Formerly known as Uruvela, Vajrasana, Mahabodhi and Sambodhi, Bodh Gaya is a religious township in Gaya district of Bihar. It is here that Buddha attained Enlightenment and is hence the most sacred place for Buddhists.
Historians believe that Prince Gautam came to Bodh Gaya around 500 BC; he meditated under a Bodhi tree for three days and nights, and attained answers to his questions.
His disciples started visiting the tree during April-May; eventually the place came to be known as Bodh Gaya. Several ancient pilgrims like Faxian in the 5th century have documented the history of the place.
It was the core of Buddhist civilization for centuries, until it was conquered in the 13th century by Turks.
Bodh Gaya is famed for Spirituality, Religious Centre and Education
Bodh Gaya is home to the Mahabodhi Temple complex, which also contains the Bodhi tree and the Vajrasana or ‘Diamond Throne’. Emperor Ashoka is considered to be the founder of the temple. There are several other Buddhist temples and monasteries in Bodh Gaya. Many of these have been built by devotees from other Buddhist countries. Many shrines display articles purified by Buddha during his Enlightenment.
There are several museums and institutes like the Root Institute where visitors go to learn about Buddhism by attending seminars or participating in activities.
People of all religions visit Bodh Gaya by the thousands, to take in the atmosphere.
Bodh Gaya’s Culture
Life in Bodh Gaya revolves around the Temples and monasteries. The chanting of hymns and prayers can be heard everywhere. It is tranquil in and around the complex, with the surrounding city being a stark contrast.
The state Government has initiated a plan to make sure that a prosperous future can be sustained for Bodh Gaya. Most of the people in Bodh Gaya are engaged in spiritual pursuit, and the others earn by offering services like accommodation and selling food and memorabilia to the visitors.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
Summers are very hot so the best time to visit Bodh Gaya is winter, from October-March