One of India’s holiest cities, Gaya is a centre for various faiths and beliefs including Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Dotted with ancient temples and monasteries, the structures are testimony to the architectural brilliance of its past. For nature lovers too, Gaya is the perfect setting amidst hills, presenting a picturesque landscape that is calming and rejuvenating.
Located on the banks of Falgu river, the 18th-century temple is said to be constructed on Lord Vishnu’s footprints. However, the huge temple complex also displays images of various other Gods and Goddesses. There’s even a temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha in the courtyard of the Vishnupad Temple.
Bodhi Tree is where Gautam Buddha had attained spiritual enlightenment. Located on the southern side of Mahabodhi Temple, the tree however is believed to have been grown from a sapling of the original tree in 620 AD. Legend goes that, the Bodhi Tree was destroyed many times; once by Emperor Ashoka’s wife and later by King Sesaka.
Chinese Temple And Monastery
Located near the Mahabodhi Temple, the Chinese Temple was built by the government and the Buddhist monks of China in 1945. The 200-year-old Buddha statue found inside is said to be from China, along with three other golden statues of Buddha. Built in traditional Chinese architectural style, it’s quite a wonder to the eye.
Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum
Established in the 1950s, Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum houses several relics that were unearthed in Gaya. The collections include rare sculptures belonging to the 1st-century BC, antiques of Hindu deities and Buddha made of various metals including gold, bronze and silver.
Royal Bhutan Monastery
Known for its wonderful depiction of the life of Buddha, this monastery was built by the King of Bhutan and ranks amongst the most majestic monasteries in the country. It also houses a beautiful temple with a 7 feet tall Buddha statue inside. The serene atmosphere in the monastery makes it a wonderful place to meditate.