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Bodhgaya Tourism And Travel Guide
15° C / 59° F
December to February
2 to 3 Days
Bodh Gaya Airport
Gaya (13 kms)
Bodh Gaya in Bihar is 127.8km away from Patna which is the capital of Bihar. The biggest attraction in Gaya is Bodh Gaya which is 13km away from Gaya. It is in Bodh Gaya that one can absorb the glory of Buddha just about anywhere one goes around. There is the Mahabodhi Temple of course, which is the centre of attraction, a place where Buddha had meditated. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. Tourism in Bodh Gaya is mainly about Buddhism and Buddha. Travel guide to Bodh Gaya is placed below for all visitors who wish to visit Bodh Gaya.
How to Reach
Bodh Gaya in Bihar is about 127km from the capital of the state, Patna. It has good roads that are connected well with the other major cities in the region. Bodh Gaya’s railway station has excellent rail connections and also an international airport.
One can travel by road from Bodh Gaya to other nearby cities that include Nalanda and Rajgir as well as Varanasi and Kathmandu. There are buses run by the State Government which run standard and deluxe buses between Bodh Gaya and many cities in the area. One can also avail of the taxi service while commuting between Gaya and Bodh Gaya.
The railhead for Bodh Gaya is Gaya which is 13km away. Since Gaya railway station has excellent connections with all the major cities in the country, it is very easy to reach Bodh Gaya. There are trains that run daily between Gaya and most of the major cities in India.
Gaya International Airport is about 17km from Bodh Gaya. The airport is well connected with Kolkata but generally has a low frequency of flights. However, one can fly to Delhi and thereafter take a connecting flight to Gaya. From Gaya one can avail of a taxi to reach Bodh Gaya.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The general climate of Bodh Gaya is temperate and warm. Its average temperature is around 26.5°C while the average rainfall will be about 1017mm. A visit to Bodh Gaya should ideally be in winter, that is, between the months of December and February although the place is also pleasant between October and March.
In Bodh Gaya the summer season starts in the month of March and carries on till May. The maximum temperature could go up to 47°C and the temperature could drop to around 27°C. It is inadvisable for people to visit Bodh Gaya in summer.
Bodh Gaya receives a fair amount of rainfall each year. June is the month when the monsoon starts and it keeps pouring till August and even beyond, at times. However, the place is pleasant and it is quite all right to visit Bodh Gaya during the monsoon. However, one has to face the odd shower while one visits the sites.
Bodh Gaya is just marvellous to visit during its glorious winter. During this period the temperature could drop to lower than 4°C and day temperatures could be a high of 28°C. As long as you have your woollens with you Bodh Gaya will be most enjoyable in winter.
Things To Do
Bodh Gaya has a global status because of it being the place where Lord Buddha lived and meditated under a Bodhi Tree more than 2000 years ago and thereafter found enlightenment. Today the Mahabodhi Temple is an approved UNESCO Heritage Site and the entire town has grown around this most exalted place. Almost all the places you will visit in Bodh Gaya are related in some way or the other with Lord Buddha.
You are sure to feel the vibrations when you visit this holiest of holy places, the place where Buddha had meditated more than 2000 years ago. Here you will see the descendant of the very same Bodhi Tree where the Lord had meditated. This is now an approved UNESCO heritage site and there are large portions here that go back to the time of Ashoka who had built the original temple.
The Thai Monastery was built by the monarch of Thailand in 1956 as a response to the request made by the PM of India. This monastery is elegant, peaceful and exquisite. Here you will also see a large bronze statue of Buddha.
Royal Bhutan Monastery:
The Royal Bhutan Monastery must surely be among the most beautiful monasteries in Bodh Gaya. Depicting Buddha’s life in clay carvings, the monastery attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the globe. A traditional and decorated monastery, there is a temple inside with a 7’ tall image of Buddha.
The Mahakala Caves or the Dungeswari Hills is a venerated place, the place where Lord Buddha spent several years of his life prior to coming to Bodh Gaya. This was when he was in search of true knowledge. In order to reach these caves you have to leave the city and head in the direction of the hills to the area along River Phalgu. You will find the drive most pleasant as well as very scenic. Most find the caves exuding high energy levels.
If you want to meditate, the Root Institute with its immaculate gardens just outside Bodh Gaya, is the right place. The experience will be almost monastic in nature since the environment has deliberately been kept that way. You will find statues and stupas and other holy objects all around you in the garden. There are tall trees with shade that add to the greenery.
Tibetan Refugee Market:
The Tibetan Refugee Market is the perfect place for visitors to buy souvenirs. You will also find plenty of woollens that you may buy especially if you have not brought any with you and it is winter time. The souvenirs and artefacts on sale are all concerning Buddhism. If you are not interested in making purchases, just soak in the atmosphere.
Where to Eat
There is a large variety of eating places in and around Bodh Gaya. The listed choices include Mohammad Restaurant for diverse cuisines; Thai, Chinese and Tibetan besides Indian, of course. Be Happy Café with its aromatic espressos and herbal teas besides Italian salads and pastas will please lovers of Mediterranean cuisine. Hari Om International Café serves alfresco style with several delectable vegetarian options. The Nirvana, The Veg Café, is ideal for lovers of dosas, burgers or pizzas. Try Siam Thai, Sewak Hotel and Bodh Gaya City Café Restaurant as well if you are on a long visit.
Shopping in Bodh Gaya is not for shopaholics. However, in Bodh Gaya one of the best places for shopping is next to the Mahabodhi Temple along the path to the temple where you will find diverse items of decorative nature generally concerning Buddhism. At the Tibetan Refugee Market you can pick up a good bargain in woollens while at the shops along the roadside you will find different handicrafts that include artefacts, sandal wood beads and wooden craft items. You can also try picking up gift items and books at Kundan Bazaar.