Gaya and Bodhagaya

Gaya and Bodhgaya are two places but being so close to each other Only 13 kms they look like one. A city of ancient historical and mythological significance, Gaya is one of the main tourist attractions in Bihar and the second largest city in the state. It is 100 km from Patna, the capital of Bihar and one of the major pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists. Its natural surroundings, narrow by lanes and its age old buildings make it special. DO SEE Photos of Bodh Gaya: These Images of Bihar’s Prime Pilgrim Spot Will Tempt You Visit It

Gaya derives its name from Gayasur, a mythological demon. Legends say that Gaya served rigid penance and secured blessings from Lord Vishnu, after which his body transformed into the rocky hills, which now form the landscape of Gaya. People following Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism form the major population of Gaya. Hindus consider Gaya to be the place for attaining salvation. Hence, they perform pindadaan (funeral offerings of the deceased) here. Gaya is an important site for Jains as it is home to numerous Jain temples. Gaya is important for Buddhists as Buddha preached the Fire Sermon at Brahmayoni Hill, which was earlier called Gayasisa.

Bodh Gaya is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in Gaya District of Bihar. Famous for the Mahabodhi Temple, It was here under the Bodhi tree that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. It is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a lot of foreign visitors from Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Korea. Thailand, Nepal & Bhutan visit this place and have helped the Indian government in building facilities for the Buddhist pilgrims. The place is bustling with pilgrims all through the year from India and abroad who come to pay their homage in monasteries, temples and remnants of Bodhi Tree. Located near the river Neranjana, Bodh Gaya was earlier known as Uruwela. It was also known as Sambodhi, Vajrasana or Mahabodhi until the 18th century CE. It is one of the four important Buddhist sites that include: Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sarnath.

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