Around 10 km from Ramshila Hill stands Pretshila Hill and right below is the Brahma Kund where people take a dip before going for pinda-daan (offerings made to ancestors for them to have peace). The main attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Yama, the god of death, that is situated on top of the hill. Ahilya Bai, the queen of Indore, built the temple in 1787, which is famous for its architecture and sculptures. In close proximity to the temple lies Ramkund that is believed to be the spot where Lord Rama once bathed. Devotees believe that taking a dip in this tank absolves them of their sins. It is said that the temple was built by her to pacify a spirit that once haunted this place. Another legend mentions a demon named Gayasur who felt distressed every time he saw death so he went atop a mountain and offered penance. Pleased with Gayasur, Lord Vishnu offered him to seek a blessing. Gayasur requested Lord Vishnu that whosoever came in contact with him, be it an insect or an animal, a saint or a common man, an angel or a demon, a holy person or a demon, he or she should find salvation after having been purified of all sins. Beginning that day, anyone who came in touch with Gayasur achieved salvation and moved to Vaikunth or the abode of Lord Vishnu. However, it is said that Lord Vishnu killed Gayasur by stamping his foot over him and in turn, forming the most pious land on earth called Gayakshetra. This entire incident changed Gayasur into a number of rocky hills that now form the landscape of the city of Gaya. As this place is said to have been blessed by the powers of purification, people come here to perform shraddha sacrifices on Gayasur’s body to dissolve the sins of their ancestors.

Other Attractions in Gaya