Heritage Tours in Gaya Posted November 21, 2014 by Ath Hospitality

0

Heritage Tours in Gaya

Heritage Tours in Gaya

Heritage Tours in Gaya

Gaya derives its name from the mythological demon Gayasur (which literally means Gaya the demon). According to Vayu Purana, Gaya was the name of a demon (Asura) whose body was pious after he performed rigid penance and secured blessings fromVishnu. It was said that the body of Gayasura was transformed into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of Gaya.
Gayasura was so holy that he had the power to absolve the sins of those who touched him or looked at him; after his death many people have flocked to Gaya to perform Shraddha sacrifices on his body to absolve the sins of their ancestors. Gods and goddesses had promised to live on Gayasur’s body after he died, and the hilltop protuberances of Gaya are surmounted by temples to various gods and goddesses. These hilltop temples at Rama Shila, Mangla Gauri, Shringa Sthan and Brahmayoni are part of pilgrimage circuit, and grand staircases have been built up to most of them.

Gaya is a holy place for buddhism, jainism and hinduism. Ghats and temples are lined on the banks of the sacred Phalgu River. Trees such as pipal trees and Akshayavat, the undying banyan, are especially sacred. The Mangla Gauri shrine is marked by two rounded stones that symbolize the breasts of the mythological Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva. The most popular temple today isVishnupad Temple, a place along the Phalgu River, marked by a footprint of Lord Vishnu incised into a block of basalt, that marks the act of Lord Vishnu subduing Gayasur by placing his foot on Gayasur’s chest. Bhumihar Brahmin have been the traditional priests at Vishnupad Mandir in Gaya as Gayawal Pandas and in the adjoining districts like Hazaribagh. The present-day temple was rebuilt by Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, the ruler of Indore, in the 18th century. Buddhist tradition regards the footstep in the Vishnupad Temple as a footstep of Buddha (who is regarded as an Avatar of Vishnu by Hindus).

Gaya is significant to Hindus from the point of view of salvation to the souls of ancestors (a ritual called pinda daan). According to Ramayana, Lord Rama came to Gaya along with Sita for pitripaksha (or to perform pindadanam). While Lord Rama had gone to have his bath before offering this pindadanam, his father King Dasharath’s hands appeared and a voice spoke to Sita asking her to offer the pindam herself, as the King was very hungry. Moved by this, Sita prepared pindams out of sand, and offered them herself to the hands that appeared to receive them. After some time, Lord Rama came back and started performing the rites. When it was time to give the pindadanam, he was surprised and pained to see his father’s not receiving it. Sita then explained what had occurred. She called for the river Phalgu, a Brahman standing nearby, cow, and a banyan tree nearby as a witness to this miraculous occurrence. Except for the banyan tree that supported her, rest of them denied her story – Brahman had a greed for more money as offerings, river Phalgu in a wish to receive more offerings from Lord Rama, and the cow in awe of the Lord. So, Sita cursed the three liars. Ramayana states that on account of this curse, Phalgu River lost its water, and the river is simply a vast stretch of sand dunes. At the same time Sita blessed a banyan tree to be immortal. This tree is known as Akshyavat. Akshyavat is combination of two words Akshya (which never decay) and Vat (Banyan tree). Once a year banyan trees shed leaves, but this particular tree never sheds its leaves which keeps it green even in times of drought.

For Jainism, Gaya is an important place where it has many Jain temples and it has nearest airport to reach Jain Pilgrimage Pawapuri from

Heritage Tours in Gaya

where Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana (Moksha). In Gaya Jain Temple is near Clock Tower. This temple is very neat and clean on the first floor where idols of different Tirthankras are placed. The idol of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu is specifically miraculous. For pilgrims, residential facility is available in Jain Bhawan near the temple.

Parasnath hill is a pilgrim destination located in Gaya. Jain religious scriptures reveal that out of 24 Jain Tirthankars, 22 attained salvation at this place and for this simple reason the place is considered the most sacred for Jain followers. Jain devotees flock in large number every year to Parasnath hill.

For Buddhists, Gaya is an important pilgrimage place because it was at Brahmayoni hill that Buddha preached the Fire Sermon (Adittapariyaya Sutta) to a thousand former fire-worshipping ascetics, who all became enlightened while listening to this discourse. At that time, the hill was called Gayasisa.

Culture has always been a major object of travel, as the development of the Grand Tour from the 16th century onwards attests. In the 20th century, some people have claimed, culture ceased to be the objective of tourism: tourism is now culture. Cultural attractions
play an important role in tourism at all levels, from the global highlights of world culture to attractions that underpin local identities.

Ath Hospitality is providing all your hospitality needs, we ensures your comfort, convenience and security in Gaya in India.

Heritage Tours in Gaya

Leave a Comment