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Travel to the Pilgrimage Town of Gaya

By Manoj Menon

Gaya is a religious place for the Buddhists, as it is here that their god Gautam Buddha attained his enlightenment. This town is considered the birthplace of Buddhism and attracts Buddhists followers and monks from all corners of the world. A trip to Gaya is considered to be a spiritual journey where you can find peace within yourself and your surroundings.

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Vishnupad Temple

A place to visit in Gaya is the Vishnupad Temple which is believed to have been built around the footprints of Lord Vishnu. The temple is located on the banks of river Falgu and is said to be over 220 years old. Devotees flock this temple to take the blessing of the Lord and also to pay their respects. Tourists coming here can enjoy the scenic surroundings of the river bank and also go on a boat ride.

Vishnupad Temple
 

The footprints of Lord Vishnu
Photo Courtesy: Sumit Magdum

Mangala Gauri Mandir

According to Adi Sankara, the temple of Mangla Gauri is one of the Mahashakti Peeths. The temple has been mentioned in Padma Purana,Vayu Purana, Agni Purana and in many scriptures and tantric works and it upholds the faith of Hindus in "Shakti". The birth of the temple dates back to fifteenth century. The shrine is dedicated to the Goddess called Shakti.

The temple is built on the top the Mangalgauri hill and encompasses an Upa -Shakti peeth which is believed to be a body part of Lord Shiva. To reach the temple, one has to take a filght of steps and a motorable road. The sanctum consists of the symbol of Godess and finely carved ancient relief sculptures which look splendid. The temple has two minor shrines adding to the beauty of the temple, dedicated to Shiva and images of Mahishasura, Mardini, Durga and Dakshina Kali.

Jama Masjid

Another place to visit in Gaya is the Jama Masjid which was constructed by the Royal Family of Muzaffarpur around 180 years ago. The mosque is the hub of the Muslim community and on Fridays the entire lane is blocked during the prayers. This is also the place to be during various Muslim festivals, as the place comes alive with music and mouth-watering dishes.

How to Reach Gaya

By Air: If one wish to fly to Gaya, then Gaya is the only city with an international airport in Bihar and Jharkhand taken together. The small airport is connected to Colombo and Bangkok and all major cities in India.

By Train: Gaya junction is connected to the three metropolises New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai through Important Broad Gauge Routes. There are direct trains from Gaya to many important stations in India.

By Road: The Grand Trunk Road is about 30 km. from Gaya city. Thus, Gaya is well connected to Kolkata, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Delhi as well as Amritsar.

Travel to the Pilgrimage Town of Gaya
 

So when are you heading to Gaya?
Photo Courtesy: Hideyuki KAMON

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