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BODHGAYA HISTORY & TRAVEL INFORMATION

The search of Siddhartha Gautam Sakyamuni for the eternal truth ended at the site of the Bodhi Tree after nine years of wanderings. Just near this peaceful place flows the river Niranjana, where Lord Buddha used to bathe. The present Bodhi Tree is derived from the original tree under which Siddartha Gautam became the world renowned Buddha after achieving the highest knowledge. He later wandered to Sarnath near Varanasi where he met the five monks who had earlier meditated with him. They were his first disciples when he preached his first sermon called Dharmachakra or the wheel of religion. He later wandered to various places like Sravasti, Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda University etc. to preach Buddhism.

A temple was later built near the site of his enlightenment. The Mahabodhi temple is quite unique in Buddhist temple architecture. The present structure of Bodhi Temple, also called Mahabodhi Temple, dates from 19th century when extensive renovations were done to this temple and represents a fairly accurate style of the original temple. Many countries with large Buddhist population have built temples or monasteries here. The 82 feet or 25 meters high Buddha Statue in the Japanese Kamakura style was unveiled by his holiness the Dalai Lama in 1989.

The population of Bodhgaya is about 22,000 and it is situated at an altitude of 371 feet or 113 meters above sea-level. Maximum temperature in summer rises to 113 to 117 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 to 47 degrees C and the minimum is 81 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 degrees C; while in winter maximum is 82 degrees Fahrenheit or 28 degrees C and minimum is 39 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees C. It receives an annual rainfall of 73.2 inches or 1,860 millimeters.

Patna is the nearest airport with regular flights to Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai. Kolkata has an international airport. Gaya is the nearest railway station. Several super-fast as well as express trains are available from Gaya. Gaya is on the main Delhi to Kolkata line and there are direct trains to Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, Puri and Patna.

2-star hotels:

Tokyo Vihar Hotel - 30 rooms
Royal Residency Hotel - 67 rooms
Lotus Nikko Boghgaya Hotel – 34 rooms
Hotel Taj Darbar - 50 rooms
Sujana Hotel - 65 rooms

Distance from Bodhgaya:

Gaya: 12 kilometers or 7 miles
Patna: 198 kilometers or 123 miles
Rajgir: 66 kilometers or 41 miles
Varanasi: 255 kilometers or 158 miles
Kolkata: 482 kilometers or 299 miles

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