BODHGAYA TRAVEL INFORMATION
The sacred city of Bodhgaya is located in Bihar. It is 12 km away from Gaya city. Bodhgaya is where the wandering prince Siddhartha sat under a Bodhi Tree to meditate. The first three days of his meditation and the following seven weeks of enlightenment have been closely associated with various places in Bodhgaya. The history of this town can be traced back to 500 BC. History mentions Bodhgaya as Bodhimanda and the main monastery as the Bodhimanda-vihara.
It is one of the four most important sites related to the life of Gautam Buddha (Khshinagar , Lumbini, and Sarnath being the other three). Not much of the history is known after that.
The town became an important pilgrimage center and famous travelers like Fa Hien and Xuanzang from China visited this place between the 5th and 7th century.
Bodhgaya developed and prospered for many centuries before being attacked and conquered by the Turkish Empire in the 13th century.
The present city is a delight for historians, tourists and those seeking spiritual enlightenment.
Some of the important festivals and events in Bodhgaya are Buddha Jayanti which is celebrated on a full moon day in April or May as Buddha’s birth anniversary as well as enlightenment, and Nyingma Monlam Chenmo which is celebrated in January –February for about three weeks. Nyingma festival is celebrated for world peace and is often attended by the Dalai Lama as well.
Another special event in Bodhgaya is Buddha Mahotsava which is a three-day celebration packed with cultural and religious activities It is possible to visit Bodhgaya at any time of the year. The best time, however, is between October and March, when the weather’s at its best. January and February, in particular, are a good time to visit Bodhgaya, as the meditation and theological institutes in the town hold special religious discourses and conventions.