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Bodhgaya Tour

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Bodhgaya Tour
 
Bodhgaya TourBodhgaya is regarded as the turning point in the life of Buddha. After renouncing the material pleasures and wandering as an ascetic for six years, Prince Siddhartha decided to practice austerities and find the answers to his questions. The Prince continued his meditation even after his abstinence of food intake.

Sujata, in order to get her desires fulfilled offered the ascetic under the banyan tree a golden bowl of milk rice. This was his first meal after 49 days of fasting and meditation.

After that meal, prince bathed in the river Niranjana. When he finished his meditation, the Prince threw the golden bowl in the river, saying, “If I am successful in meditation and if I am awakened, then this bowl will go upstream.”

The site where Buddha received enlightenment became famous as Bodhgaya, one of the most sacred centers of the Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour. The sacred Banyan Tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment is revered for its spiritual shade, inspiring the followers to attain spiritual awakening. The serene calm of the isolated spiritual epicenter at Bodhgaya is also a blossoming site for Buddhist monasteries, where meditation is a common practice.

That bowl floating against the currents testified the fact that Prince turned ascetic became Buddha.

During Bodhgaya Tour, pilgrims should not miss the chance to marvel at the Mahabodhi Temple and sit under the calming shade of Bodhi Tree, an offshoot from the original sapling inside the temple premises.

The temple is an epitome of cultural and brilliance amalgam of many centuries. Though the architecture of this temple has a distinct Gupta era stamp; the later additions of followers got this temple inscribed with inscriptions describing pilgrimage visits from far away lands like Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between 7th and 10th century AD.

Location
Located just 11 km away from Gaya, the city having international connectivity, Bodhgaya is a highly revered and worshipped spiritual center in Bihar. From the capital city of Patna, Bodhgaya is just 105 km away.

Attractions
Mahabodhi templeMahabodhi temple - Bodhgaya Tour is primarily centered towards Mahabodhi Temple, a major pilgrimage zone and one of the four must visit sites for a Buddhist follower. The temple stands near Bodhi Tree under which Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became Buddha.

This Great Awakening Temple was first built by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century B.C and is one of the earliest Buddhist brick temples still standing in India. The exemplary use of stone sculpted balustrades and memorials add distinct character to the development of unique Buddhist architecture at Mahabodhi Temple.

An inscription dated between 1st and 2nd century AD mentions that the temple of Ashoka was replaced with a few additions. The present temple is a specimen of 6th century AD. The enormous height of this Mahabodhi Temple is 170 ft, extending over square sanctum with a slender tapering design.

Mahabodhi Tree - Bodhgaya Tour is incomplete without a visit to Bodhi or Mahabodhi Tree. Under its spiritual shade only, Lord Buddha attained enlightenment of truthful knowledge. The present tree belongs to the fifth generation of original Bodhi offshoot. During a visit to Mahabodhi Tree, pilgrims can derive the inspirations from the meditating monks and start their journey to spiritual awakening.

Vajrasana - Vajrasana was the stone platform on which Prince Siddhartha sat with a dedication and belief to find all the answers to ignorance.

The Vajrasana at Bodhgaya is located close to the meditative Mahabodhi Temple between the temple and the Bodhi tree. Made of grey sandstone, Vajrasana features animal and bird motifs at the side and carved geometrical patterns on the surface.

Excursions
Buddha Statue - The Great Buddha Statue in Bodhgaya was established by a Japanese sect Daijokyo to propagate the message of ‘Spreading Buddha’s rays to the Whole World.’ It features Lord Buddha meditating in Dhyana Mudra seated on a lotus. Made of red granite and sandstone blocks, this 25 meter long statue is one of the important landmarks of Bodhgaya Tour.

Rajgir – The royal abode of Rajgir was the capital of the Magadhan Empire. One of Buddha’s followers, Bimbisara ruled this kingdom. The attractions of Rajgir have strong associations with Buddhist traditions. It is believed that Ajatshatru, the son of Bimbisara, jailed his own father at Bimbisara Jail, right opposite to Griddhakutta, Vulture Peak where Lord Buddha rendered spiritual discourses. Shanti Stupa, Ajatshatru, Venuvan, Karanda tank, Sonbhandar Caves, hot water springs and the forestry are the famous excursions in the Rajgir Tour.

Gaya - Gaya forms a great tourist attraction of Bodhgaya Tour. A prominent Hindu pilgrimage site, Gaya is famous for providing alms to the ancestors. Located just 11 km away from Bodhgaya, Gaya revolves around the Vishnupad Temple constructed on the site where Lord Vishnu killed Gayasura, the holy demon.

It is believed that if a person's last rites are performed in Gaya, the soul attains Moksha. This belief draws thousands of believers to offer the last rites and funerary offerings for their ancestors, every year.

Nalanda - 96 km from Bodhgaya, The place where an ancient university, famous all over the world existed, which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. Nalanda is a place to understand the cultural richness of India during 5th century AD. The excavations have revealed some very interesting facts regarding the ancient university, and the artifacts obtained are naturally a must for every visitor.

How to reach
Air - Nearest airport to Bodhgaya is in Gaya (11 km), but the major airport connected to the spiritual city is in Patna (112 km). Many domestic flights connect Patna to Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow and various other cities for an effective Bodhgaya Tour.

Rail - the nearest railway station is in Gaya (16 km), the city nearest to Bodhgaya.

Road - A well defined network of roads connect Bodhgaya to Gaya (17 km), Rajgir (80 km), Patna (105 km), Varanasi (243 km), Nalanda (96 km) and Kolkata (493 km)
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