Gaya Museum-Bihar

Gaya Museum-Bihar
About:
Bodh Gaya Museum is located near the Mahabodhi temple. It houses antiquities excavated in and around Bodh Gaya. Museum has a large collection of Buddhist and Hindu relics, terracotta seals, scriptures and railings/pillars from the Sunga period (1 BC to 1 AD). Bodh Gaya Museum houses many artifacts and excavated articles which point towards the astonishing and modern lifestyle of the residents of the hidden societies. The museum has restored and displayed many old scriptures and educational aids which were consumed by the Universities to train their students who were from far-flung places such as China and Mongolia.  

The huge personal collection of Shri Baldeo Prasad are kept in the museum. Gaya Museum is the treasure house of over 3000 antiquities. The museum houses sculptures, bronzes, terracotta, photographs, manuscripts, arms of Pal, Mayurayan and Gupta period. The children section of Gaya Museum is very interesting. It includes numismatics, geology, natural history, decorative arts, paintings and sketches. Gaya Museum is open from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M and remains closed on Mondays, Holi, Durga, Puja, Chhath, Independence Day, Republic Day.

Here you will also find things dated back to 6th century BC, bits and pieces of Buddhism, the decomposed but excavated structure of Nalanda University, plenty of Buddha stupas, shrines, terracotta seals, scriptures and railings/pillars from the Sunga period (1 BC to 1 AD) and several other things connected to the past history of this place. One of the most well-known places in Bihar, Gaya is surrounded by three hills – Brahmyoni, Pretshila and Ramshila. Though more important for Hindus, Gaya, 12 km from Bodh Gaya in Bihar, is held in great reverence by the Buddhists of the country as well. The Buddha stayed here for sometime and delivered His famous fire sermon on what is today known as the Brahmyoni hill.
Location info:
Address:Gaya Museum,Gaya,Bihar,India
District:Gaya
Nearest City:Gaya
Best time to visit: October to March
Climate/Weather:
Summer- Max. 43, Min. 21. Winter – Max. 20, Min. 6. Rainfall: 120 cms.
History:
The museum was founded in the year 1956. The museum consists of two porticos and an open courtyard as well as two verandahs exhibiting the antiquities. The museum exhibits bronze and stone figurines of Buddhist and Brahmanical reliance of pala period, scenes related to Buddhist pantheon, Surya, Zodiac signs on railings of Sunga age.
Interesting things to do:
Festivals Celebrated:
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in a very big way in Bodhgaya temples. The festival, celebrated on a full moon day in April/May, attracts devotees from all parts of the world. Another important festival is Nyingma Monlam Chenmo, held in January-February for about three weeks. In this festival, prayers are held for world peace. The Dalai Lama has also attended the festival on a few occasions.
Interesting things to Visit:
Brahmayoni (Brahmajuni) Hill: 
At a distance of 1 km southwest of the Vishnupada Temple, this hill offers some fantastic views of city from its top. Also, on the top are two narrow caves – Brahmayoni and Matreyoni – Passing through these caves, it is believed, no one will experience rebirth. A temple dedicated to the Asthabujadevi and other goddesses is at the top too. To reach the top, you need to take an arduous 40 to 60 minutes walk up 424 high stone steps.

Tankitamancha: 
A place of Buddhist interest, it is now a huge tank known as Sujikind. Here, at this place, it is believed, the Buddha met and conversed with evil spirit, Suchiloma. Reference regarding Suchiloma cam be found in Sutta Nipata, discourse No 5. The tank is surrounded by huge walls of stone block and at its northern end are quiet a few Buddhist stupas and statues.
Barabar Caves: 
20 kms from Gaya, Barabar Caves are amongst the earliest Buddhist rock cut caves. The caves were initially constructed during the reign of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century and additions were made later on. The Barabar Caves basically comprise three types of caves – Nagarjuna caves, caves of the five Pandavas and the Hut caves. The first one is the largest one and portray Jataka tales. The second one, as per its name, served as the residence of the five Pandava brothers during their exile. The Hut Caves, again, as per their name, are shaped like hut, three sides have stone walls while the rest is open.

Aurangabad Caves:
Located in the outskirts, the caves are carved out between the second century and the sixth century. These caves are famous for their architecture and intricate carvings. Among the twelve caves most fascinating are the Caves 3 and 7.

Ghrishneswar Temple:
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the jyotirlings. Built in the 18th century, it houses many shrines of gods such as Vishnu, Ganesh, Shiva, Parvati etc. Made of red sandstone, it also includes shrines of Mahabharata heroes.

Bibi – Ka – Maqbara:
TBuilt in 1678, this monument is called the ‘Taj of South India’. It is a mausoleum made by Prince Azam Shah, for his mother Begum Rabia Durani, wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Visitors can see fantastic work of Mughal architecture here.

Daulatabad:
Named by Mohammed Bin Tughlaq, it is located 13km away from Aurangabad and was earlier called Devgiri. Built in the 12th century, these fortresses are crowned atop a hill. Known for the brilliant architecture, it served as the headquarters of the Yadava rulers.

Bodh Gaya Archaeological Museum:
Buddhist pilgrims in Bodhgaya, India The archaeological museum is must visit for religious art lovers. The museum has a huge collection of stone sculptures and other artifacts. The museum reflects the age of Buddha through several art forms. It houses the Buddhist sculpture collection from 1st Century B.C to 11th Century A.D.
Mobile range info:
 
How to reach?
Nearest Railway Station:Gaya railway station is also connected by the rest of the country by trains. Many of the trains that run between Delhi and Kolkata go through Gaya. Direct trains also operate to destinations like Patna, Puri and Varanasi
Nearest Airport: Gaya airport international one and connects it to destinations like Yangon and Bangkok. Domestically, it is connected to destinations like Varanasi.
Road Transport:Gaya is connected by road to all the other important cities and towns of Bihar and neighbouring states– Rajgir, Patna, Giridih, Deogarh, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Tata and Kolkata.
Nearest Visiting places:
The Vishnupada Temple: 
Standing on the subterranean banks of the river Falgu, the Vishnupada temple is 3 km away from the city. It was constructed by RajaRadhakanta Dev of Shovbazaar, Kolkata and renovated by Rani Ahalya Bai of Indore. The temple has a 30 m high tower that rests on 8 rows of decorated pillars covered with silver. Within, 16 inches long and 6 inches wide lotus feet of Lord Vishnu is imprinted on a solid rock, 48 inches diametre. The footprint, which is the primary object of worship in the temple, is surrounded by silver plated basin. Devotees offer water on the stone imprint on behalf of their forefathers. Also within the temple complex is the Akshaya vat, or the immortal banyan tree where last rites of an expired person is perfomed as per Hindu tradition. It is also believed that the Buddha practised meditation under this tree before going to Bodh Gaya and attaining enlightenment.  

Ramshila Hill: 
Located 5 kms from the Vishnupad temple, the Ramshila Hill has a Sita Ram Lakshman Temple and Paleswara temple at its top. At Ramkund, pinda is offered.

Pretshila Hill: 
3 kms ahead of the Ramshila Hill is the Pretshila Hill with a kund at the bottom. Here, pind-dan of those who died in accidents is performed.

Deo Sun Temple: 
Deo is located north of the Vishnupada temple on the banks of the Sone river, around 20 km from Gaya.The Sun temple here is extremely famous. During the Chhat puja celebration (6 days after Dipawali), pilgrims stand waist deep in the water of the river and offer prayers as well as newly harvested grains, fruits and home made sweets to Sun god. A fair is also held here during this puja.

Pawapuri:
Pawapuri is also known as Apapuri, it is believed that all sins for a devout Jain end here. Lord Mahavira who was the last Tirthankar breathed his last here around 500 B.C and was cremated on the bank of a large lake, overflowing with beautiful lotuses. Pawapuri, the place where Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, attained his enlightenment is located 38 kms from Rajgir and 90 kms from Patna.Legend has it that after the cremation of Mahavira, in order to meet the demand for his ashes, a large amount of soil was removed from around the funeral pyre, creating the water-tank. The beautiful marble Jalmandir was later built in the middle of the tank. Jal Mandir, the white marble temple in the middle of this lake, blooming with beautiful lotus flowers affords a breathtakingly enchanting sight. A large number of Jain pilgrims throng here. Samosharan, another Jain temple, is also located here. There are five other temples in the vicinity.

Vaishali:
The world’s first democracy with a duly elected council– Vajji, had its seat of administration in Vaishali. Being associated with Buddha and Jain Tirthankars, Vaishali has emerged as a historical and scenic place. Lord Buddha came thrice here and also gave his last sermon at Vaishali. Amrapali, a courtesan, gifted a mango grove to Buddha and later she became a Buddhist nun. Vaishali was also the venue for the second Buddhist council, 100 years after the death of Buddha.Vaishali is also considered to be the birthplace of Jain Tirthankar, Mahavira, by the Swetambar sect of Jains. Many historical monuments and material were found in the excavations at Vaishali

Barabar caves:
The Barabar caves, generally found in the shape of a cottage or hut, open on one side with other three sides walled with stone. With their interiors smooth and soothing, these caves also served as retreats for the Jain and Buddhist monks. Among the Buddhist caves, the Lomas Rishi cave is the finest example of the world famous Indian Buddhist Chaitya arch style.

Barabar hills:
Barabar hills located at a distance of 20 kilometers from Gaya in Bihar, comprises numerous temples constructed from black granite stones. Built for the first time during Ashoka’s reign with contributions in the later period also, these caves look like wood from a distance.

Nagarjuna caves:
The Nagarjuna caves, large in size, depicts the Jataka tales. An excellent work of architecture, these caves includes bow shaped arches at the entrance, circular halls and mini caves, all polished from inside. The Sudama cave, a two chambered structure with polished interiors, is the perfect example of this type of cave. Towards the north of the Sudama cave lies Karan Choper or Supriya cave, which is a single chambered structure with a vaulted roof and small gate. Secondly, the caves of the five Pandavas form another part of the Barabar caves. THese caves, used by five brothers, the Pandavas in their exile in the Mahabharata period, are small in size.

Swarna Bhandar:
The Swarna Bhandar or the King Bimbisara’s treasury, is also known as the twin rock cut caves in Rajgir. a major tourist destination, two cave chambers were hollowed out of a single massive rock, one of which is believed to have been the guards’ room. The rear wall or the doorway which has two straight vertical lines and one horizontal line cut into the rock, is supposed to lead to king Bimbisara’s treasury. The inscriptions carved on the wall in Sankhalipi or shell script has not be deciphered yet and considered to be the clue to open the golden treasury.

Bodhi Tree:
This tree is worshipped as holy, divine and as a giver of enlightenment and wisdom. It is under this banyan tree (a pipal tree) that Lord Buddha meditated after renouncing all worldly pleasures and attained wisdom and divine enlightenment.The present Bodhi Tree is probably the fifth succession of the original tree under which the Buddha had attained enlightenment. Vajrasana (the posture in which he meditated), the seat of stability, is a stone platform on which the Buddha is supposed to have sat in meditation gazing east, under the Bodhi tree.

Mahabodhi Temple:
Buddhism is today a world-renowned religion. It is this temple that witnessed the divine enlightenment of Gautama Siddartha who renounced all worldly pleasures to find the answers to the questions that stirred his soul. He meditated under a pipal tree here and attained insight and wisdom that he preached to the world. This tree is also referred to as the “Bodhi tree”. A visit to this holy place will explain to you why the UNESCO declared it as a World heritage site in the year 2002. The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya built around 6th-7th centuries, is the largest but is a later structure constructed on the site of the Bodhi Shrine of Buddha. This temple was constructed by the famous Emperor Asoka who embraced Buddhism after feeling guilty of leading a life of war and destruction.
The temple is 170 ft high consisting of nine storeys of pyramidal towers. The structure has a stupa-shaped dome at the top. At the base of the main tower are four towers at each of the four corners. On the edifice are several niches with Buddha images depicting scenes from his life. As you enter the temple you can see the main shrine which is built where Buddha attained Enlightenment. The place is called “the Navel of the Earth” (puthavinabhim) where Buddha gained wisdom, knowledge, and light and later experienced this joy of liberation for the next seven days sitting there.

TARA STHAN:
It is situated at a distance of about 16 Kms west of Saharsa in village Mahishi where an ancient temple of Bhagwati Tara is built. The idol of Bhagwati Tara is said to be very old and draws devotees from far and wide. On either side of the main deity, there are two smaller female deities which are worshipped by the people as Ekjata nad Nil Saraswati.

Chandika Sthan at BIRATPUR:
Biratpur village under Sonebarsa block of this district is famous for an ancient temple of goddess Chandi. This village is also associated with King Birat of the Mahabharat age. During exile the Pandavas had lived here for 12 years. The tantric Scholars and devotees attach much significance to this Chandi temple, which is said to form an equilateral triangle (TRIK) WITH Katyayani temple near Dhamhara ghat and Tara temple at Mahishi. During the Navratra people from distant places visit the village to offer prayers to the goddess of power.

Madan Bharti Asthan:
The place is situated in Mahishi Block. It is said that a religious discourse (Shastrath) was held between Shankaracharya and the local scholar Mandan Mishra. Bharti, wife of Madan Mishra, who was also a great scholar, was named as Judge for the discourse. It is also said that Shankaracharya, after his initial victory over Madan Mishra was challenged by Bharati, was outwitted by her and he (accepted defeat).

SUN Temple at Kandaha:
Like Deb (in Aurangabad district), the SUN Temple at Kandaha village is an important religious and historical place which has been duly recognized by the Archaeological Survey of India. The idol of sun god riding seven horsed chariot, has been carved on a single granite slab. At the door of the sanctum sanctorum, there are inscriptions which a deciphered by historians, confirm that this sun temple was built during the period of king Narsimha Deo of Karnata dynasty who ruled over Mithila in the 12th century. It is said that a brutal Mughal emperor named Kalapahad had damaged the temple which was however renovated by the famous saint poet Laxminath Gosai.

Laxminath Gosai Sthal at Bangoan:
The famous saint and poet of which is hardly 9 Km away from the district headquarter. The huge bunyan tree under which the remains of Gosaiji have been preserved is the centre of great reverence for the people of the district.

Dewan Ban Mandir:
One Shiv Ling is established in the temple situated in Sahpur-Manjhoul of Nauhatta block. It is said that the Ling was established by Maharaja Shalivahan some time in 100BC. The Hindus celebrate a festival called jitiya after the name of Jimutbahan who was the son of Maharaja Shalivahan. Description of this place is found in Shri Puran. The ancient shrine at Dewan Ban was washed away by the turbulent Koshi river. The local people have however build another temple in the adjacent area.

Nauhatta:
It is an old village, important since the time of Mughals and is presently the headquarters of the block of the same name. The village has a ‘Shiva temple’ about 80 feet in height. The temple which was damaged in the earthquake of 1934 was reconstructed by Raja Srinand Singh of Srinagar Estate. There is a grave of Madho Singh on an earthen mound about 50 feet high. Madho Singh had become a martyr in the battle of Ladri Ghat. Offerings are made on he rave both by Hindus and Muslims.

Bihar School of Yoga:
Bihar School of Yoga houses a Yoga Research Library. Comprising of a well-stocked and large collection of books and data, the library is an asset in itself. Here, you will find the school’s publication on Yoga, health techniques and research, apart from other books on yoga. The school, located at Ganga Darshan, is built over a large hill overlooking the Utter-Vahini Ganga. The location of the training is very apt, as it provides the perfect ambience for the establishment of such a training centre.

Bhimbandh Wild Life Sanctuary:
Occupying an area of about 682 sq km, Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the south-west of Munger District of Bihar. The sanctuary falls to the south of the river Ganges and is at a distance of 56 km from Munger. Besides being famous for its wildlife, the place is also well accounted for its hot water springs. These hot springs are basically found at the valley portion and the foothills of Bhimbandh.
Nearest Petrol Pump:
Petrol Pump Dobhi Gaya:Gaya,Bihar,India
Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation:
Lotus Nikko Bodhgaya Hotel:Bodhgaya,Gaya,Bihar,India
Hotel Pankaj:Tekari Road,Gaya,Bihar,India,MO:09955811250
Hotel Gharana:Hotel Gharana,South Church Road,Near Gandhi Maindan,Gaya,Bihar,India,ph:0631 2225512
Things to carry:
 
Tips & Suggestions:
 
Help Line/Phone Number:
Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:
Government Hospital:Jehanabad,Bihar,India
Holy Family Hospital:Koderma,Jharkhand,India
Society/Community Phone Number:
Link:

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