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Bodhgaya Tour

Bodhgaya

Bodhgaya is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage place in the world. Located in the state of Bihar, it's here that Lord Buddha became enlightened during intense meditation under a Bodhi tree. The exact spot is now marked by the sprawling Mahabodhi Temple complex. It's a very serene and peaceful place. Monks from all over the world can be found sitting at the foot of an enormous carved Buddha statue, reading holy scriptures in deep contemplation. The town is also home to dozens of Buddhist monasteries, maintained by various Buddhist countries.

When to Visit

The pilgrimage season starts in Bodhgaya from September, and reaches a peak in January. Ideally, the best time to visit weather wise is between November and February. You should avoid visiting in monsoon season between June and September. The weather gets quite oppressive, followed by heavy rains. Summers, from March to May, are very hot. However, Bodhgaya still attracts a large number of devotees during this time for Buddha Jayanti(Buddha's birthday) celebrations, held in May.

Attractions

The elaborately carved Mahabodhi Temple, Buddhism's holiest shrine, is the big attraction in Bodhgaya. The temple was declared aUNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. It's open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with chanting and meditation held an hour after opening and an hour before closing. The other monasteries, built and maintained by various Buddhist countries, are also fascinating -- particularly the different architecture styles. Opening hours are from 5 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Don't miss the very ornate Thai temple, shimmering with gold. Another popular attraction is the towering 80 foot statue of Lord Buddha. Bodhgaya also has an Archaeological Museumdisplaying an interesting array of relics, scriptures, and ancient statues of Buddha.

Meditation and Buddhism Courses

You'll find plenty of meditation and Buddhism courses and retreats on offer in Bodhgaya. TheRoot Institute for Wisdom Culture offers introductory and intermediate meditation and philosophy courses, explained in the Tibetian Mahayana tradition, from October to March. Those interested in Vipassana Meditation can learn it at the Dhamma Bodhi Vipassana Centre. Ten day residential retreats start on the 1st and 16th of every month. Some monasteries also offer various Buddhism courses.

Festivals

You'll find plenty of meditation and Buddhism courses and retreats on offer in Bodhgaya. TheRoot Institute for Wisdom Culture offers introductory and intermediate meditation and philosophy courses, explained in the Tibetian Mahayana tradition, from October to March. Those interested in Vipassana Meditation can learn it at the Dhamma Bodhi Vipassana Centre. Ten day residential retreats start on the 1st and 16th of every month. Some monasteries also offer various Buddhism courses.

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