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Monday, 03 October 2016 19:52

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Gaya and Bodhgaya are both the cities in Bihar, India. Gaya & Bodhgaya are places sanctified by both the Hindu and the Buddhist religions. Gaya is famous for its Vishnupad temple as well as believed to..
Gaya and Bodhgaya are both the cities in Bihar, India. Gaya & Bodhgaya are places sanctified by both the Hindu and the Buddhist religions. Gaya is famous for its Vishnupad temple as well as believed to be the ultimate Moksha-dhaam (liberating plc, where people get salvation). Whereas, Bodhgaya is the place where Buddha attained enlightenment.
GAYA -
The district is having a common boundary with the Jharkhand state in the south. Gaya city is its largest city and the district headquarters. It has a rich cultural past and was part of the Magadha kingdom in the time of King Ashoka. It is situated on the bank of River Falgu or Niranjana, as mentioned in the Ramayana.
Inscriptions belonging to King Ashoka, the great Mauryan ruler, have been found near Gaya. The small town of Gaya was the part of the great Mughal Empire in medieval times. After the disintegration of the Mughal Empire, it came under the rule of many regional kingdoms.
The main pilgrimage place in Gaya is the Vishnu temple. It is said that this temple was built on Lord Vishnu's footsteps and is thus considered very sacred by the devotees. In 1787 (approx.) Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, built the Vishnupad temple (Vishnupad, footstep of Lord Vishnu). Lord Vishnu’s footprint stamped on a rock called Dharmasila is the object of worship here.
It is also believed by Hindus that if the final rights are performed in Gaya, the departed soul goes to heaven. The ritual of offering Pindas (offerings to the dead or ones ancestors) has been long associated with Gaya and has been mentioned in the epics.
There are references to the town of Gaya in the Hindu epic of Ramayana. Sita, the wife of Lord Ram, one of the principal Hindu deities, is said to have cursed the Falgu River.
THE LEGEND -
According to the popular believe Gaya derives its name from the mythological demon Gayasur. In olden times Gayasur demon used to meditate and worship God. He did this for many years to please God. All the Gods were happy to see his devotion, they appeared infront of him and blessed him that his body will become holier than all the other cities in India. Demon Gayasur again sat for many years for meditation. This made all the Gods worried because if the demon becomes more powerfull it will be difficult to kill him lateron. One day Lord Brahma wanted to do a Yagna ( worshipping & chanting infront of holy fire ) and asked Gayasur for his body. He was so huge that all the Gods sat on his body and performed Yagna. Lord Brahma thought that the demon would have died by now but as soon as the Yagna got over Gayasur started getting up. Then Lord Vishnu appeared and he killed Gayasur, the holy demon by using the pressure of his foot over him. This incident transformed Gayasur into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of the Gaya city. Gaya was so holy that he had the power to absolve the sins of those who touched him or looked at him; after his death many people have flocked to Gaya to perform Shraddha sacrifices on his body to absolve the sins of their ancestors. Gods and Goddesses had promised to live on Gayasur's body after he died, and the hilltop protuberances of Gaya are surmounted by temples to various Gods and Goddesses. These hilltop temples at Rama Shila, Mangla Gauri, Shringa Sthan and Brahmayoni are part of the pilgrimage circuit.
HOW TO REACH
BY RAIL - There is a small railway station, which is located on the northern part of the town. As Gaya is on the main Delhi-Calcutta railway line, there are a number of trains to Delhi, Calcutta, Varanasi, Puri and Patna.
BY ROAD - There are two bus stands in Gaya, on either side of the Falgu River. The Gandhi Maidan bus station is on the west side of the Falgu River and there are a number of buses to Patna (4 hours) and Ranchi (7 hours), from here. One can catch buses for Rajgir (3 hours) from the Gaurakshini bus station to the east of the Falgu River. There is good bus service for the holy towns of Bodhgaya and Varanasi. Auto-rickshaws ply between Gaya and Bodhgaya, but they are overcrowded, most of the time.
One can move around the city in auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws
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