15 Best Places To Visit In Gaya

Gaya is a beautiful destination if you want for a place with a lot of culture and history. Regarding Buddhist pilgrimage sites, Gaya is one of the most important. Here are top 15 best places to visit in Gaya.

Gaya is in the Indian state of Bihar. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Mahabodhi Temple is one of the holiest places for Buddhists.

Thousands of people visit Gaya annually to see the temple and participate in events.

History Of Gaya

The Indian city of Gaya has a rich, colorful history. Near the River Falgu, this ancient city is considered one of Hinduism’s holiest sites.

Pilgrims who go to Gaya to do rituals for their loved ones who have died may speed up the soul’s rebirth.

Gaya became a destination for worship during Ashoka’s reign in the 3rd century BCE. Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists have visited since then.

Each faith has its own beliefs and traditions around Gaya, but all think it’s magical, where prayers may be answered, and miracles can occur.

Why Should You Visit Gaya?

If you’re looking for an exciting and unique travel destination, you should consider Gaya! Some reasons to put it on your bucket list:

1. You can explore ancient temples and ruins.

2. There is a rich culture and history to discover.

3. To get blessed by the gods. Many Hindus believe that offering at one of Gaya’s temples can help cleanse your soul and bring you closer to God.

4. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, from hiking to shopping.

5. You can try delicious local food and drink.

6. It’s a terrific spot to escape the daily grind.

15 Best Places To Visit In Gaya

Here are top 15 best places to visit in Gaya:

1. Mahabodhi Temple – Places to visit in Gaya

The Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, is on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. It is also known as the “Great Awakening Temple.”

It is a Buddhist temple where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Lord Buddha is important in India’s religious history since he is Lord Vishnu’s ninth incarnation.

The temple is 55 meters tall and covers a vast area of 4.8 hectares. The Bodhi Tree is to the left of the temple. 

It is a direct descendant of the tree where Lord Gautam Buddha thought, became enlightened, and wrote his life philosophy. Emperor Ashoka built the first temple to escape war, conquer, and find peace after becoming a Buddhist.

Around 260 BC, the great ruler Ashoka went to Bodh Gaya. During his trip, he built a small temple next to a tree. 

This was the Bodhi tree, where Gautam Buddha sat when he had his moment of enlightenment. A 1st–2nd-century inscription states Emperor Ashoka’s temple was demolished and rebuilt.

Many monks and devotees can see repeatedly bowing to the tree. It’s a way to get clean, and some monks have known to do up to 100,000 at once. 

When you visit the temple, you will enchant by how it is built and how quiet and peaceful it is.

2. Great Buddha Statue

The XIV Dalai Lama put up this statue of Lord Buddha in India in 1989. It is the tallest statue of Buddha in India. 

It is a sandstone and red granite statue of a meditating Buddha sitting on a giant lotus flower.

3. Bodhi Tree

The Bodhi Tree is a respected Buddhist holy place with a lengthy history. Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, attained enlightenment beneath this tree.

People think Prince Siddhartha had to sit under this tree for seven days and meditate. Later, where he had sat down, a shrine called Animisalocana Cetiya was built. 

Around the same time, a small temple was built near the Bodhi tree.

The Bodhi Tree is a popular tourist place and one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. 

The Anandabodhi tree at Sravasti and the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura may have sprung from this tree in Bodh Gaya. The Bodhi tree’s aura has lured sages, meditators, and yogis since the time of the Buddha.

Buddhajnana, Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Nagarjuna, and Atisha meditated beneath the Bodhi Tree.

Next to the tree lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mahabodhi Temple Complex. This place is exciting for religious people who like to learn about the past.

4. Thai Monastery – Places to visit in Gaya

In 1956, the Thai Monarch erected India’s sole Thai temple at the behest of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The temple is an excellent example of the Thai building style. 

Those with an eye for architecture will love how the building looks with its curved, sloping roof. When the sun shines, the roof’s golden tiles look beautiful. 

The temple’s and monastery’s serene aura transports your thoughts. Bronze was used to make the Buddha statue inside the temple. 

A 25-meter-tall statue of Buddha adds to the magic of the beautiful garden close to the temple and the monastery.

5. Muchalinda Lake

Buddhism followers believe that Muchalinda Lake is a holy place. However, people say that while Buddha was in his sixth week of meditation by Muchalinda Lake, a terrible storm hit. 

Muchalinda, the king of snakes, watched over Buddha while he was in deep meditation. The sculpture of Buddha and the snake protecting God is kept in this temple. 

Nature lovers will love the lake because lots of greenery surround it.

6. Royal Bhutan Monastery – Places to visit in Gaya

The King of Bhutan built the “Royal Bhutan Monastery” to honor Lord Buddha. Clay sculptures show Buddhist culture on the monastery’s walls.

7. Brahmayoni Temple

The temple is located at the peak of a hill, and getting there requires a strenuous ascent of 424 stone steps.

There is also an old temple of Astabhujadevi and two caves called Brahmayoni and Matreoni on the hill.

Buddha gave the fire sermon to a thousand ascetics who worshiped fire on Brahmayoni hill. It is said that each ascetic became wise after hearing his teachings.

8. Cankamana

Cankamana (Cloister Walk) where The Lord Buddha walking on these platforms with blooming lotus and flowers in Mahabodhi Temple while raining at Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

It is a holy shrine near the Bodhi Temple. On the black stone lotuses, the feet of Lord Buddha are carved.

9. Chinese Temple

Near Mahabodhi temple is a Chinese temple. The temple looks like Chinese people built it. 

It was built in 1945 by the Chinese government and Chinese Buddhist monks. A Buddha statue in the temple that is thought to be 200 years old and from China was found. 

There are also three golden statues of Buddha in the temple. In 1997, repairs were made to a Chinese temple. 

Chinese scholars who went to India at different times and wrote about their trips give us a look into the culture of the past.

10. Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple

This temple built in 1972 with help from Buddhist communities worldwide. It is an excellent example of both Buddhist culture and Japanese architecture.

The temple’s building is wood and looks like a Japanese shrine. It also has a lot of paintings from Japan that tell stories about Gautam Buddha’s life.

11. Vishnupad Temple – Places to visit in Gaya

The Vishnupad temple is thought to have been built on Lord Vishnu’s footprints, which is how it got its name. This old temple was rebuilt in 1787 by Rani Ahilya Bai, the queen of Indore. 

The length of the footprint is 40 cms. Images of gods and goddesses are on display in the vast temple complex. 

In the courtyard of the Vishnupad temple is a temple for Lord Nrisimha. One unique thing about this temple is that the God Shiva is honored on its eastern side.

12. Dungeshwari Cave Temples

Buddha spent several years at Dungeshwari Cave before traveling to Gaya and being enlightened. Hence, these caves are called Mahakala caves. 

If you go into the caves hoping to see something interesting, you might disappointed. On the other hand, this might be the place to delve within yourself and discover who you are. It’s an excellent spot to meditate in peace.

13. Barabar Caves

The Barabar Caves were made during the Mauryan era, from 322 BC to 185 BC. They are an excellent place for people who love old things. 

They are proud to be the oldest rock-cut caves in the world. Barabar caves are made up of four caves. 

The Lomas Rishi caves are the most interesting. Its design is similar to the wooden huts where Buddhist monks lived. 

The Lomas Rishi caves are the oldest rock-cut caves, and many others built after them. Hindu and Jain sculptures were found in the caves. 

They were made between 273 BC and 232 BC. The writings on the walls show how Buddhism has grown and changed over time.

The unique thing about these caves is that their cuts are so sharp that they look like modern laser cuts. In short, the Barabar caves not only please but also amaze architects.

14. Ajapala Nigrodha Tree

Once considered a heritage tree, the Ajapala Nigrodha Tree no longer exists. Gautam Buddha concluded his fifth week of meditation there after being enlightened and lecturing villagers about religion, humanism, and equality.

The spot, now marked by a pillar, is still essential to believers and is visited by them.

15. Tibetan Refugee Market

Tibetan Refugee Market Gaya is one of the unique markets in India. It is a market run by Tibetan refugees who have fled their country and made a new home in India.

The market contains Tibetan goods, from clothes to jewelry to food. It is a great place to find authentic Tibetan products. 

The market is also great for meeting Tibetan people and learning about their culture.

If you are looking for an authentic Tibetan experience, then the Tibetan Refugee Market Gaya is the place for you!

How To Travel Safely In Gaya? 

Visitors should know the local security situation to avoid harm while in Gaya. Here are some tips for how to travel safely in Gaya:

1. Avoid walking alone at night. Instead, stick to well-lit, busy areas, and consider carrying a flashlight or personal alarm.

2. Don’t accept rides from strangers, especially after dark. It would help if you took a taxi and used a reputable company to ensure the driver is licensed.

3. Keep your belongings close to you, and don’t flash valuables around in public. Be especially vigilant when using ATMs or other machines where you enter your PIN.

4. Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you. Perhaps you feel you are being followed, go to a public place or call for help immediately.

Is Gaya A Costly Place To Visit?

Gaya has called the ‘holy city of India,’ a place of immense religious significance and beauty. So it is no surprise that many people flock to this destination year after year. 

But how much does a trip to the beautiful Gaya cost? Is it a costly trip?

The answer may surprise you! Gaya is affordable for those looking to explore its wonders. There are places to stay for every budget, from expensive 5-star hotels to simple guesthouses. 

The cuisine is excellent, variety, and transportation is inexpensive and quick. Other free activities include temple visits, walks along the holy river, and cultural events.

How Much Does The Average Hotel Cost In Gaya?

A three-star hotel night in Gaya costs around Rs 1,000 per person. These hotels provide air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, and private restrooms.

Four- or five-star hotels may cost Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 per night, depending on extras like room service and pools. Hostels and guesthouses cost between Rs 400 and Rs 800 per night.

Best Time To Visit Gaya

The winter months from October through February considered the best time for visiting Gaya. These months experience pleasant weather with minimum temperatures between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius. 

This gives you an ideal climate for sightseeing and exploring tourist attractions. It also makes it easier to find accommodations in hotels at reasonable prices. 

The summer season should avoided as temperatures soar during this period, making it challenging to explore places comfortably.


In conclusion, Gaya has a distinct spiritual atmosphere that makes it one of the holiest towns in India. Hence, it is ideal for pilgrims, scholars, and tourists who want to explore its diverse cultural heritage. 

The city has many attractions sure to captivate and enthrall the visitor. Gaya is definitely worth a visit and will remain etched in your memory forever.

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