Top 15 places to visit in Bodh Gaya and Gaya

TravelBaits brings to you a comprehensive tourist guide of the holy cities of Bodh Gaya and Gaya. A tourist map is provided for convenient planning. Explore the monasteries, temples and holy caves in Gaya-Bodh Gaya with us!

Tourist Map:

1. Mahabodhi Temple

Image illustration of Mahabodhi Tour

A  UNESCO world heritage site, the Mahabodhi temple is the most revered place among the Buddhists. Located in Bodh Gaya, around 120 km from Patna, this is the place where Buddha attained enlightment under the Bodhi Tree. Since then, it has been the holy place of pilgrimage for the Buddhists and a popular tourist destination in Bodh Gaya.

2. Great Buddha Statue

Great Buddha Statue is 80 ft tall statue of Buddha sitting in a meditating position on a lotus leaf. It was built by the Daijokyo temple society and is being maintaned by them. It took almost seven years and 12000 masons to build this structure. It was inaugurated by His Holiness Dalai Lama in 1989 and is the first and the largest statue of Buddha ever constructed in India.It lies in the vicinity of the Mahabodhi Temple.

3. Muchalinda Lake

Located to the right of Mahabodhi Temple, Muchalinda lake also known as the Lotus Pond has a statue of Buddha  sitting on a snake coil with its hood above his head. It depicts the story of Buddha and the king of snake, Muchalinda. It is believed that during the sixth week of meditation, a storm broke out and caused discomfort to Buddha. It was then Muchalinda, the king of snakes appeared and protected him from the uproar of the storm.The serenic atmosphere around the lake adds to the beauty of this place.

4. Thai Monastery

Patna Bodh Gaya Spiritual tour

The Thai Monastetry in Bodh Gaya was built by the monarch of Thailand on request of the first prime minister of India, pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to strengthen ties between the two nations. It is a beautiful peace of architecture. The sloping roofs on both sided are covered with golden tiles. It is popular attraction amongst the Buddhists

5. Royal Bhutan Monastery

Royal Bhutan Monastery was constructed by he monarch of Bhutan as a tribute to Lord Buddha. It is one of the most popular attraction of Bodh Gaya. The seven-feet tall statue of Buddha and the clay carvings on the side walls depicting the life of Gautam Buddha is worth paying a visit to the temple. Bhutanese Monks living in the monastery organise prayers and conduct learning courses on Buddhism for the followers.

6. Indosan Nipponji Temple

Built by the Japanese organisation, Indosan Nipponji Temple in Bodh Gaya  appears like a shrine. It was constructed to promote and spread Buddhism in Bodh Gaya and India. It has a pagoda like architecture and corroborates the presence of Buddhist culture and tradition in Japan.

7. Daijokyo Buddhist Temple

Daijokyo Buddhist Temple was built in 1983 by the Daijokyo society. Shakado, the main building of the temple enshrines images of Daijokyo. The three storey pagoda-top building has a Reliquary hall on the third floor, where Buddha’s holy relics are enshrined and a Founder’s hall on the second floor, where founder Most Rev. Tatsuko Sugiyama Bronze bust js placed. In the vicinity of this temple lies the Great Buddha Statue constructed and maintained by the temple authorities.

8. Karma Temple

This picture is of Karma Temple in bodhgaya, Bihar

Karma Temple is a Tibetan Temple lying just beside the Daijokyo Buddhist temple. The walls of the Temple is painted with the life events of Buddha. A very unique thing about these paintings is that they have an Indian theme, with a Tibetan style and a  touch of western art. Bodh Gaya is the only place in India where different countries have built their temple to promote their culture and traditions among the followers of Buddhism.

9. Kalchakra Maidan

Kalchakra Maidan

The word Kalchakra comes from the two words, ‘Kala’ meaning time and’ Chakra’,  meaning Wheel. Hence the Kalchakra festival is all about the different cycles of human’s life. The festival is inaugurated and led by His Holiness Dalai Lama and is held in the Kalchakra Maidan in Bodh Gaya every year. The teachings and sessions of this ten-day long festival is attended by Buddhists/non Buddhists all over the world. Bodh Gaya is thronged by humongous crowd particularly this time of the year.

10. Dungeshwari Cave

This picture is of Duneshwari cavein Bodhgaya. Bihar

Dungshwari Caves also known as Mahakal caves lies 12 km north-east of Gaya. Lord Buddha spent a lot of time in these caves meditating in search of true knowledge. He later on proceeded to Bodh Gaya where he finally attained enlightenment. There are a total of 3 caves with one of the caves having a 6ft tall statue of Buddha. It is said that Buddha underwent severe penance meditating in these caves only to realise that one cannot attain enlightenment by self-indulgence or self-abasement. The driveway to the caves is quite scenic and gives an amazing experience of nature.

11. Sujata Stupa

This icture is illustration of Sujata Stupa

Sujata Stupa, the Buddhist stupa located in the village of Senanigram, Bakraur has been dedicated to the milkmaid lady Sujata who fed rice and milk to Buddha and ended his seven years of starving and ascetism.  It is believed that only after this incident, Buddha realised the Middle path to attain enlightenment. The stupa is believed to have been built in 2nd century BCE.

12. Burmese Monastery

Burmese monastery in Bodh gaya lies north to the Mahabodhi Temple on the old road to Gaya. It houses a library with a rich collection of books and free learning courses on Buddhism. It also houses a meditation center for people looking for tranquility and peace.

13. Vishnupad Temple

This picture is image illustration of Gaya Tour by TravelBaits

Vishnupad Temple is the one of the most important religious place for Hindus. The temple gets its name from the  legendary story of Lord and  Gayasur. Gayasur, a demon had attained a boon that anyone who sees him would attain salvation, thus unrighteous people also attained salvation by seeing him. It was then Lord Vishnu appeared and pushed the demon beneath the earth with his foot. His Footprint  is believed to be  in the temple incised on a block of basalt.The temple is also famous for performing pinddaan for one’s ancestors so that they attain salvation.

14. Barabar Caves

Barabar Caves is the oldest surviving rock cut caves in India in the jehanabad disctrict of Bihar. They belong to the Mauryan empire with Ashokan inscriptions on its walls. The caves are situated on the twin hills of Barabar and Nagarjuni hills. The caves are dated around 3rd century BCE. One must visit these unique caves on the way to gaya

15. Mangla Gauri Temple

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Mangla Gauri Temple is one of the eighteen shaktipeeths in India worshipping Goddess Sati. According to mythology all the shaktipeeths are built at places where a body part of Goddess Sati fell after Lord Vishnu had cut her into 51 pieces with his Sudarshan Chakra. At Mangla Gauri temple, located on Mangla Gauri hills, Goddess Sati is worshiped in the form of breast, which is a symbol of nourishment. It is believed that wishes and prayers of all people coming to this temple comes true.