The ancient city of Gaya is important for Hindus and Buddhists. The name of Gaya is derived from the name of a demon Gayasur. According to Hindu mythological sources, Lord Vishnu killed Gayasur at this place. The place is one of the pilgrim destinations for Vaishnavites in particular and Hindus in general. The Vishnupad Temple at Gaya attracts Hindu devotees from all over India and ritual Pind Dan which is mandatory for every Hindu is performed here religiously.
Gaya is accessible through road and rail transportation and its easy accessibility has led to full-fledged development of tourism in and around Gaya. More importantly, the place is part of the Buddhist circuit. There are many places of historical and cultural importance around Gaya. Let’s explore some important places to see near Gaya.
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 numbers every year to Parasnath hill.
Pawapuri is located 90 kilometers away from Gaya. Jain followers believe that visiting the place one can get rid of his sins. Mahavir took his last breath at Pavapuri. A popular Jain tale says that when Mahavir died at Pawapuri, people took away not only the ashes but also scooped out earth which resulted in a tank. Pawapuri has a Jain temple called Jalamandir. Jalmandir is made of marble and is a major tourist attraction at Pawapuri.
Chhota Nagpur Plateau
The region of wild animals, rivers, lakes, and greenery is a major tourist attraction near Gaya. Located at the altitude of 300-900 meters, the plateau has verdant valleys to see and tribal culture of indigenous people in their original habitat is another attraction at the place. Tribes like Santhal, Ho, Munda, Oraon, Koi, Chero, Kharia, Paharia are worth to observe and a silent study of their living and culture would be a good idea.