The quaint town of Bodh Gaya, in Bihar, echoes with a tranquil ambience, underlined by intense devotion. Dotted with temples and monasteries, this 2,500-year-old birthplace of Buddhism invites travellers from all across the world to soak in its spiritual vibes, retrace the footsteps of Lord Buddha and understand his philosophies at the place where he attained nirvana (enlightenment). The city ebbs and flows with devotees throughout the year, yet it remains suspended in time, as monks in saffron and maroon robes walk around the monuments and temples, their chants and prayers enveloping the surroundings in a cocoon of peace. Even the air of this small town seems to be permeated with peace and serenity, synonymous with Buddhism. Prince Siddhartha, who later became Lord Buddha, is said to have found a quiet retreat under the most hallowed spot here, the Bo or Bodhi tree, where he meditated till the attainment of enlightenment. There are many legends associated with this historic event and it is said that as young Siddhartha settled down to meditate, a young cow-herder named Sujata noticed him and moved by his gaunt appearance, brought him a bowl of kheer (sweet rice pudding).

Not only did the meal give him strength but it is said to have inspired his thoughts on following the Middle Path. The ancient city of Bodhgaya holds a special significance in Hinduism; Gaya is mentioned in the great epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It is also said to be the place where Lord Rama, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, came to offer pind dan (an offering to ancestors during Hindu funeral rites) for their father Dashratha.

Immersive Experience