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A Visit to Bodh Gaya: The Buddhist Pilgrimage

Chitrangada loves the richness of Indian art, culture and traditions. As a writer, she wants to spread information about Indian culture.

Buddha statue at the main temple at Bodh Gaya

Buddha statue at the main temple at Bodh Gaya

Mahabodhi temple, Bodh Gaya

Mahabodhi temple, Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya is a protected site

Bodh Gaya is a protected site

World Heritage: The Buddhist Temple of Bodh Gaya

One of my childhood dreams had been, to visit Bodh Gaya. When I got the opportunity to go there, the spiritual experience was wonderful, just magical.

Bodh Gaya, is a small place in the state of Bihar, on the Northern side of India.
A small place, with a huge spiritual and religious significance, because it marks the origin of the Buddhist religion.

This place is the ultimate destination, for those who have faith in Buddhism.

Bodh Gaya is considered to be, the most revered and sacred Buddhist site.

Historical Significance:

  1. The place has it’s historical importance, as it is believed to date back to the second century A.D. and most of us have read about this in our history books.
  2. It was amazing to see the descendant of the Pipal tree, under which Prince Siddhartha is said to have attained 'Enlightenment,'
  3. Prince Siddhartha or Gautama, his other name, had sat in meditation, under this Pipal tree, for around fifty days.
  4. Not going into the details of the dates, the vast spread of it‘s massive branches is just amazing. There is a lot of history attached to the place, but I was more interested in the visual delight--the serene atmosphere, the beautiful architecture and the majestic monument.
  5. One can experience and feel, a definite peace and serenity, around the whole place. There are lotuses engraved on the stone, where Lord Buddha supposedly put his foot first, after he attained 'Enlightenment'.

Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion.

—Lord Buddha

Within the premises of Bodh Gaya temple

Within the premises of Bodh Gaya temple

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.

— Lord Buddha

The Maha Bodhi Temple

The Maha Bodhi temple is a tall, pyramid like structure. This is the main site, which attracts visitors, from all around the world, and especially those who have faith in the teachings of Lord Buddha.

This is the place, where Siddhartha Gautama became 'Lord Buddha'.

‘Bodh’ in Hindi, means 'Gyana' or Knowledge. 'Buddha' means 'The Enlightened One'.

People come here to be inspired, to shed their negative thoughts, or their negative 'Karma'.

The temple houses a magnificent statue of Lord Buddha. The Buddhist monks can be seen here, in large numbers, sitting in meditation, paying respects to the 'Stupas'.

They take 'Parikrama’ (walking around), of the MahaBodhi temple, to pay their respect. The entire area is covered with greenery and old green trees.
There is an unmistakable quietness and peace, which penetrates, deep into the soul, making it an experience of the lifetime.

Be patient. Everything comes to you, at the right moment.

—Lord Buddha

Mahabodhi temple complex, Bodh Gaya, source: YouTube

The massive trunk of the Mahabodhi tree

The massive trunk of the Mahabodhi tree

The widespread branches of the Mahabodhi tree

The widespread branches of the Mahabodhi tree

Judge nothing, you will be happy.

Forgive everyone, you will be happier.

Love everything, you will be happiest.

—Lord Buddha

The Mahabodhi Tree, at Bodh Gaya

The Maha Bodhi Tree:

  • To the west of the Maha Bodhi temple, one can see the sacred Mahabodhi tree, under which Buddha attained enlightenment. This led him to achieve the status of Lord Buddha.
  • The magnificence of the tree, has to be seen, to be believed. The wide and huge trunk, confirms the age of this tree. The Mahabodhi tree is spread all over, making it difficult to see from one end to another.
  • The main trunk is surrounded with brass pillars, which is all around it. This might be to guard and protect the main trunk, from the visitors.
  • It is all over the place, spreading its branches all around. The supporting roots have grown into, many other huge trees. One can see the Buddhist monks, sitting in meditation everywhere, and there is Peace all around.

How do you reach Bodh Gaya?

  1. Thousands of Buddhist pilgrims, visit this beautiful temple, spread all around, with lavish green landscape, throughout the year.
  2. The Government of India, and other travel agents, provide all the information, regarding the route options, hotels, preferred time to visit and other relevant details, on their websites, as well as their registered offices.
  3. Well maintained hotels and restaurants, can be found, outside the premises of the temple.
  4. You can reach Bodh Gaya, either by plane, or the train, or by the road. If you prefer to travel by road, Gaya is 110 km. from Patna, the capital of Bihar.
  5. The nearest airport is the Gaya airport, around 17 km. from the main temple. From the airport, taxi services are available, to reach the main temple.
  6. Another option is to land at the Patna airport, and take a cab to Gaya. Patna has connecting flights from New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
  7. It is advisable to have consultations, with a reputed travel agency, before embarking upon your journey.
  8. There are some good options of staying there, the hotels and the restaurants, about which you can get the information and bookings done, through these travel agencies, and you can also arrange for a guided tour.
  9. Outside the temple, one can find some beautiful art and craft items being sold. These handcrafted items are related to this amazing World Heritage temple. People buy these beautiful art pieces as souvenir, to keep with themselves, or to gift to their family and friends.


Bodh Gaya, source: You tube

References: Here are some reliable travel sites , that will guide you if you want to visit Bodh Gaya

http://www.india.com/travel/bodhgaya/

https://wikitravel.org/en/Bodh_Gaya

http://www.explorebihar.in/bodh-gaya.html

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Chitrangada Sharan

Have you visited the Bodh Gaya? Please share your experiences here in the comments section.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on October 20, 2020:

Thank you Peggy, for appreciating the article on Bodh Gaya. I am glad that I could share some interesting details about this World Heritage.

Thank you for always supporting my work. Much appreciated.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 19, 2020:

Thank you for writing about this sacred Buddhist place of pilgrimage. It is a beautiful and serene site. Both videos were excellent additions to your photos and text. I am amazed that this is not on a niche site but happy that I can still leave a comment.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 07, 2020:

Thank you M G Singh ji, for sharing your experience at Gaya. Glad that you liked the post.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on May 07, 2020:

I visited Bodh Gaya a few years back not to visit the temples but to investigate loss of some rockets of the iAF which were recovered from a well in Gaya. But I made it a point to visit all the temples dedicated to the buddha and liked the architecture. Nice post.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 07, 2020:

Thank you Aditya.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 07, 2020:

Thank you Prantika, for your kind words of appreciation.

I am glad that you liked this article. Do visit this wonderful place, once everything is back to normal.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

adit23 on May 07, 2020:

Very informative !

Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on May 06, 2020:

It's in my wish list and the desire to visit the place has increased more after reading your hub. The place's historic and spiritual significance atract me. I also want to experience the serenity that the place offers. The photographs are fantastic.

Thank you for sharing a wonderful hub.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 21, 2019:

Thank you Audrey, for visiting again. I am glad that you liked the article, the information and the pictures.

It’s a worth seeing place. Thank You and good day.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 20, 2019:

Your lovely excursion to Bodh Gaya is well worth a second visit. I've enjoyed being here again. Your photos are remarkable. The youtube video was wonderful.

Thank you, my friend and blessings to you.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 19, 2019:

Thank you Frances Metcalfe, for reading and commenting. Yes, it’s a worth visiting site.

Thank You and enjoy your day.

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on May 18, 2019:

Hi Chitrangada. The site sounds fascinating to visit with a lot to take in. Maybe one day I will get there.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on January 02, 2018:

Thank You Eric Farmer, for reading and commenting! Yes, it’s an excellent place to visit. There is peace and serenity all around. Good for meditation too.

Thanks for appreciating!

Eric Farmer from Rockford Illinois on January 02, 2018:

This sounds like a very interesting place to visit.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 12, 2016:

Thank you Nithya for reading and commenting on this hub! Yes the Bodhi tree is amazing. In fact the whole atmosphere at the heritage is quite serene and wonderful.

You would love it when you visit it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 12, 2016:

Bodh Gaya seems to be a great place to visit. The Bodhi tree is amazing, great photos of the place. Hope to visit the place someday.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on January 09, 2015:

Thank you heidithorne, for reading and commenting on this hub!

Yes, I visited this beautiful Buddhist Pilgrimage some time back, but the serenity and the memories are still fresh in my mind.

Glad you liked the hub and thanks for your votes and appreciation!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on January 09, 2015:

Thank you Audrey Hunt for your kind words of encouragement and blessings.

It is indeed a very serene and peaceful place to visit. I was spellbound to see the whole place.

Thanks for voting up and sharing!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on January 08, 2015:

I didn't see this post when you originally published it. Glad one of our HP friends shared it. Absolutely beautiful photos! Voted up, awesome and beautiful!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 08, 2015:

The Buddhist philosophy interests me and I would love to see this temple and join in the peace and serenity it brings. Your photos are spectacular, inviting and beautiful. Thank you for writing about this pilgrimage, I feel a calmness after reading your hub.

Voted up, useful, beautiful, awesome, interesting and will share with others.

Blessings to you Chitrangada.

john on September 06, 2014:

Need any help in Bodhgaya4india@gmail.com find in face book.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 12, 2014:

Thanks suzettenaples, for your kind visit and wonderful comments!

Buddhist philosophy is very simple and focuses on meditation. This really is a wonderful and calm place.

Thanks for your kind words of appreciation!

suzettenaples on June 11, 2014:

I love this hub and I would love to see this someday. I have read about the Buddha philosophy or religion. I'm not sure which it is. Buddhism brings calm are serene feelings. It is full of wisdom which is really so simple to follow. The temples pictured here are beautiful with so much intricacy in the carvings. Thanks for sharing this . I enjoyed reading it.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 03, 2013:

Thanks sunilkunnoth2012, for going through this hub and your comments. Its my pleasure, if you follow this hub, when you visit Bodh Gaya. Tell me your experience, when you do visit the place.

Have a good day!

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 02, 2013:

I too wish to visit the place in near future. thank you for sharing your knowledge here. shall depend your article when i pack my bags.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on March 15, 2013:

Thanks Rajan, for visiting this hub and your kind comments. I would be happy if you visit Bodh Gaya.

Thanks again.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 14, 2013:

Chitrangada, I've never visited Bodh Gaya but always wanted to. These pictures inspire me to try to visit the place.

Thanks for sharing.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on February 24, 2013:

Thanks Frangipanni, for reading this hub and enjoying it. I also love to travel and see new places and cultures. It would be great if you visit India.

Thanks for the encouraging comments and the follow.

Frangipanni on February 24, 2013:

What a great hub. It sounds lovely. I really enjoy reading hubs on other places and countries. It always makes me want to go there. I have voted up and are now following you.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on January 24, 2013:

Thanks DDE, for your visit and appreciation. It's always wonderful to hear from you.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 24, 2013:

Interesting and different thank for the insightful information, and he experience sound wonderful.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 12, 2012:

Thank you John, for reading my hub and giving your feedback. Thanks for the link and email.

john on December 12, 2012:

Hey..

I am John from India. Actually I am a student but my Hobby is Tour Guide work and all management for tourist in Bodh Gaya. My only Hobby is this if u needs any kind of help in Bodh Gaya Bihar or India. u please mail me at bodhgaya4india@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/bodhgaya.india and send me message in Face Book. Your Private tour guide in India …….

Bye and Tack care.

You’re John.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on October 31, 2012:

Sure, you will visit---. I was always so very curious to see the Mahabodhi tree, and the experience is unforgettable. Thanks for your visit and kind words.

YogaKat from Oahu Hawaii on October 30, 2012:

I would love to see the sacred bodhi tree in person. I would love to see the monks and feel the "peace all around." Thanks for sharing this miraculous place . . .perhaps one day I can visit.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on October 21, 2012:

Thanks flashmakeit, for your visit. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

flashmakeit from usa on October 21, 2012:

That was a special trip! Thanks for sharing the brief information about sacred Bodhi tree where the monks sit and meditate.

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