In 528 BC Prince Siddhartha Gautama came here in search of truth. After seeing sorrow, misery, pain and death he decided to probe into their causes and find out means of overcoming their occurrences. He renounced the life of a prince and traveled from place to place until finally attaining enlightenment by meditation under the Bodhi Tree (peepul tree). It is also famous for its Mahabodhi Temple and is reckoned as the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centre.
Bodhgaya, 14 km south of Gaya; is the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage center in the world. The region around Bodhgaya formed the part of the first small kingdoms of India in the 7th century BC. It is the place where is the place where Gautam Buddha entered into meditation after being moved by the sufferings of mankind. After gaining Enlightenment, Gautam became Buddha and spread his message of love and peace to th whole world. To mark the spot where Gautam Buddha had attained Enlightenment, the great Mauryan ruler King Ashoka built a small shrine here in the 3rd century BC. After that the subsequent rulers left their mark on this shrine, which finally took the shape of the Mahabodhi temple that is still there.
Bodhgaya fair & festivals
The festivals which are celebrated in bodhgaya are :-
Buddha Jayanti:- This festival is celebrated on a full moon day in April/May as Buddha's birth anniversary as well as enlightenment. On this occasion devotees come from all over the world.
Nyingma Monlam Chenmo:- This festival held in January-February for about three weeks, this festival is celebrated for world peace often attended by the Dalai Lama as well.
Bodhgaya best season
The pilgrimage season starts in August but the best time to visit Bodhgaya is between November to February when the climate is comfortable.