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About Bodhgaya (Bodh Gaya)
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Bodhgaya (bodh Gaya) : Overview
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Area Size :  48 sq.km Sq. Km.   Population :  27000 Millions.  
Popular Languages :  Bojpuri, Bihari, Hindi  
Mahabodhiflowers > Bodhgaya (bodh Gaya)

Bodh Gaya or Bodhgaya is a city in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous for being the place of Gautama Buddha's attainment of nirvana (Enlightenment).

Historically, it was known as the Bodhimanda (ground around the Bodhi-tree), Uruvela, Sambodhi, Vajrasana and Mahabodhi.The name Bodh Gaya did not come into use until the 18th century. The main monastery of Bodhgaya used to be called the Bodhimanda-vihāra (Pali). Now it is called the Mahabodhi Temple.

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The surrounding town, by contrast, is dusty, noisy and somewhat polluted, due in large part to the large numbers of pilgrims and tourists who visit there. A new development plan has been proposed to "ensure a sustainable and prosperous future" for Bodh Gaya, but has become controversial because such a plan may require the relocation of whole neighborhoods.

History:

According to Buddhist traditions, circa 500 BC Prince Gautama Siddhartha, wandering as an ascetic, reached the sylvan banks of Falgu River, near the city of Gaya. There he sat in meditation under a bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa). After three days and three nights of meditation, Siddharta attained enlightenment and insight, and the answers that he had sought. He then spent seven weeks at seven different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his experience. After seven weeks, he travelled to Sarnath, where he began teaching Buddhism.

Disciples of Gautama Siddhartha began to visit the place where he had gained enlightenment during the full moon in the month of Vaisakh (April-May), as per the Hindu calendar. Over time, the place became known as Bodh Gaya, the day of enlightenment as Buddha Purnima, and the tree as the Bodhi Tree.

The history of Bodh Gaya is documented by many inscriptions and pilgrimage accounts. Foremost among these are the accounts of the Chinese pilgrims Faxian in the 5th century and Xuanzang in the 7th century. The area was at the heart of a Buddhist civilization for centuries, until it was conquered by Turkish armies in the 13th century.

 

The best time to visit Bodhgaya is during winter (October-February)


BY Air: The nearest airport is at Gaya 7 Kms and Patna 135 kms. Indian Airlines and Sahara Airlines connect Patna to Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow and various other cities.

BY Rail: The nearest railway station is Gaya (17km).

BY Road: Bodhgaya is well connected by road to Gaya (17km), Nalanda (101 km), Rajgir (78 km), Patna (135km), Varanasi (252 km), Calcutta (495km)

Local Transport: Taxis, Tongas, Auto Rickshaws, Cycle Rickshaws are available.

BY Bus : Regular direct bus services are available from Gaya, Patna, Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi. Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation run buses from Patna- Bodhgaya route twice a day.

BY Conducted Tour : Chartered buses or taxis are arranged from Ranchi and Patna by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation.

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