Gaya – A Main Tourist Attraction of Bihar

Summary

District – Gaya
Commissionery – Magadh
Headquarter – Gaya
Sub-Division – Gaya Sadar, Sherghati, Tekari
Population – 26, 64,803 (27 Lacs)
Area – 4,941 Sq. Km
Sea Level – 113 Meter
Temperature –
Summer: 46°C – 18°C
Winter: 20°C– 4°C
Best Season – November – February
Road Route – 112 Km from Patna
Rail Route – Main Railway Station – Patna, Gaya
Nearest Railway Station – Gaya (16 Km),
(458 km from Kolkata; 220 km from Varanasi; 589 km from Puri)
Air Route – Main Airport – Patna
Nearest Airport – Gaya 

Main Spots of Tourist Interest 

  •     Brahamyoni Mountain
  •     Dungeshwari Mountain
  •     Rock-cut-Sculpture of Kauodol Hills
  •     Ruins of Buddhist Monastery Hills Base & Buddhist Temple
  •     Ruins of Buddhist Monastery, Top of Kauodol Hills
  •     Gaya Museum

Histrocial Importance

Situated on the bank of river Falgu, Gaya is one of the ancient city in India. In Gaya only Bramhayoni and Dungeshwari Hills are related to Buddhist Circuit, where Lord Buddha came before his enlightenment, in search of Nirvana.
Today Gaya is mainly known as for Hindu circuit. Gaya is recognised as a holy city from ancient period. According to legend, Lord Vishnu endowed a celestial being named Gaya with the powers to absolve from sin all those who approached him. The devine Gaya was also empowered to raise the devout to the heavens so that they might join their ancestors. On the bank of river falgu very large number of pilgrims offer Pindan (Funeral cakes) at the ghats and perform a lengthy circuit of holy places around Gaya, to free their ancestors from bondage to the earth.

Places of Tourist Interests

Brahmayoni Mountain

Location: Brahmayoni hill is situated 1 km south of Vishnupada temple and its description is found in BuddhistBrahmayoni Mountain literature. To reach Brahmayoni hill one had to ascend 424 steps.

Importance: In Brahmyoni Mounain range there are 3 mountain peaks. Middle mountain peak in related to Buddhist Circuit & Right side Brahmayoni Mountainmountain peak is related to Hindu circuit.
Before enlightenment Gautam Buddha spent few days on this mountain, from this place Buddha reached the Sujata Place (Now in Bakraur, Bodhgaya) & from this place went to Dungeshwari Hills & then Bodhgaya to sit under Bodhi tree.
Now on this holy place we can see Ashoka stupa, a huge statue of Lord Buddha and Holy footprints on the hill. It is believed that ‘Ashoka the Great’ had got constructed a stupa here in the memory of Lord Buddha.
There are two interconnected narrow caves on the hill —Brahmayoni and Matriyoni. There is a belief that if one passes through the caves he would become free from the cycle of life and death.
Bihar Government has marked Brahmayoni hill as a ‘protected monument’. On the middle of peak there is an Ashokastupa and on its right temple of Brahma temple have been set up.

Dungeshwari Mountain

Location: Near to Bakraur (Sujata Place) on the other bank of falgu river, 32 km from Gaya, on the Gaya – Jamuawa – Surhari More- road route.

Importance: Lord Buddha came here from Sujata Place. On this place ‘devine powers’ suggested him to go to Bodhgaya for enlightenment. This mountain was known as ancient ‘Pragbodhi mountain’.
On the top of the mountain there are 7 ruins of Ashoka stupa. In the middle of the mountain, there is a Buddhist Temple & Hindu Temple, attract large no. of tourist on this holy place. 

Rock-Cut-Sculptures of Kauvadol Hills

Location: Kauvadol Hills in 32 km far from Gaya District Headquarter, 20 km from Bela & 6 km from south-westRock-Cut-Sculptures of Kauvadol Hills Barabar caves (Jehanabad). Kauva Dol Hills is situated about a mile south-west of Barabar Hills, situated north-east of Belaganj block.

Importance: From the mound here remains of an ancient temple have been found. From the base of Kauadol mountain a large number of stone idols of Hindu god and goddess have been found. A ‘Gaumukhi Shivalinga’, a ‘Bansha bull’ considered to be carrier of Lord Shiva, has been found from the base of the mountain near tomb of Pir. It is believed that Kauadol (Kurisarai) was a town of Northern Gupta period (6-7th century BC) and it was named as Shramanpur. Chinese traveller Rock-Cut-Sculptures of Kauvadol HillsHieun-Tsang had mentioned ‘Shilbhadra Mahavihar’ which is believed to be at this place only. ASI-Branch-3, Patna team has expressed hope that here remains of Northern Gupta period to mid-term might be found.
On the rocks of the northern and eastern face of Kauva Dol Hill, numberous figures representing mostly Hindu deities like Hara-Gauri, Mahishasuramarddini Durga, Ganesa etc. A few figures of the seated Buddha are also noticed viz of Vajrasattva, Prajnaparamita and a seated Buddha. The sculptures may be assigned to a period between 800 to 1200 A.D. At Barabar Hills the passage leading to the Holy ‘Siddheshwarnath temple’ are ancient rock cut sculptures or Shiva Linga, Shiva Parvati, Ganesha etc. The image of the goddess Durga are how ever largest in number at Kauva Dol Hills. the four armed Durga slaying the buffalo demon Mahishasura. Other Brahmanical Figures are also noticed.

Ruins of Buddhist Monastery Hills Base & Buddhist Temple
Location: Kauvadol Hills in 30 km far from Gaya District Headquarter, 20 km from Bela & 6 km from south-west Barabar caves (Jehanabad). Kauodol is situated north-east of Belaganj block. Ruins of Buddhist Monastery is situated in the base of Kauva Dol Hills which is situated about a mile south-west of Barabar Hills.

Importance: It is considered important for its archaeological finds. In the 4th century BC it was a ‘training centre’ for young Buddhist monks, who were called ‘Shamner’. During that period this was training centre for not only Magadh area but for whole central area. In the 4th century BC Sramanpur was a township.
At the base of the Kauadol hill archaeological remains can still be found. According to historian Wenglar, the place was sanctum sanctorum of the temple — where one mandap, a semi-mandap and a maha-mandap existed. Till 1902 here 13 mandap existed and now only 9-10 mandap could be seen. Kauva Dol has been identified as the site of the ancient ‘monastery of Silbhadra’. This place was visited by Hiuen-Tsang in the 7th century. The Bodhisattva touched the earth when Mara challenged him. Exhorting the Earth goddess to appear to witness his enlightenment. Following excavation by the ASI and Bihar ASI, an eight-feet statue of Lord Buddha could be found in ‘Bhoomisparsh’ (ground-touching) posture.


Buddhist Temple – Near Buddhist Monastery, Kauvadol
Location: Kauvadol Hills in 32 km far from Gaya District Headquarter, 20 km from Bela & 6 km from south-westBuddhist Temple,Kauvadol Barabar caves (Jehanabad). Kauodol is situated north-east of Belaganj block and the base of Kauadol hill. Buddha Temple is situated in the base of Kauva Dol Hills which is situated about a mile south-west of Barabar Hills

Importance: The colossal image of Lord Buddha in Bhumi-sparsamudra is of Silbhadra monastery. Silbhadra was a learned Buddhist of the royal family of Samatata.
This is one of the largest satues of Buddha extant and is in fair preservation except that a portion of the halo has been broken the figure is about 8 feet high with a breadth of 4 feet across the shoulders and 6 feet across the knees.

Ruins of Buddist Monestery, Top of Kauvadol Hills
Location: Kauvadol Hills in 32 km far from Gaya District Headquarter, 20 km from Bela & 6 km from south-westTop of Kauvadol Hills Barabar caves (Jehanabad). Kauodol is situated north-east of Belaganj block. Ruins of Buddhist Monastery is situated on top of Kauva Dol Hills which is situated about a mile south-west of Barabar Hills
Importance: Beside one of the mountain hills of Kauvadol, on the top, there is ruins of Buddhist monastery. Several stones pillars, parts of doorway are seen hither & thither on the top of hill & near to top. 


Gaya Museum
Location: Situated in the heart of the town of Gandhi Maidan, Gaya.
Importance: The museum has been declared as Gaya Museum-cum-Magadh Cultural Centre with a view to collect, display and make available all the relevant information regarding living cultural heritage of the region under one roof.
The museum preserves about 2000 antiquities of varied nature. The rich collection of stone sculptures especially of Pala period is rare and outstanding. Besides, the Museum also possesses a good collection of coins of different periods (punch marked to medieval

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *