Gaya is of historical significance and is one of the major tourist attractions of the state of Bihar. Gaya is 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of Patna, the capital city of Bihar. It is the state's second-largest city, with a population of 470,839, and is the headquarters of Gaya district and Magadh division. The city is surrounded on three sides by small, rocky hills (Mangla-Gauri, Shringa-Sthan, Ram-Shila, and Brahmayoni), with the Phalgu River on its fourth (eastern) side.
Gaya is sanctified in the Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist religions. Gaya district is mentioned in the great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It is the place where Rama, with Sita and Lakshmana, came to offer pind-daan for their father, Dasharath, and continues to be a major Hindu pilgrimage site for the pind-daan ritual. Bodh Gaya, where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, and is one of the four holy sites of Buddhism. The Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya is a World Heritage site.
Location of Gaya in Bihar
|• Type||Municipal corporation|
|• Body||Gaya Nagar Nigam|
|• Mayor||Birendra Kumar|
|• Total||90.17 km2 (34.81 sq mi)|
|Elevation||111 m (364 ft)|
|• Rank||98th (India) 2nd (Bihar)|
|• Density||9,490/km2 (24,600/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Gayaite, Gayavi |
|• Official||Hindi, Magahi, Urdu|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
823001 - 13
|ISO 3166 code||IN-BR|
|Railway Station||Gaya Junction|
|Airport||Gaya International Airport|
Gaya is one of the best historical sites in India.Gaya is named after the demon Gayasur (meaning "the demon Gaya"). According to Vayu Purana, Gaya was the name of a demon (Asura) whose body became pious after he performed strict penance and secured blessings from Lord Vishnu. It was said that the body of Gayasura was transformed into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of Gaya.
Gaya is an ancient city, with a documented history dating back to the 6th century BCE when the sage Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, 16 km (9.9 mi) from the modern city, and became the Buddha.
Even before this time, Gaya was a place of pilgrimage for people from around the world. The fame of ancient Gaya derived from the account in the Ramayana of the god Rama coming here to the banks of Phalgu River (called the Niranjana), accompanied by his wife and younger brother, to offer pind-daan for their father Dasharatha, for the moksha of his soul. In the Mahabharata, Gaya is referred to as Gayapuri.
Gaya flourished in the Maurya Empire (321–187 BCE), which ruled from the city of Pataliputra (adjacent to modern Patna) over an area that extended beyond the Indian subcontinent. During this period, Gaya witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties in the Magadha region, where it occupied an important place in cultural history over some 2,400 years between the 6th century BCE and the 18th century CE.
The city's cultural significance began with the dynasty founded by Sisunaga, who exercised power over Patna and Gaya around 600 BCE. Bimbisara, fifth king of the dynasty, who lived and ruled around 519 BCE, had projected Gaya to the outer world. Having attained an important place in the history of civilization, the area experienced the influence of Gautama Buddha and Bhagwan Mahavir during the reign of Bimbisara. After a brief period under the Nanda dynasty (345–321 BCE), Gaya and the entire Magadha region came under Mauryan rule. Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (272–232 BCE) embraced and promoted Buddhism. He visited Gaya, and built the first temple at Bodh Gaya to commemorate the Buddha's attainment of supreme enlightenment.
The period of Hindu revivalism began with the Gupta Empire during the 4th and 5th centuries CE. Samudragupta of Magadha brought Gaya into the limelight, making it the capital of Bihar district during the Gupta empire.
In the 12th century CE, Gaya was invaded by Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji of the Ghaznavid Empire. By 1557, it had become part of the Mughal Empire, and remained under its power until the Battle of Buxar and the beginning of British rule in 1764. Gaya, along with other parts of the country, gained its independence in 1947. Noting.
As attested by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton in the early nineteenth century, the city was divided into two areas: a sacred area in the southern part of the city, called Gaya; and the larger secular area, which may have been known by the Muslim community as Allahabad. During the British rule, the commercial and administrative area of the secular zone was formally named Saheb Ganj by British policy reformer Thomas Law, who was a district officer in Gaya in the late nineteenth century.
Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, founder of the All India Kisan Sabha peasant movement in 1936, established an ashram at Neyamatpur, Gaya, which later became the centre of the freedom struggle in Bihar. Many prominent leaders of the Indian National Congress visited frequently to meet Yadunandan (Jadunandan) Sharma when he was leader of Kisan Sabha, residing in the ashram set up by Swamiji. Yadunandan Sharma became the leader of the peasants of Gaya district and second-in-command to Swami Sahajanand Saraswati.
Gaya played a significant role in the Indian Independence Movement. From 26 to 31 December 1922, the 37th session of the Indian National Congress was held in Gaya under the presidency of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. It was attended by prominent leaders and luminaries of the Independence Movement, including Mohandas K. Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sri Krishna Sinha.
Gaya is the birthplace of eminent nationalist Bihar Vibhuti, Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Bihar's first deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister. Former Bihar Chief Minister Satyendra Narayan Sinha also hailed from Gaya. Shri Ishwar Chaudhary, a member of the Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Lok Sabhas from 1971 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1991, represented the Gaya constituency of Bihar.
Until 1864, Gaya was a part of the district of Behar and Ramgarh (now in the state of Jharkhand). It became a district of Bihar in its own right on 3 October 1865. In May 1981, the Bihar state government created the Magadh division, comprising the district of Gaya, along with Nawada, Aurangabad and Jehanabad, all of which had originally been sub-divisions when Gaya district was created. Aurangabad and Nawada were partitioned from the territory of Gaya in 1976; and Jehanabad in 1988. Gaya district occupies an area of 4,976 km2 (1,921 mile2).
The city of Gaya is a holy place of Hinduism, with a great number of Hindu deities represented in the engravings, paintings and carvings of its shrines. Of particular importance are the sites in the city associated with Vishnu, in particular the Phalgu River and the shrine Vishnupad Mandir, or Vishnupada, which is marked by a large footprint of Lord Vishnu engraved in a basalt block. Gaya is the location at which Rama, with Sita and Lakshmana, offered pind-daan for his father, Dasharatha. Gaya has since remained a site of key importance for the performance of the pind-daan ritual.
Nearby Bodh Gaya ("Buddha Gaya"), so named to distinguish it from the Hindu town centre of Gaya, is one of the four holiest sites of Buddhism and the site where the Buddha attained enlightenment.
The Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya was listed as a World Heritage site by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its 26th session, on 26 June 2002.
The 50-metre-high (160 ft) Mahabodhi Temple central to the complex was first built by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. The main part of the present structure dates from the 5th–6th centuries CE. It is one of the earliest and best-preserved Buddhist temples built entirely of brick dating from the later Gupta period. The Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa), the most important of the sacred places within the complex, is reputedly a descendant of the original tree under which Siddhārtha Gautama attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. Marking this seminal moment, Bodh Gaya is one of the four holiest pilgrimage sites of Buddhism, with Lumbini, Sarnath and Kushinagar.
The various structures on the site have undergone a number of restorations over the centuries. Ongoing maintenance and management is required to protect the complex which, as a major pilgrimage site, is under pressure due to large numbers of visitors. The site is under the responsibility of the state government of Bihar, and is managed by the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) and Advisory Board under the Bodh Gaya Temple Act, 1949.
As Gaya is surrounded by hills on three sides and river on the fourth side, the climate of Gaya is seasonable. Climate is characterised by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification sub-type for this climate is "Cfa" (humid subtropical).
Gaya is the second-largest contributor to the economy of Bihar, after Patna. Agriculture is the leading economic activity of the district. The main crops grown are rice, wheat, potatoes, and lentils. Livestock raised include cattle, buffaloes, goats and pigs. Gaya has a large number of household industries, producing incense sticks (atagarbatti), local sweets tilkut (made with sesame seed) and lai (made with poppy seed), stone-work, hand weaving, power-loom weaving, textiles and garments, small-scale manufactured goods, and plastic products. Small-scale industries also include agricultural services, metalworking, machinery and equipment production and repair services. The main vegetable market in the city is the Kedarnath Market. Commercial activities are located along its main roads; the city also has a large number of informal shops. As Gaya is an important centre of religious tourism, accommodation is widely available. Bodh Gaya's largest hotel is the Maha Bodhi Hotel, Resort & Convention Centre; the Sambodhi Retreat, a resort of Bihar and Jharkhand, is also in the town.
In January 2015, Gaya was chosen as one of twelve heritage cities to benefit from the Government of India's four-year Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme for urban planning, economic growth and heritage conservation projects. The scheme is due to complete in November 2018.
In the 2011 census, the Gaya Urban Agglomeration had a population of 474,093. The Gaya Urban Agglomeration encompasses the Gaya Municipal Corporation, Kaler (Out Growth), and Paharpur (Census Town). the Gaya Municipal Corporation had a total population of 468,614, of whom 247,572 were male and 221,042 were female. The population below 5 years was 59,669. The sex ratio was 986 women to 1000 men. The literacy rate for the population aged 7 and over was 85.74%.
Gaya is connected to the rest of India by roads, rail and airways. The Grand Chord section of the Indian Railways passes through Gaya.
There are many city buses and taxis providing services across the city and Bodh Gaya. Tangas, auto rickshaws, and cycle rickshaws also ply the city and Bodh Gaya. The main bus stands are Government Bus Stand, Sikaria More Bus Stand, Gaurkashni Bus Stand (Manpur), and Delha Bus Stand. Local transport is reliable, and auto rickshaws are available for various destinations in the city. The Gaya–Patna railway line plays a major role in transporting people from the town to the state capital.
Gaya has a road network providing good connectivity with the state of Bihar and other parts of the country. Regular direct bus services run from Gaya to Patna, Bhagalpur, Munger, Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hazaribagh, Durgapur, Asansol, Kolkata and Dhanbad. In 2011, A/C Mercedes-Benz luxury services were introduced by Bihar State Road Transport Corporation for Muzaffarpur, Patna, Munger, Bhagalpur, Motihari, Hazaribagh, Koderma, and Ramgarh.
The Grand Trunk Road from Kolkata to Delhi passes some 30 km (19 mi) from Gaya. This road, known as National Highway 2 before 2010, is now called National Highway 19. It connects Gaya to Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Rourkela, Durgapur, Kolkata (495 km), Varanasi (252 km), Allahabad, Kanpur, Delhi, Amritsar, and to the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Peshawar. Gaya is connected to Patna (105 km) by National Highway 22 (formerly NH 83), and to Nawada, Rajgir (78 km) and Bihar Sharif by NH 120. Construction work began in 2014 on the road from Patna to Dobhi via Gaya and Gaya to Bihar Sharif to create a four-lane highway with additional road and bridge infrastructure. Completion of the project, originally due in April 2018, has been delayed.
Gaya Junction railway station is a junction station serving the city. Gaya Junction was the only station in Bihar and Jharkhand in the list of 66 stations to be built to international standards drawn up by Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee. Gaya falls under the jurisdiction of the Mughalsarai railway division of the East Central Railway zone. The Grand Chord rail line that connects Howrah and New Delhi passes through Gaya. It lies between Mughalsarai Junction on the Delhi side and Dhanbad Junction on the Howrah side. It is located at . It has an elevation of 117 metres (384 ft).
Situated between Gaya (7 km) and Bodh Gaya (11 km), Gaya Airport is the largest airport by area, and one of two operating international airports in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. It is the second-busiest airport in Bihar, after Patna's Jay Prakash Narayan Airport. Gaya airport mainly operates seasonal flights for Buddhist pilgrims to Bodh Gaya from Colombo, Sri Lanka; Bangkok, Thailand; Singapore, and Paro, Bhutan. With flights to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, it also caters to Muslim pilgrims underaking the Hajj to Mecca. There are also regular domestic flights to Varanasi, Kolkata and Delhi. The Airports Authority of India has plans to develop Gaya Airport as a stand-by to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.
Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital (ANMMCH) is a medical college and hospital of Gaya, which was established in 1969 and is approved by Medical Council of India (MCI). It is named after Bihar Vibhuti Dr Anugrah Narayan Sinha.Central University of South Bihar
The Central University of South Bihar (CUSB) is one of the sixteen newly established Central Universities by the Government of India under the Central Universities Act, 2009 (Section 25 of 2009). The university is located at Panchanpur, Gaya, India. On 28 February 2014, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar laid the foundation stone for the permanent campus in Gaya. It will be spread in 300 acre campus at Panchanpur.C. P. Thakur is now newly appointed Chancellor (education) by President of IndiaGaya College
Gaya College is an educational institution located in Gaya, Bihar, India. The school was founded in 1944 in the home of Akhauri Prem Narayan.The first President of governing Council was Dr. Anugrah Narain Singh, the first Deputy Chief Minister of the state. It is a constituent of Magadh University at Bodh-Gaya.Gaya College of Engineering
Gaya College of Engineering is a government engineering college managed by the Department of Science and Technology of Government of Bihar. It is approved and recognised by AICTE and is affiliated to Aryabhatta Knowledge University(AKU) in Patna.
It was formerly named 'Magadh Engineering College (MEC)' from 1980 to 1994; now it is a public institute under name 'Gaya College of Engineering (GCE)'. It was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar on 19 November 2008 in presence of renowned dignitaries and educationists at a function held in college campus itself.Gaya Junction railway station
Gaya Junction railway station is a junction station serving the city of Gaya, the headquarters of Gaya district and Magadh Division in the Indian state of Bihar. Gaya is in the Mugalsarai Rail Division of the East Central Railway zone. Grand Chord rail-line that connects Howrah and New Delhi passes through Gaya. It lies between Mughalsarai Junction on the Delhi side and Dhanbad Junction on the Howrah side. It is located at 24°48′13″N 84°59′57″E. It has an elevation of 117 metres (384 ft). Gaya is connected with most of the states through rail network. Very few trains do-not stop here. There are also two other broad gauge train lines from Gaya, one to Patna and the other to Kiul Junction. The city has major two railway station Gaya Junction & Manpur Junction. Gaya is well connected with Patna, Jehanabad, Biharsharif, Rajgir, Islampur, Nawada through daily passenger and express train services.Hari Manjhi
Hari Manjhi (born 28 January 1963) is a from Gaya, currently representing that Lok Sabha seat in the Parliament of India. He was also a member of the 15th Lok Sabha. He is a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party.Janki Ballabh Shastri
Acharya Janki Ballabh Shastri (5 February 1916 – 7 April 2011) was an Indian Hindi poet, writer and critic. He declined to accept Padma Shri in 2010 stating his disciples deserved much more than Shri. He also refused the Padmashri in 1994.Lalit Mohan Sharma
Lalit Mohan Sharma (12 February 1928 – 3 November 2008) was the 24th Chief Justice of India. He was the son of L.N. Sinha, former Attorney General of India. He served as Chief Justice of India from 18 November 1992 until 11 February 1993.Laxmi Narayan Singh
Laxmi Narayan Singh (born 4 November 1955 in Gaya, Bihar) is an Indian politician, university professor, academic, and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Also known as Tun Tun Ji, he was previously associated with the RSS and held various positions in the state BJP organization. He contested the assembly elections in 1995 from Wazirganj (previously known as Gaya Muffassil) as a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate.Mangla Gauri Temple
The Mangla Gauri temple in [Gaya, Bihar] India has been mentioned in Padma Purana, Vayu Purana and Agni Purana and Shri Devi Bhagwat Puraan and Markandey Puraan in other scriptures and tantric works. This temple is among the eighteen maha shaktipeeth. The present temple dates back to 15th century. The shrine is dedicated to Sati or the mother Goddess in the predominantly Vaishnavite pilgrimage center of Gaya. Mangalagauri is worshiped as the Goddess of benevolence. This temple constitutes an Upa-Shakti Peeth — where it is believed that a part of the body of Sati fell according to mythology. Here Sati is worshipped in the form of a breast, a symbol of nourishment. It is believed that whoever comes to Maa durga with his wishes and prayers, returns successfully with all of prayers and wishes come true.
The temple is facing east and is built on top of the Mangalagauri hill. A flight of steps and a motorable road lead to it. The sanctum houses the symbol of the Goddess and it has some finely carved ancient relief sculptures. A small hall or mandap stands in front of the temple. The courtyard houses a fire pit for the home.
There are two minor shrines dedicated to Shiva and images of Mahishasura Mardini, Durga and Dakshina Kali.
The temple complex encompasses of temples of Maa Kali, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva.Mirza Ghalib College
Mirza Ghalib College, Gaya is a Minority College in Gaya offers courses up to Post Graduation in (Arts, Science, Commerce). It was established in year 1969 and affiliated by Magadh University, Bodh Gaya.Phalgu
The Phalgu or Falgu, a river that flows past Gaya, India in the Indian state of Bihar, is a sacred river for Hindus and Buddhists. In ancient scriptures, it is called the Nairañjanā in Sanskrit.Rajesh Kumar Manjhi
Rajesh Kumar Manjhi (born 12 April 1968) is a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He represented the Gaya constituency of Bihar and is a member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) political party.Satyendra Narayan Sinha
Satyendra Narayan Sinha (12 July 1917 – 4 September 2006) was an Indian statesman, participant in the Indian independence movement, a leading light of Jaya Prakash Narayan’s ‘complete revolution’ movement during the Emergency and a former Chief Minister of Bihar. Affectionately called Chhote Saheb, he was also a seven-time Member of Parliament from the Aurangabad constituency, a three-term Member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, and a Member of the Bihar Legislative Council once. Regarded to be one of India's most influential regional people of the time, his reputation was synonymous with being a strict disciplinarian and tough taskmaster.Sir Syed Memorial School
Sir Syed Memorial School is an English-medium school in Bihar, India established in 1992.
Sir Syed Memorial School is about 35 km from Gaya, at Karma, near Bhadeya in Barachatti block. It has approximately 1200 students and is run by the Minority Upliftment Society, which aims to provide a good education to children of poor families in rural areas.Tabish Khair
Tabish Khair (Hindi: ताबिश खैर) is an Indian English author and associate professor in the Department of English, University of Aarhus, Denmark. His books include Babu Fictions (2001), The Bus Stopped (2004), which was shortlisted for the Encore Award (UK) and The Thing About Thugs (2010), which has been shortlisted for a number of prizes, including the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Man Asian Literary Prize. His poem Birds of North Europe won the First Prize in the Sixth The Poetry Society (India) Competition held in 1995.Vikas Kumar
Vikas Kumar (born 18 May in Nalanda, Bihar) is an Indian actor and dialogue coach.
Known mainly for his performance of an honest yet adamant cop in YRF TV's Khotey Sikkey, and for his work as dialogue coach in Hindi films like Ishqiya, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Udaan. After a 3-month workshop with theater guru Barry John, Vikas participated in theatrical productions directed by John and later by Aamir Raza Husain and Virat Husain. Since then Vikas has worked as an actor and as dialogue coach.Vishnupad Mandir
Vishnupada Mandir is an ancient temple in Gaya, India. It is a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
This temple is located along the Falgu River, marked by a footprint of Lord Vishnu known as Dharmasila, incised into a block of basalt. The Brahma mythy Brahmans were the traditional priest of the temple in the ancient time. Now the Brahamkalpit Brahman who are known as Gayawal Tirth Purohit or Panda are the priests.
Several legendary saints as Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramakrishna have visited this shrine.
|Climate data for Gaya, India|
|Average high °C (°F)||24
|Average low °C (°F)||10
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||20
|Divisions and |
Hindu holy cities
Cities and towns in Magadh Division
|Cities and towns|
in other Divisions