Bodhgaya is one of the most sacred places located in the Gaya district of Bihar. It is one of the most visited places and has become a Buddhist pilgrimage centre of high significance. It is famous for Mahabodhi temple and Bodhi tree. It is believed that Buddha meditated under this tree. The Prince Gautama gained supreme knowledge in this city and came to be known as Buddha. Buddhist religion is practiced by local people of the city. In earlier times, Ashoka built Buddhist monasteries and the pillars which are also known as the Ashoka Pillars. Here people can see various places such as Mahabodhi Temple, Animesh Lochan Chaitya, Chankramana and many more attractions. This place is a pilgrimage destination where people visit from all over the country to view Buddhism, its culture and tradition. Various monasteries and temples have been constructed here by international Buddhist communities.
Gaya airport is located at a distance of about 7 km from the main city. Tourists can get direct and indirect flights to various destinations from the airport. Gaya Railway station is located at a distance of 17 km from the city. Trains to Kolkata, Varanasi, Delhi, Patna, Puri and many more cities are easily available. Trains are frequent and offer comfort in reaching different destinations.
Summers start from March and end by May. Temperature ranges from a maximum of 45°C to 47°C to a minimum of 27 °C during this period. The city experiences plenty of rain during monsoon period between June and August. Climate is pleasant in this season. Winter is very pleasant and lasts from December to February. Temperature ranges between 28°C to 4°C during winters. The best time to visit Bodhgaya is from October to March.
The most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage centre in the world is none other than Bodh Gaya. Though it is just a village in the state of Bihar, it is of utmost importance because Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment over here under a banyan tree, what is now known as Bodhi Tree. Though almost everything in this religious site revolves around the Mahabodhi Temple complex, there are many other monasteries and temples that are equally symbolic and important to Bodh Gaya's history. All these paint a detailed picture of the region's connection with spirituality and religion since its foundation. On the other hand, Bodh Gaya is full of natural beauty. Its untouched character contributes to its scenic beauty. Two of those sites that are full of serenity and natural beauty here are Muchalinda Lake and Dungeswari Hills.
Mahabodhi Temple: At an approximate distance of 115 km from Patna, the pious complex of Mahadobhi Temple stands silent since 3rd century B.C. to welcome devotees, historians and amateur travellers from far off continents. As Siddhartha Gautama is said to have attained Enlightenment here, the temple bears a strong relationship with the life of Lord Buddha. The temple was initially built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C. that experienced the use of brick in construction. The complex today encompasses a 50 m high grand temple, the historical Bodhi Tree, ancient Votive stupas, Lotus Pond, granite pillars and the Vajrasana.
A classical style of Indian temple architecture influences the Mahabodhi Temple. The four statues of Lord Buddha at the four corners of the parapet cast a magical spell upon visitors. While the temple delights human eyes with the multifarious statues of Lord Buddha, its rich philosophical and cultural history help enrich their knowledge about the country's foregone glory that is preserved and is expected to be preserved for times to come. The Mahabodhi Temple is now one of the holiest and most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India and the world that has also earned the distinction of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bodhi Tree: One religion whose fame, glory and teachings have reached international quarters is Buddhism. The religious site of Bodh Gaya in Bihar is strongly associated with Mahabodhi Temple Complex dedicated to Gautama Buddha of Buddhist religion. It is said that Lord Buddha obtained Enlightenment under what later became famous as the 'Bodhi Tree'. The prominently displayed heart shaped leaves of the Bodhi Tree attract the attention of pilgrims, historians and leisure tourists from round the world. The tree is also the most important one amongst all four major Buddhist pilgrimage sites. History states that day Gautama Siddhartha attained enlightenment, it came to be known as Buddha Purnima and the tree as 'Bodhi Tree'. Monks to pilgrims, all visit this holy plant body to lay down their prayers and imbibe the sacred teaching of Buddha.
Tibetan Monastery: This monastery was constructed in 1938 and has a Dharma Chakra inside it. It is a large metal ceremonial drum which is 2 meters high. This drum is red and gold in colour. Like a wheel it is turned three times when people pray for forgiveness of sins.
Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum: Archaeological Museum, Bodhgaya is a place of utmost religious knowledge and Buddhist artistic skills. It was established in the year 1956 near Mahabodhi Temple in order to restore the rich Buddhist artworks and spread their brilliance to different parts of the world. An exquisite collection of Lord Buddha images, miniature pots, coping stones, terracotta stuff, stone sculptures and Buddhist and Hindu relics are displayed across the museum. Interestingly, apart from Buddhist artworks, the museum also displays a collection of rare Mughal era coins along with antique relics and monuments of Mauryan and Gupta Empires. A fantastic collection of treasured artifacts and engravings opens doors to understand Gaya's specialty and historical importance, which is bestowed upon it since its inception.