Why is Gaya famous? | गया क्यों प्रसिद्ध है?

Why is Gaya famous: Gaya is the second largest city of Bihar and is also the headquarters of Gaya district. Gaya is located 100 kilometers south of Patna, the capital of Bihar. This ancient city developed on the banks of river Phalgu (mentioned as Niranjana in Ramayana). This place is considered sacred for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is surrounded by small rocky mountains (Mangla-Gauri, Shring-Sthan, Ram-Shila and Brahmayoni) on three sides and the river is flowing on the fourth (eastern) side. The name Gaya is derived from the mythological demon Gayasura (literally meaning Gaya demon).

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Religious Significance

Gaya is an important religious site for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains:

  • For Hindus, Gaya is a sacred land, where souls find peace and ancestors attain salvation. Phalgu River, known as Niranjana in Ramayana, is a symbol of the religious grandeur of this city. Every year, thousands of pilgrims come to Gaya to perform Pind Daan, a ritual to liberate the souls of their ancestors.

    Pind Daan ritual in Gaya
    Pind Daan ritual in Gaya
  • For Buddhists, Gaya is an important site as it is located near Bodh Gaya, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Mahabodhi tree. Bodh Gaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists around the world.

    Statue of Lord Buddha in Bodh Gaya
    Statue of Lord Buddha in Bodh Gaya
  • For Jains, Gaya is the birthplace of Mahavir Swami, who was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. Gaya has many ancient Jain temples and ashrams, which provide a glimpse of the rich religious heritage and peaceful lifestyle of Jainism.

    Mangla Gauri Temple
    Mangla Gauri Temple Gaya

Historical Significance

Gaya is an ancient city whose history is thousands of years old. The city has been witness to many important historical events.

  • According to Ramayana, Lord Rama performed Pind Daan in Gaya for his father Dasharatha. This event made Gaya an important Hindu pilgrimage site.
  • During the Gupta period, Gaya was an important Buddhist centre. Many famous Buddhist scholars and monks lived in Gaya.
  • During the Mughal period, Gaya was an important trading and cultural centre. Many traders and artists decided to settle in Gaya.


Gaya is a popular tourist destination. The city has many historical and religious sites, which attract tourists.

  • Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Gaya include:
    • Vishnupad Temple: This temple is home to the footprints of Lord Vishnu.
    • Akshayavat tree: This tree holds an important place in Hindu mythology.
    • Ramshila: This stone is home to the bow and arrow marks of Lord Rama.
    • Gaya Stupa: This stupa symbolizes the abode of Lord Buddha.
    • Mangala Gauri Temple: This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
    • Crest point: This hill is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Gaya is a vibrant and multicultural city known for its rich heritage and religious significance. It is a city that offers something for everyone, be it a religious pilgrim, a history lover or simply wanting to experience a beautiful city.

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