Things To Do In Gaya
Gaya was a very powerful city at one time when the Maurya Empire ruled from Pataliputra over a domain that stretched far beyond the shores of India. But, the most significant aspect for which Gaya is famous is because of one man, Buddha, who attained his enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya more than 2000 years ago. Today thousands of devotees head towards Bodh Gaya which is just 16km away from Gaya. There are many places to see and things to do in Gaya. The more important among these will be discussed now.
Make Purchases at Tibetan Refugee Market
The Tibetan Refugee Market is the perfect place for you to buy souvenirs. At the town centre, the market has stacks of woollens for you to make a bargain. These are very colourful and will be a good bargain. You can also purchase souvenirs that are related to Buddhism and different types of artefacts also. Sometimes it is quite all right for you to just take a look around and enjoy the feel of the place. There are attractive figurines and statues of Buddha that are most attractive.
The Magical Muchalinda Lake
The Muchalinda Lake is truly magical. It is very near to the main temple in Bodh Gaya and according to folklore, when Buddha was disturbed in his meditation by a storm, he was comforted by Muchalinda, the snake king. The environment at the lake is soothing and very relaxing. The lake is lit up at night and the aura is most pleasing.
Visit Brahmayoni Temple
A visit to the Brahmayoni Temple is most gruelling. You have to climb 424 steps in order to reach the hill top on which the temple is located. There are two caves which are named Brahmayoni and Matreyoni on the hill top along with the ancient temple of Ashtabhujadevi. This hill was the place where Buddha preached to a thousand ascetics who earlier worshipped fire. The preaching enlightened the ascetics.
The Sacred Cankamana
The sacred Cankamana is a part of the famous Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. A sacred shrine, it is supposed to be the path that Buddha used while he was in his third week of the meditation phase. The site indicates Buddha’s footsteps which are carved out in black stone as lotuses. When you visit the site you will find yourself floating in a serene and surreal environment created by the Buddhist monks chanting praise of Buddha. If you happen to visit Cankamana post sunset you will enjoy the effect of the lit candles on the path.
Buy Souvenirs at Kundan Bazaar
If you are looking for a quaint little shop where you can buy books on Buddha and Buddhism or searching for souvenirs such as Buddha statues, the perfect place is the Kundan Bazaar, a shop that is located inside the Kundan Bazaar Guest House which happens to be a very popular place in Bodh Gaya.
Impressive Archaeological Society of India Museum
The Archaeological Museum in Bodh Gaya is the perfect place for you to get all the relevant information on Buddha and Buddhism. Established in 1956, the museum is located quite close to the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. The museum has a formidable collection of articles related to Buddhist artwork. These include pictures and images of Buddha as well as small pots and statues besides terracotta articles and relics concerning both Buddhists and Hindus. There are coins too which go back in time besides relics and monuments of the Mauryan and Gupta Empires.
Spiritual Burmese Vihara Monastery
The Burmese Vihara Monastery’s primary task is to be a spiritual retreat for all those that want to take a break from their busy schedule. Towards this, there are lovely gardens, a meditation hall, tranquil surroundings, a guest house and a large collection of books on Buddhism and Buddha.