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Friday, March 7, 2008

The Land of enlightenment of Buddha : Bodh Gaya

Image Source: Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya or Bodhgaya is a city in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous for being the place of Buddha's attainment of Enlightenment. The state of Bihar lies along the eastern Gangetic Plains in North India. Of all India's Bihar is the most intimately linked to the Buddha's life, resulting in a trail of pilgrimages, which have come to be known as the Buddhist circuit. The very name Bihar is derived from the "vihara", which means Buddhist monastery. The Buddhist trail begins at the capital city, Patna, where a noteworthy museum contains a collection of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures. To the south of Patna is Nalanda, which translates as the place that confers the lotus (of spiritual knowledge). A monastic university Flourished here form the 5th to 11th century. Rajgir, "the royal palace", was the venue for the Buddhist Council. Followed by Bodh Gaya.

Image Source: Map of Gaya

Bodh Gaya (once Uruvela village) is the place where, 2500 years ago, in the 6th century BC, a young ascetic, Siddhartha, attained enlightenment to become the Buddha, and found Buddhism, one of the world's oldest religions. Born into the ruling family of the Sakyas, Siddhartha had renounced his royal heritage, and since then had faced many hardships in his search for Truth. He came to Bodh Gaya looking for a quiet retreat where he could meditate upon the causes fro human suffering. Located in Bihar, 115 kms form Patna, the land is rich and fertile, dotted with green fields and watered by the river Phalgu - the same ancient Nairanjana river where the Buddha bathed after attaining enlightenment.

How to reach at Bodh Gaya?

In terms of connectivity, the destinations are well defined by all means of transport be it air, rail or road.

By Air:

Patna airport 112 kms is connected with Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow and Mumbai by Indian Airlines. Gaya International Airport, has daily flight connections with Bangkok and Colombo through Indian Airlines and Srilankan Airlines respectively.

By Rail:

The nearest rail head is Gaya (16 kms). It is well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Nagpur, Mumbai, Varanasi, etc.

By Road:

Bodhgaya is well connected by road to Gaya. 16 kms to the Delhi-Kolkata Highway junction (on Grand Trunk Road), Dhobi-22 kms and Patna 105 kms. BSTDC operates daily deluxe coach service to and for Bodh Gaya from its headquarters.

Where to Unpack at Bodh Gaya?

In terms of local hospitality and accommodation, you can expect comfortable and value for money options in all price categories at the destination. For specific and detailed information or assistance, contact your approved travel agents or nearest India Tourism/State Tourism office.

Hotel Siddharth Vihar, Tourist Bungalow of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (Tel.No.: 2200445)
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