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Places to see in Gaya

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    Best time to Visit Gaya: Jan,Feb,dec

    Category : Pilgrimage: Pilgrimage

    Duration(days) : 2 Days

    Address : Gaya, Bihar, India

    Description

    Gaya is one of the sacred place for the Hindus, particularly for the ritual of Pind Dan
    According to Hindu religious scriptures, every Hindu is expected to perform Pind Dan once in his lifetime to pacify his ancestors above in heaven. The ritual has been in practice since the days of the Ramayana and even Lord Ram came to Gaya accompanied with wife Sita to perform Pind Dan for his ancestors.

     

    Gaya is situated on the banks of the Phalgu / Falgu River. 
    It is surrounded by small rocky hills by three sides and the river flowing on the fourth side. 

    Gaya finds mention in the great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. 
    Rama, along with Sita and Lakshmana, visited Gaya to offer pind-daan to their father Dasharath. 
    In the Mahabharata, the place is referred to as Gayapuri. 

     

    Gaya derives its name from the mythological demon Gayasur (which literally means Gaya the demon). According to legends, the demon's body turned pious after he performed rigid penance and secured blessings from Vishnu. It was said that the body of Gayasura was transformed into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of Gaya.

     

    The Vishnupad Temple is the prime attraction of Gaya. It is the popular temple at the river bank; where the Pind Dan ritual is performed.

     

    About 12 km from Gaya town is Bodh Gaya, the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment.


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    Vishnupaada Mandir / Temple

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    Vishnupad Temple is sacred Hindu temple. The Gaya city has been developed around the temple. The temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. According to believers and religious texts, the footprints inside the temple are those of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex is quite big and houses many images of different Gods and Goddesses. There are many other shrines in and around the temple. Vishnupaada Temple is the most sacred site of offerings for the ancestors.
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      Akshayabat

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      Akshayabat is located in the compound of Vishnupad temple. Akshyavat is a banyan tree, which is believed to be blessed by Sita to be immortal; hence it remains green throughout the year.
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        Surya Kund

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        Surya Kund is a major tourist attraction. It is located on the west side of the famous Vishnupad temple. Devotees believe that a holy dip in the pond gets rid them of their sins. Surya Kund becomes most visited place on Chhath festival; when Sun God is worshiped and people from near by places come to take a dip in this holy water.
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          Prapitaamaheshwara Temple

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          Prapitaamaheshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is visited for giving offerings to ancestors. Prapitaamaheswara temple is one of the oldest temples in Gaya and it dates back to the Pala dynasty of the 11th century CE. This temple is built of black basalt and it stands adjacent to two hills (Bhramayoni and Vasmakuta) that are considered sacred.
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            Mangla Gauri Temple / Mangal Gauri Saktipeeth

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            The Mangala Gauri Temple is dedicated to Ma Mangala Gauri, a benevolent incarnation of Shakti. The present temple was built in the 15th century and has been mentioned in the Puranas and some ancient Tantric texts. It is believed that during Shiva’s Tandav after Sati’s self immolation, her breasts fell in this place. The temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeetha Temples.
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              Dakshinaarka Sun Temple

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              Dakshinaarka Sun Temple is Gaya was built in the 13th century by South Indian emperor Prataparudra of Warangal. Dakshinaarka Temple or Sun Temple in Gaya is an ancient shrine, which is also mentioned in the Hindu religious book Vaayu Purana. The temple is of supreme significance for all those visiting Gaya for pind daan. Devotees make offerings to their deceased ancestors near the Surya Kunda or Dakshina Maanas tank built right in front of Sun Temple. Located close to the Vishnupad Temple, this shrine has simple architecture with a dome-shaped top.
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                Phalgu /Falgu River ghats

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                Phalgu River is also known as Niranjana river. This river is considered in special status and is a sacred site for performing ancestral rites. Currently, 11 ghats along the west bank of the Phalgu River are used for rituals, bathing, and ancestral rites. The name Phalgu is a combination of phala (merit) and gau (wishgiving cow).
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                  Brahmayoni temple

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                  Brahmayoni Hill is located at a distance of 5 kms from Gaya. There is a small temple located at a hill top and one should climb 400 steps to reach the temple. This temple consists five-headed female image, who is worshipped as a female energy of Brahma i.e Brahmayoni. Brahmayoni hill was the place where Buddha preached the fire-sermon (Adittapariyaya Sutta) to thousand fire worshipping ascetics and it is said that each ascetic became enlightened after hearing his teachings.
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                    Pretshila Hill

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                    Pretshila Hill (meaning Hill of Ghost), around 8 km north-west of Gaya, is a revered place for Hindus where they do pind daan (a religious ritual performed for the peace of the departed souls). On top of the hill lies a temple dedicated to Lord Yama, who as per Hindu mythology is the God of Death.
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                      Dungeshwari Cave Temples / Mahakala Caves

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                      Dungeshwari Cave Temples, also known as Mahakala Caves is at a distance of 12 kms from Gaya. It is believed that Lord Buddha meditated in the three caves here before continuing his journey to Bodhgaya. You can see a beautiful 6 feet tall golden statue of Buddha, in one of the cave temples.
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                        Bodh Gaya

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                        Bodh Gaya is at a distance of 12 kms from Gaya. It is the famous place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. Check out the following link for popular attractions of Bodh Gaya http://navigers.com/user/weekend_gateways/weekend_detals/IjEyMCI=
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                          Barabar Caves

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                          Barabar Caves are believed to be the oldest rock-cut caves in India. They are located at a distance of 31 kms from Gaya at Sultanpur. They are group of 4 caves; and some of the caves have inscriptions that date back to the Ashokan period. There are many Hindu and Jain sculptures in the caves that are believed to have been carved out of huge boulders from 273 BC to 232 BC. These caves have an echo effect because of their polished interiors.
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                            By Air
                            Gaya Airport is situated between Gaya (7 km) and Bodh Gaya (11 km). It is an international airport.
                            Patna airport is at a distance of 130 kms.

                             

                            By Train
                            Gaya Junction railway station has good rail connectivity with major cities of India.

                             

                            By Road
                            Gaya has good road connectivity. It has frequent bus service from neighbouring cities.
                            Gaya is 100 kms from Patna, the capital city of Bihar. 
                            Some other important distances to note are:
                            Bodh Gaya - 12 kms
                            Nalanda - 75 kms
                            Patna - 115 kms
                            Varanasi - 266 kms
                            Allahabad - 375 kms
                            Ayodhya - 472 kms
                            Lucknow - 574 kms