||Online Car Rental India » Indian Cities Car Rental » Other Cities Car/Coach Rentals » Bodhgaya Car/Coach Rental
Bodhgaya Car/Coach Rental
Bodhgaya the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buhddhists. It attracts tens of thousands of believers from all over the world. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
The population of this town is 22,000 and is situated at an altitude of 113 m. Maximum temperature in summer rises to 45-47 degree Celsius and minimum is 27 degree, while in winter maximum is 28 degree and minimum is 4 degree. It receives an annual rainfall of 1,860 mm. Most countries with vast Buddhist population have a temple or monastery here. The 25 m Great Buddha Statue in the Japanese Kamakura style was unveiled by his holiness Dalai Lama in 1989.
Places to See :
Mahabodhi Temple :
The Mahabodhi temple is an imposing brick structure that is enclosed on three sides by an ancient stone railing. The temple celebrates the birth of Buddhism, for it is under a tree adjacent to this temple, that Prince Siddhartha became the Buddha by attaining enlightenment. The Mahabodhi temple has a giant pyramidal structure (sikhara) which rises to a height of 54 m.
Bodhi tree :
The Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa) which lies behind the main temple was planted in the nineteenth century and is believed to be a descendent of the original tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. It is also called the Bo, peepul or tree of knowledge.
Vajrasana is the large rectangular slab of polished chunnar (red sandstone), covered with a gold canopy, that you will see under the Bodhi tree. This is the spot, it is popularly believed, where Buddha was sitting when he attained enlightenment. The top is decorated with an unusual geometric design that has faded considerably. Visiting monks decorate the place with flowers and place an urn on it to collect donations or offerings.
Animeshlochana Chaitya :
This whitewashed temple stands slightly off the walk to the Mahabodhi temple. It is a miniature of the Mahabodhi temple and is said to mark the spot where the Buddha spent a week gazing at the Bodhi tree in gratitude after attaining enlightenment. He is supposed to have stood here unblinking (animesh). Hindu pilgrims also frequent this spot since they worship Buddha as the ninth incarnation of Vishnu.
This is a raised platform to the north of the Mahabodhi temple and is part of the temple complex. This is called the Jewel Promenade Shrine. The structure marks the place where the Buddha paced to and fro in meditation. Legend has it that wherever he stepped, a lotus flower (a symbol of knowledge) sprang up and this is depicted through the 18 lotus flowers carved on the platform.
Ratanaghara Chaitya :
A marble plank marks this site within the temple premises. Some believe that the Buddha emitted dazzling colourful lights while in deep meditation here.
Mucalinda Tank :
About a mile south of the Mahabodhi Temple, is a dry pond called Mucalinda tank where the Buddha is supposed to have spent his sixth week after enlightenment. It is not the large pond filled with lotuses, next to the Ashokan Pillar, to the south of the temple. The Mucalinda Tank is dry.
The Mahabodhi temple complex is dotted with an abundance of stupas. A majority of them date back to the Pala period (8th to 12th century) though there are older ones too. These stupas were built by pilgrims who came from Buddhist countries like Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka, and Tibet. You can easily identify the colourfully painted Tibetan stupas.
Ashoka's Pillar :
At the south-east corner of the temple stands a part of the Ashokan pillar. Originally erected at Bodhgaya, this pillar was found near Gaya and was moved here in 1956.
Hindu Temples :
Also within the premises of the Mahabodhi temple, is a row of Hindu shrines. These temples probably came up during the period of struggle between Brahmanical and Buddhist sects. The first of these shrines has an interesting collection of Buddha statues that are now confusingly dressed up to look like Hindu deities. Brahman priests here, who look distinctly different from the Buddhist monks, will probably ask you for a donation.
The Rajayatana tree is believed to be the spot where the Buddha spent time preaching to two seekers of the truth. While the actual site has not been identified yet, a marble inscription stands as a dummy.
Niranjana or Falgu River :
This river is a natural landmark that attracts tourists who like to wade in the water to cool off, especially in the summer. The river is wide, sandy and shallow even in the rainy season. It's a great picnic spot for tourists who want to sit around on the banks under shady trees.
Sujata's Stupa :
According to legend, when Prince Siddhartha was ailing after practising severe penance, a woman named Sujata offered him some kheer (rice pudding) which helped him recover miraculously. This stupa is supposed to mark the spot where she found him. However, there are some doubts about the authenticity of the location. You can reach the stupa after crossing the bridge across the river and walking along a trail across paddy fields for 15 minutes. The local caretaker of this abandoned site has made it his business to maintain a record of visitors after which you will be asked to make a donation. On the way to this location, you will pass villages, the heartland of rural India.
How to Reach :
By Air : Patna is the nearest airport with regular flights to Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow, Calcutta, Chennai, Mumbai. Calcutta, 482 km, has an international airport.
By Road : Bihar State Road transport Corporation (SRTC) has bus services to Gaya, Patna, Nalanda and Rajgir. The main bus stand is opposite the Mahabodhi Temple. Private buses and taxis are also easily available.
By Rail : Gaya is the nearest railway station. Several superfast as well as express trains are available from Gaya. Gaya is on the main Delhi to Calcutta line and there are direct trains to Delhi, Calcutta, Varanasi, Puri and Patna.