Gaya is a major pilgrimage city in Bihar for Hindus and Buddhists. It is visited for doing Pind Dan (funeral offerings for the benefit of the soul of the deceased) and for visiting Bodh Gaya and Vishnupad temple.
"Gaya is a picturesque city surrounded by temple-crowned hills... It is a place of great sanctity and a very important place for pilgrimage, the central point of which is the Vishnupad temple that enshrines a footprint of Vishnu. The temple was built in the 18th century by the Maratha princess Ahliyabai. The hills around the city are also places of sanctity. The highest is that of Brahmayoni, which rises precipitately to a height of 450 feet above the plain. Six miles south of Gaya is the great temple of Bodh Gaya, one of the holiest places in the world, and the most sacred of all places to the Buddhists. These (Barabar) hills are 6-8 miles east of Bela railway station, the second railway station on the way to Patna... This is the site of the ancient Silabhadra monastery. On a low ridge of granite in the southern corner of the valley are the famous Barabar caves. The reader of E.M.Forster’s book A Passage to India will recall the incident of which the scene is one of these caves." - Sir John Houlton in Bihar the Heart of India
Now a days it is an ordinary district headquarter of India and bears a polluted, not so clean and dusty look though it still draws thousands of Hindu pilgrims as a pilgrimage and place for a compulsory pindadaan (funeral offerings to the deceased) for Hindus.
- The second option is Patna (PAT), which is 125 km away and well connected by rail and road service.
- Gaya is the hub for many trains passing through Bihar. There are lots of trains directly from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai. and Patna.
- There are many private A/C, non-A/C and luxury buses operating daily. You can get a bus from Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Patna, Hazaribag, Dhanbad, etc.
You can easily visit Gaya by car. There are many car rental companies available.
Nalanda Travels provides cabs on rent for Rajgir, Nalanda, Patna, Vaishali,Varanasi.
BrahmayoniHillock, which offers nice bird's eye view of the plains.
Mangla Gauri Templephone: +91 77798 17687address: Shakti PeethamA temple on top of the mountain. One of the most holy Shakti peeths of India.
PretshilaHillock, which offers nice bird's eye view of the plains.
Vishnupad TempleHas got the impression of Lord Vishnu's foot. Lots of person visiting every year to offer Shrad for their died family member (Purvaj).
Worship in Mangla Gauri (first wife of lord Shiva) Asthan.
Ambedkar marketThere are a few showrooms of famous brands like Raymonds, Killer, John Players, Adidas,levis etc.
GB RoadThe main shopping centre.
Paprikaphone: +91 631 222 2403address: K.P. RoadClaims to be vegetarian fine dining but more like a clean family diner.
BudgetThere are a lot of budget hotels in Gaya situated in the station road.
Mid-rangeAlso there are a few good hotels in the city
Hotel Viraat Inn (Infront Of Gaya Railway Station , 07541057106/7
Hotel Ajatsatruphone: +91 631 222 2961address: Station RdAlso has a restaurant with good multicuisine food.
Heritage Innaddress: swarajpuri road rai kashinath more,gaya,bihara banquet hall with a restaurant
- Barabar Caves, the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India, mostly dating from the Mauryan period (322–185 BCE), and some with Ashokan inscriptions, located in the Jehanabad District, 24 km north of Gaya.
- Bodh Gaya — the main attraction in the area is the Buddha Temple in Bodhgaya, here Buddha acquired the Power of Knowledge. Buses are common from Gaya to Bodh Gaya during peak season. Auto rickshaws cost about ₹200 and an air conditioned taxi costs ₹300-₹350.
- Bramhjauni Hill
- Kakolat Falls
- Nalanda - The famous Nalanda University was situated here, and its remains are the city's main attraction.