Hello all. This blog is for those who love to explore places. In this blog we will tell you some cool facts about BODH GAYA. Bihar(from Sanskrit and Pali-meaning abode), from the name, is a state abound of monasteries and temples with its roots linking profoundly with spirituality and religiousness. One of the oldest places inhabited, it is both lands of Enlightenment and Salvation. Pietism is deep in the core!
BIHAR- HISTORY & CULTURE
Dotted all over with heritage sites depicting the glorious history and rich culture, Bihar manages to attract tourists and pilgrims from the four corners of the world. Bihar holds importance in many religions as it has a myriad of holy shrines.
Besides this, here also lies the ruins of the ancient seat of learning- Nalanda Vishwavidyalay, making Bihar one of the world’s oldest centers of learning. Patna, once known as Patliputra, had witnessed the history of many centuries. It is among the oldest capital cities in the world. Bodh Gaya, with its religious backdrop, is consequential to the Buddhists.
BOGH GAYA- THE LAND OF ENLIGHTENMENT
The praises for this incredible piece of land is never-ending. So this is how I step up to this plan with my family. We decided on a round trip to Bodh Gaya. It was an outing to rejuvenate us from the mundane daily chores. A day to be spending to connect with nature, exploring history, and most importantly, having quality time with family. We packed our paraphernalia and were all set to make the day a memory to preserve in the album of precious moments of life.
The journey is expected to take three long hours. Consequently, we had started our journey before the break of dawn. It was a cold winter morning. The city was foggy and the visibility was a bit low. As we left the city and moved to the outskirts, the mistiness intensified.
There were mustard farms on both the side of the highway. Covered with mist, which intuitively felt like clouds had descended on the ground, the sight of the open fields was breathtaking. The fresh morning dew glimmering on the nearby surfaces were peace to eyes. It was a long time ago since I had last observed the sunrise.
The sun started to rise over the horizon. Its scintillating rays passing through the glass window of the car and falling on our already exuberant faces made the joy appear manifold.
There was a tinge of yellow mixed in with orange on the mist, which, from afar, looked like gold on the bloomed yellow mustard flowers. The beauty of the morning is captured in my eyes for good.
After continually moving on the highway for an hour, we halted and had our breakfast at a local diner.
Unlike any fancy restaurant with chandeliers, that place had a low-key interior decor of fairy lights and synthetic flowers.
We placed our order and waited for the food. At first, we were skeptical about the taste but the food was delicious. The ingredients include locally grown and were fresh.
We continued our drive to Bodh Gaya. Moving toward the destination, we turned on the music. It is an apt line, ‘Time flies when we enjoy ourselves’. We were almost there. The ambiance suddenly changed. I could feel the aura. I peeped out of the window and saw a “Golden Gate” at a distance. It says ”Welcome to the land of enlightenment”.
TEMPLES & MONASTARIES (BODH GAYA)
As we approaching the destination, I could see that the place was inundated with temples and monasteries. Buddhist monks clad in traditional orange-red garments. The monasteries built in the typical style. All red-golden and roof with very detailed carvings on the pyramid structure on the top. We got off the car and got ourselves photographed outside those magnificent works of architecture.
MAHABODHI TEMPLE (BODH GAYA)
We now headed towards the main the attraction of first stop was the Mahabodhi temple(literal meaning-Great awakening temple).
It was a new town and the streets were alien to us. The GPS and online maps were a blessing to us that we managed to reach the destinations without losing our way.
The Mahabodhi temple is recognize as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It marks the location where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. It is the sacred temple of the Buddhist pilgrimage.
We were awestruck by the beauty of the temple. The carving on the cylindrical pyramid which sits on the top of the temple was awe-inspiring. It’s antiquity is evident from the ancient script engraved on the stone walls and floor. There was a Golden Statue of Lord Buddha inside the main structure.
THE BODHI TREE (BODH GAYA)
It was here under the Bodhi tree, Gautam Buddha attained knowledge to become the enlightened one. We sat under the descendant of the Bodhi tree. I gazed at it.
The sunlight, sieved through the leaves, fell on my face. Meanwhile, my younger brother picked up a fallen leaf of the Bodhi tree from the ground. Overjoyed. A blessing from the Buddha himself!
After offering prayers, we took a round in the premises of the temple. There were several pillars and a carved stone railing wall around the main structure. Mucalinda lake (Maculinda, the serpent god, who protecting Buddha during the meditation) is also a sight to adore.
That was nearly half-past one when we had realized that we still had lots to explore. So we decided to leave for the next destination-The Great Buddha statue.
One of the many stops of the tourists in Bodh Gaya, it is the largest statue of Lord Buddha in India. It measures eighty feet from the ground. Made of sandstone and red granite, it depicts Gautum Buddha sitting on a lotus.
We clicked a lot of pictures. My brother took out snacks from his backpack, so we found a spot and sat in the park.
Next, we visited few monasteries like the Royal Bhutan Monastery, Chinese temple and Monastery, and the Thai monastery. They were all astounding!
Suddenly, my stomach gnawed. It was time for lunch.
I surfed the internet for ratings and reviews and finalized a restaurant. The food there was delectable. We don’t regret our decision to go there.
Usually during this time of the year, there is a lot of hustle and bustle of tourist but this year due to the ongoing pandemic the tourism hits hard amid the shutdowns and closure and the streets looked desolate.
We had our lunch and then roamed the streets to purchase souvenirs. We all bought something. A small black-stone Buddha statue and a keychain caught my eyes.
THE CONCLUSION OF BODH GAYA
The clock struck four and we knew it was time for the return journey. On the way back home, we sang songs in the car. Roughly an hour later, it had started getting dark.
The sky was orange hue near horizon with a shade of blue-purple as we ascended. Very soon, it was dark. I looked out of the window. I could see complete darkness in the fields on either side.
It seemed that the place was uninhabited for kilometers as there wasn’t a single source of light in the farms. Only at a very distance, the headlights of the vehicle moving on some were road were twinkling which my brother mistook for fireflies! Silly.
Due to travel fatigue, my brother slept in the car. The family trip concluded successfully. We not just enjoyed ourselves but also gained knowledge about the history of Bodh Gaya. It is a place worth visiting. Do visit, and get yourself lost in the enlightening vibes!
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