Bodh Gaya Travel Guide

  • Bodhgaya Market
    Bodhgaya Market
    by earthflyer
  • Bodhgaya
    by earthflyer
  • Bhutanse Monastery
    Bhutanse Monastery
    by earthflyer

Bodh Gaya Things to Do

  • The Torana

    The Torana is the small narrow gateway you pass under in order to reach the temple. It is made of granite and covered with inscriptions from Buddha's teachings and dates from the 8th century.

  • The Buddha

    This gilded stone image, which dates from the late 10th century, in the main sanctum of the temple has an aura of great serenity. The pedestal is carved with alternating lions and elephants.

  • Railings

    The Mahabodhi Temple is surrounded on all four sides by stone railings, about two metres high. Parts of the intricately carved railings to the south and west of the temple are ancient and date to about 150 BC and are made from sandstone. Others are constructed from granite and are believed to date from the 3rd-6th centuries. Some of the railings...

  • After enlightenment

    After attaining enlightenment, Buddha spent seven weeks in the area of the Bodhi tree. The first week he spent sitting under the tree. The second week he spent looking at the tree from the Animeshlochana Stupa, a spot now marked by a small white temple to your right as you enter the gate of the Mahabodhi temple. Animeshlochana means “the place of...

  • Bodhi tree

    The Bodhi Tree here, behind the temple, is said to be a descendent of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. Emperor Ashoka’s daughter (Sanghamitta) carried a sapling of the original Bodhi (pipal) tree under which the Buddha sat to Sri Lanka. That tree is at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. A cutting from that tree was planted in Bodhgaya...

  • Lotus pond

    By the northern wall of the compound is the Lotus Pond, called Mucalinda Lake (abode of the snake king). Buddha is said to have spent the sixth week in meditation here. There is a life-sized Buddha covered by a cobra. A cobra is said to have saved Buddha from drowning while he was in deep meditation. This pond is full of beautiful lotus flowers. In...

  • Mahabodhi Temple

    The Mahabodhi Temple (meaning "Great Awakening Temple") is the location where the location where Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree some 2,500 years ago. In approximately 250 BC, about 250 years after the Buddha attained Enlightenment, Buddhist Emperor Asoka visited Bodh Gaya with the intention of establishing...

  • Bhutanese Monastery

    This is probably the closest I'll ever get to Bhutan. The temples interior features three Buddha statues and is beautifully decorated with paintings. The buildings outside represent Bhutanese architecture that I remember seeing from Michael Palin's Himalayan TV series when he visited the country. However, I don't think they have palm trees there!

  • Indosan Nipponji (Japanese) Temple

    This was my favourite temple out of all the ones in Bodh Gaya apart from the Mahabodhi Temple of course! Its roof is shaped like a pagoda and inside are two huge paintings of crowds that are looking towards the main central buddha statue on the altar.

  • Great Buddha Statue

    At the end of Temple Road lies this 25 metre high Buddha statue that was unveiled by his Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 18th November 1989. The statue itself is made out of blocks of pink sandstone and stands on a lotus flower on top of a pedestal that are made out of yellow sandstone and red granite. The statue is flanked by ten chief disciples of...

  • Daijokyo Buddhist Temple

    The next temple along on Temple St towards the Big Buddha statue is this, the Japanese Daijokyo Buddhist Temple. It was inaugurated by H.E. Shri Giani Zail Singh, a former President of India on the 13th February 1983. Outside the temple in the garden lie dozens of lanterns.

  • Karma Temple

    This Tibetan temple on Temple St near the Big Buddha statue in beautifully decorated inside and out. The exterior features wonderful wall paintings as does the inside which chart Buddha's life including his enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Well worth a visit and more photos can be found in one of my travelogues.


Bodh Gaya Hotels

See all 15 Hotels in Bodh Gaya
  • The Royal Residency

    Domuha Road, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, 824231, India

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Mahamaya

    Near Main Temple, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

  • Sujata Hotel

    Bodhgayagaya, Bodh Gaya, 824231, IN

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Families

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

Bodh Gaya Restaurants

  • Bodhgaya's Best Pizza, Coffee and Cake

    Be Happy Cafe is a wonderful restaurant specializing in authentic thin crust pizzas, pastas with all homemade sauces, fresh green salads, a variety of sandwiches on fresh baked brown bread, and amazing dessert items including dark chocolate truffles and cheesecakes. They wash all their salads and fruits in mineral water so you can be sure it is...

  • Best Option for Home delivery!


  • Multi-sided!

    This restaurant is located near the Thai Temple on the corner of Temple Street which is the road that takes you to the Big Buddha statue. I came here for lunch whilst the temples were closed during lunchtime and had a good vegetable noodles. I was the only person inside until 2 western girls turned up.

  • Popular with tourists

    This place is very popular with backpackers, budget travellers and long-term stayers how are staying on meditation courses. The food is excellent and cheap and you can sit outside and chat with fellow travellers. The only downside is that you can be surrounded by beggars which the restaurant waiters shoo away.

  • Tent restaurants

    There's a row of temporary restaurant tents on both sides of the road near the Tibetan Refugee Market that mainly sell fairly cheap food and have some good music for atmosphere. I would just watch out for the standards of cleaniness offered in these places before deciding to eat.

  • Be warned!

    These places are located on the main road that goes to Gaya near the Sujata Bridge and were just over the road from where I was staying at the Deep Guest House (see hotels tip). I can't remember which ones I ate what in but they do good basic and cheap food here especially breakfasts. I had dinner at Gautam which is just along from the 'Pole-Poles'...


Bodh Gaya Transportation

  • Auto rickshaw

    I took an auto rickshaw from Gaya station to Bodh Gaya which cost Rs100 which wasn't bad considering it took us about 30 minutes. Gaya is a pretty poor town and you pass by a lot of poverty on the way out of the city. I don't think you should really stop here for long. I took an auto rickshaw back to the station early in the morning in order to...

  • Train station

    The nearest train station is in Gaya and the line connects with Varanasi and Calcutta. I took a train from Varanasi to Gaya which arrived late and so had to spend a night in Gaya (which isn't the best place in the world). I left Gaya on a very early Rajdhani train (No. 2302) which left at 4.30am! Most of the trains leave late at night so it this...

  • Travelite Tours

    This is a very good travel agency that you may try to get the help.Two appraisal I got from here: You are very lucky (because he rushed to the booking office by riding the motorbike before the closing time and got me the ticket.)You have a very nice smile *_*


Bodh Gaya Shopping

  • hot to buy a saree, suit, dressmaterial...

    a very beautiful shop with its emmence exclusive range of saree, suit, lehangas n dress material. u can have a look about a lot of fashionable designer items in the shop which will surely impress u. u r welcome , we will make u acquente with indian traditional culture with its extraordinary outfits. indian luxury saree, exclusive dressmatrial n...

  • Help the exiled

    This small market is located to the north of the temple and is a great place to pick up some winter clothes even though it was well into the 30's when I visited. The stalls are run by exiled Tibetans so you know that you'll be helping their community.

  • A happy surprise ^_^

    The second shop, I past by and only bought one pair of earings. But the friendly shop owner gave me a neckplace made of turquoise. I was happily surprised by acceptting this nice gift from him.If you ever want to buy anything from Bodhgaya, those two shops are highly recommended.


Bodh Gaya Local Customs

  • Praying ritual

    These are wooden boards on which some kind of prayer ritual is performed (if you know more about this, then let me know). It involves the devotee kneeing at the end and then rolling their body flat onto the board by extending rollers along the length of the board. All the boards and devotees face in the same direction and the ritual is performed...

  • Monks

    I sat near some monks whilst they were being called to prayer. It's a nice experience to see them chant and perform their Buddhist rituals whilst only sitting a few feet away. They seem to like having you observe them. They come from all of the nearby monasteries and so where different coloured robes to indicate where they originate from. Tibetan...

  • Think twice when dealing with beggars

    Bodhgaya and the mahakalla caves are pilgrim places, so a LOT of beggars will gather there. Families send their elderly and children there, because they can´t work otherwise. Now dont give milkpowder to mothers with children, the´ll just sell it back to the shop-owner, and don´t buy sweets for kids, rather organize some proper food, or give them...


Bodh Gaya Warnings and Dangers

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Beggars around temple

    by Willettsworld Written Jul 24, 2007

    Unfortunately, Bihar is the poorest state in India and so, I'm afraid, you'll find plenty of beggars in Bodh Gaya. They mostly congregate around the outside of the Mahabodhi Temple in large rows sitting on the ground with begging bowls. I counted over 30 in one row alone plus more would beg for money through the fence as you're walking around the temple on the perimeter path. It's a shame and they have obviously have come to Bodh Gaya from other parts of Bihar in order to get money.

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Bodh Gaya What to Pack

  • gulshesh's Profile Photo

    Cigarete roling papers are hard to find

    by gulshesh Updated Oct 15, 2003

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito Repellant, Bodhgaya lies at a river.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A mosquito net is a must, just like almost everywhere in India

    Miscellaneous: If you roll your cigarettes, take the papers with you. Better you suply yourself with western papers before the trip, because the indian papers have a poor quality on the sticky part. You merely lick it of, and your cigarette will fall apart. We had bought all the papers of the entire town within a month, and there weren´t any being delivered for the following 6 weeks. Even the main suplier for all the tiny box-stores dind´t have any.

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Bodh Gaya Favorites

  • Temples close between 12-2pm

    Most of the temples and monasteries close for lunch between 12pm and 2pm. This means that you can take a nice long relaxing lunch!

  • Important Buddhist History

    Holding extreme religious importance to the Buddhists, Bodhgaya lies13 km south of Gaya, beside the river Phalgu. It was here, that the Lord Buddha sat under the Banyan tree and attained enlightenment, and a descendant of that original tree still flourishes there today. Bodhgaya is small and quiet town, which is the most important of all the...

  • Bodh Gaya Hotels

    15 Hotels in Bodh Gaya

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