How To Reach Bodhgaya
Bodh Gaya in Bihar is the holiest of places for Buddhists. Earlier known as Uruwela, it was Ashoka, the king, who first built a temple here. The life of Buddha, after renouncing his family when he was 29 in the year 534BC, leading to his Nirvana or enlightenment, is known to all. It was here in what is known as the Mahabodhi Temple that Buddha attained Nirvana on the day that is now called Buddha Purnima. The best way to reach Bodh Gaya is of course to fly to the Gaya International Airport. But, one can also drive to or catch a train to Gaya. The complete details are given below.
Bodh Gaya is well connected by road to Patna and other cities such as Nalanda, Varanasi, Rajgir and Kathmandu. The GT Road, NH2 touches Gaya at a place called Dobhi which is 30km to the South and which joins the road leading to both Delhi and Kolkata Expressway. The Bihar State Tourism Corporation has a bus service that includes both standard and deluxe buses. These buses ply regularly between Bodh Gaya and the places mentioned. Volvo air conditioned buses have now been introduced and these connect Bodh Gaya with towns and cities nearby. There are several taxis as well that operate services between Gaya and Bodh Gaya.
Gaya is the nearest rail head to Bodh Gaya and is only 13km away. Gaya is very well connected to all the major cities in India. Gaya has direct trains to both Kolkata and Delhi. Delhi, for instance is 989km away from Gaya and there are daily trains between the two cities. In a week there are 14 trains. Among these trains there are Superfast ones as well as the Rajdhani from both Bhuvaneshwar and Kolkata. There is also a Mahaparinirvan Express, a special tourist train which takes tourists on a spiritual tour. This tour goes through Bihar and UP.
The airport at Gaya is only 17km from Bodh Gaya. The frequency at this airport is not very high although it is connected well with Kolkata. There are international flights to Gaya too and Thai Airways has a daily flight to Gaya from Bangkok. For international passengers it might be a good idea to fly to Delhi and then change to a flight for Gaya with which Delhi is connected quite well. The alternate airport is Patna which is 135km away from Gaya. Patna is well connected with almost all the major cities in India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Lucknow among many others.
The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation provides bus facility in Bodhgaya. However, the public in the city tend to favour the use of auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws mainly because of their availability. Luxury buses can be hired here as well.