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Gaya, Bihar Travel Guide

Gaya is the next biggest city of the state of Bihar after Patna. It is located on the banks of river Falgu (mentioned as Niranjana in Ramayan). Gaya is a sacred place for Hindus as well as Buddhists. It is bounded by rocky Hills on three sides and the river on its fourth side. The city derives its name from gayasur a holy demon. Lord Vishnu killed Gaysur just by the pressure of his foot over him and he transformed into series of hills that surround Gaya today, The hills are named thus Rama Shila, Mangla Gauri, Shringa Sthan, and Bramayoni . Gaya had powers to absolve the sins of those who just touched him or looked at him. On his death people performed shraddha on his body to absolve the sins of their ancestors. Many gods and goddeses promised to live on the body of Gaysura after he died. The series of hill tops had many temples built on it, These temples now are part of pilgrimage to Gaya. Hindus visit Gaya to gain salvation for the ancestors by doing pinda daan. The Buddhists treat Gaya as important pilgrimage because it was here that Lord Buddha preached the fire sermon to thousands of fire worshipping devotees.

Places in and around the city:
Various ghats and temples, papal trees or akshyavats , mangla gauri shrine, vishnupad Temple are some of the places of visit in Gaya. For Buddihists Mahabodhi Temple where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. The 94 ft. tall Vishal Buddha Mandir in bodh gaya. The largest mosque in Bihar jama masjid is located in Gaya. Another visiting place for muslims is shrine of hazrat Makhdoom Syed Shah Durwesh Ashraf , Bitho Sharif and Hazrat Mosizuddin Ahmad R.A.

How to reach: Gaya is well connected to rest of India by all three modes of transports. By air Gaya is connected with many cities in India as well as abroad. Gaya is the only international airport in the state of Bihar and Jharkhand. There are International flights to Colombo, Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore, Paro, Bhutan, Railways has a very significant routes connecting Gaya with various towns in the country. Gaya is a railway junction connected to all the metropolitan cities New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai. Regular direct bus service is available to Patna, Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi etc. Gaya is connected by road to Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Rourkela, Hazaribagh, Kolkata, Varanasi, Kanpur, Delhi, Amritsar in india and also to Pakistani cities of Lahore and Peshwar.

Food: The staple food in Gaya is of common variety eaten elsewhere in Bihar and Jharkhand. Tikut, kesaria peda, Lai and anarsa is famous in sweets. Many snack items such as samosa chat, Alu kachalu, Sabudana-Badam bhoonja and Aalu chaat are famous.

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