Tourist Destinations

Bodhgaya Tourism


BodhGaya is an important pilgrimage site in history of Buddhism as it is believed to be the place of Buddha's enlightenment attainment. Bodhgaya is in Gaya district of Bihar. The pilgrim site is associated with Mahabodhi temple complex. Its earlier name was Bodhimanda which means the ground under the bodhi tree. Uruvela, Vajrasana, Mahabodhi and Sambodhi were the other names for this. Lumbini, Sarnath, Kashinagar and Bodhgaya are the four most important Buddhist sites. In 2002 Mahabodhi temple of BodhGaya was taken under UNESCO and it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to 2001 census the population of Bodhgaya is 30,833 in which 54% is males and 46% is females. Literacy rate over here is just 51% in which male is 63% and female is only 38%.

History of BodhGaya:

In 500BC Gautam Siddhartha son of king Suddodhana came here wandering in search of knowledge and was unsatisfied with all religious gurus. He reached here on the banks of Falgu river near Gaya and sat under a tree and meditated for three days and three nights. After these, three days and nights, he attained enlightenment and found the answers, which he was searching for. After seven weeks Buddha reached Sarnath and started teaching Buddhism.

In 7th century Mauryan emperor Asoka built a temple under bodhi tree in 3rd century BC. In this temple an enlightenment throne decorated with Kushana and Huvishka coins was also found.

Mahabodhi temple of Bodhgaya:

It's believed that 250 years after the enlightenment of Buddha mauryan emperor Asoka visited Bodh gaya and he built the Mahabodhi temple. Some believe it was built in Kushana period. With the decline of Buddhism the temple also suffered and went down to the sand and soil. In 1833 Sir Alexander Cunningham or Asiatic society found it and then the temple was restored. With this the Glory of Bodhgaya returned and once again Mahabodhi temple of Bodhgaya became an important pilgrim site of Buddhism

Festivals in Bodhgaya:

On full moon day of Vaishakh (April- may), month of hindu calendar, Gautam Buddha gained enlightenment so it became tradition to visit bodhgaya on vaishakh poornima and celebrate the day of Buddha's enlightenment. Vaishakh poornima is also called Buddha poornima.


For Bodhgaya Bihar State tourism development corporation provides the complete travel facility from Patna to visit the whole Buddha circuit. Apart from these direct bus services from all the cities are available for Gaya as well as trains are also available from most of the cities. Internal transport depends on autos or personal vehicles. 5 km to gaya Bodhgaya airport is also there.