From Bodhgaya we continue our journey to Gaya, a significant holy town for Hindus. Its just 20minutes drive from Bodhgaya.
Gaya is a small town blend with natural surroundings, old small houses and narrow roads. It is not a typical tourist town, however always busy with Hindus from all over the world, who come here to perform praying for their passed ancestors.
According to hindu books, Gaya has derived, it’s name from the mythological demon Gayasur. It is believed that Gayasur, the holy demon was killed by lord Vishnu with the pressure of his foot over him. As such, Vishnupad temple was built with the footprints of Lord Vishnu in the centre. Actual construction date of this temple is unknown but the present day structure was built around 220 years ago.
As we arrive at the temple, a lot of priests approach us asking to offer praying and demand a hefty amount. We just politely ignored them and walked into the temple.
The environment inside temple was very peaceful and I’m happy that able perform pooja at the Lord Vishnu’s footprint.
Within the temple compound there is a Bayan tree, known as Akshayabat, which is believed to be blessed by Sita to become immortal.
As written in Ramayana, Lord Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshman travelled here for offering “Pinda Daan” to his father Dashrath. At that time Gaya was known as Gayapuri.
Many Hindus believed that this place has been blessed by purificatory powers and many come here to perform “Pinda Daan” to honour their ancestors and release them from agonies of hell and sent to heaven.