya is a must-visit place for you if you are a Buddhist. You will gain an instant calmness of mind when you explore the areas mentioned above.