When I planned my trip to Patna, all my friends expressed an odd look. When I informed them that I will be going to Bodh Gaya they changed their expression which was so pleasing. That is the effect of the name ‘Bodh Gaya’. The distance between Patna to Bodh Gaya is only 105 Kms but it took us six hours to reach Bodh Gaya. It was a nerve rattling experience due to bad condition of the road.
Bodh Gaya is the most revered of all Buddhist sacred sites as Buddha’s enlightenment happened here.The main temple complex houses the famous Mahabodhi temple, stupa and a descendant of the original Bodhi (Peepal) Tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment.
When we entered the temple we immediately got enveloped with serene and propitious feeling. We could not believe that we are actually standing on the spot where Buddha got enlightenment. At the temple we could see plenty of international devotees from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, China and Japan
Inside the Mahabodhi temple complex you can also enjoy the Lotus Pond or the meditation garden.
Bodh Gaya has temples or monasteries from many other nations with a Buddhist tradition (Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet), all within easy walking distance from the Mahabodhi temple.
Next we visited the famous Vishnupad Temple. It is believed that Rama and Sita had visited this place. This is believed that the temple was built with the footprints of Lord Vishnu in the centre. This footprint marks the act of Lord Vishnu subduing Gayasur, a demon by placing his foot on his chest. Inside the Vishnupad temple, the 40 cm long footprint of Lord Vishnu is imprinted in solid rock and surrounded by a silver plated basin.
Next day we planned our trip for local sightseeing. When we were taking break fast at our Holiday Home, happened to meet Venkat and Promod. Venkat’s social nature drew him towards us and we also happy to meet a tamilian in Bihar. After conversing with both of them we came to know that they are also planning for the local sightseeing. What a coincidence ! Promod asked me why don’t you join with us? We were thrilled to join with them for the local trip as well to Rajgir. But for them, we could not have stayed at Gaya. I think it was certainly Buddha’s call which happened through Venkat and Promod ! Our journey become so vibrant after they joined with us.
First we started our visit to a Gurdwara known as Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs.. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna was also honored by visits from Guru Nanak as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur. After the visit, we went straight to the banks of Ganges and excited to see the river with reverence.
Next we proceeded to Bihar museum. It is a huge museum. It show cases plenty of art facets and historical events of Bihar. The time line that depicts the period of historic era was not only impressive but also informative. Patna museum also located adjacent to Bihar Museum. In which we are able to see the relics of Buddha.
After the museum visit, we went straight to Golhar a old building where grains stored in olden days. It is believed that the top of the Golghar presents a wonderful panoramic view of the city and the Ganges. But due to renovation work, we were not allowed to go to the top.