Gaya is a city located in Bihar, India. Known as a sacred site for many Hindu pilgrims, Gaya is also a transportation hub for nearby Bodh Gaya, a religious site located 13 kms away from Gaya city. Bodh Gaya is a holy place for Buddhists, being the location of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment. In addition to being a stopping off point for tourists heading to Bodh Gaya, Gaya itself has several places of interest for religious pilgrims.
Places to Stay
There are a variety of places to stay in and around Gaya. There are many budget hotels available, such as Shanti Guest House (Tariff – Rs. 1200), Hotel Virat Inn (Tariff – Rs. 1100). For those interested in staying in Bodh Gaya, there are a variety of affordable accommodation options as well, such as Hotel Buddha Residency (Tariff – Rs. 1200) and Om Soni Family Guesthouse (Tariff – Rs. 300).
A popular pilgrimage site that attracts tourists from all over the world, several languages are spoken in Gaya, including Magahi, Hindi and English.
Devotees often come to Gaya to perform the pind daan ritual for deceased relatives. Many visitors to Gaya come during the Pitripaksha Mela, held during September to October, which is a particularly auspicious time to perform the pind daan ceremony.
Places of Interest
There are several places of interest in Gaya, including the Vishnupad Temple and the Mangla Gauri temple. A must-see for those interested in visiting Bodh Gaya is the Bodhi tree, the tree under which Gautama Buddha obtained enlightenment. Other attractions include the Mahabodhi Temple complex, the Barabar Caves, and any of the multitude of monasteries around the city.
How to Get There
The nearest airport to Gaya is the Gaya International Airport, which is located 7 kms away. Domestic flights are available from Varanasi, New Delhi and Kolkata. Regular international flights run from Myanmar, Bhutan, and Nepal, and flights are available from Sri Lanka as well as Thailand depending upon the season.
Gaya is well connected with many major cities in India. The Mahabodhi Express runs from Delhi daily.
There are several busses daily between Gaya and Bodh Gaya. They operate through Gaurav Luxury bus lines, which offers both Mercedes and Volvo busses. Avail of bus ticket booking facility on Ticketgoose.com and get a number of discounts.