Bodhgaya is where Buddhism began. All pilgrims and Buddhism followers are fond of this place and the legend attached to it. They usually visit here on the Bodhgaya tour also known as the Buddha Gaya tour. Lord Buddha was wandering near the banks of Falgu river seeking answers when he sat under the Bodhi Tree. Three days and three nights of meditation helped him attain enlightenment and gather insight about humanity and being in general.
The day when he attained enlightenment is celebrated as Buddha Purnima. The land is fertile and rich with green fields. River Falgu waters it with low hills on the banks. Monks, nuns, and tourists unite in religious harmony and peace making it a cornerstone of Bodhgaya Pilgrimage.
Below are the must visit places of the best Buddhist tour in Gaya
Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour: Maha Bodhi Temple
Mahabodhi temple is also known as Bodhgaya Buddha temple. It is made entirely of brick and is one of the few marvels of architecture standing from the Gupta period. In the center is the 50 m high temple the Vajrasana, sacred stupas, and other smaller spiral towers. The balustrades, honeysuckle and geese design moldings, a platform made of sandstone are admired profoundly. It is a pinnacle of Bodhgaya Tourism and inside is a statue of Lord Buddha placed in the same position in which he attained enlightenment. The figure faces east and has a serene look about it. Other than this there is a stone with Buddha’s footsteps and a standing figure which looks upon worshippers on Bodh gaya Pilgrimage as they pray in Bodhgaya Buddha temple.
Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour: Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree is an integral part of Bodhgaya Tourism. Followers of Buddhism great each other with the phrase ‘May the peace of Buddha be yours’ once they have completed meditation under the Bodhi tree. When you are on the Buddhist tour in Gaya, the heart-shaped leaves of this tree are easily recognizable and help you identify this tree from the others. Post Meditation Lord Buddha used to walk around, and a path was specially created to mark his walk with lotuses on both sides. It is known as Jewel Walk and is an important part of Bodhgaya Pilgrimage. Lord Buddha sat here for 49 days straight before he attained enlightenment and a shrine was erected on the spot where he sat. King Ashoka regularly paid homage to Buddha’s shrine and held a festival every year to mark its significance. According to legend, his wife got the tree chopped down, but it grew again. Don’t miss out on it when you are on the Buddha Gaya tour.
Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour: Falgu River
IRCTC Buddhist tourist train takes you to Falgu river an essential part of Bodhgaya Tourism which was known as Niranjana River earlier. The river is highly venerated with people usually flocking here to perform last rites of their ancestors to appease the departed souls. It is a must see place when you are on Bodhgaya Pilgrimage or Bodhgaya Tour. Lord Buddha used to meditate on the banks of Falgu river frequently. One day a woman came up to him and told him that he is just a common man. Buddha did not break his meditation but when she placed a golden bowl in front him and told him that the bowl goes upstream in the river when tossed by Buddha’s and downstream when tossed by common people Buddha broke his meditation. He then placed the bowl in the river gently, and the bowl went upstream like all previous Buddhas. The woman was astounded and hailed him as a divine being.
Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour: Royal Bhutan Monastery
The Royal Bhutan Monastery was offered as a present to Lord Buddha by the King of Bhutan. The monastery has three tiers with a beautiful color scheme. There is a 7 feet tall statue of Lord Buddha and a lot of detailed clay carvings and Buddhist scriptures carved inside the walls and stones which are placed along the path. Visitors get 24-hour room service and rest houses to fully imbibe Buddha’s teachings and meditations. It is open seven days a week, and the entry is free so make sure you don’t skip this critical destination when on Bodhgaya Pilgrimage.