About GayaGaya is unarguably one of the most symbolic city of Bihar. It in fact would not be an exaggeration to claim that Gaya’s history and culture is richest amongst all other districts of Bihar. From being birthplace of Buddhism to sharing deep bond with Hinduism and Jainism, Gaya has not only helped in shaping religious and cultural identity of Bihar but also of rest of India. The city is about 230 km from Bhagalpur, and 100 kilometers south of Patna . It lies on the banks of river Phalgu River and is surrounded by small rocky hills by three sides and the river flowing on the fourth (eastern) side.
But modern day Gaya is slowly but surely coming out shadow of its rich history. Today it is slowly adapting to values and ideas of modern times. Here is a brief profile of today’s modern day Gaya district.
History of GayaBefore starting information on modern day Gaya, a brief synopsis about its history. From finding mention in India’s great epic Mahabharata and Ramayana to witnessing rise and fall of many great empires, Gaya history does make for an enthralling account. Many greatest ancient empires of India like Sisunaga dynasty, Nanda dynasty, Magadha Empire, Pala Empire and Mauryan Empire had made Gaya their citadel for thousands of years. Gaya then came under the rule of series of Muslim dynasties during medieval period. Amongst them Mughals were obviously the most prominent ones.
But any discussion about history of Gaya would be incomplete without mentioning about Gautam Buddha and Lord Mahavira – two of the biggest religious icons of ancient India. Both performed many important religious practices and wrote important scriptures when King Bimbisara of Magadha Empire was the king of Gaya region. Gaya in fact is the birthplace of Buddhism, which today is third largest world religion. Since it was in Gaya that Gautam Buddha had achieved enlightenment and Buddhism was eventually born.
Geography of GayaGeographically Gaya city is spread over an area of 50.17 km2, total area covered by the district is 4,976 km2. It is located at a Longitude of 84.40° to 85.50° towards East and the latitude is 24.50° - 25.100° towards North. It is surrounded by Nawada District on the east, Aurangabad District on the west, Jehanabad District in the north, and Chatra district of Jharkhand in South. Phalgu is the main river of the district and is obviously very critical for providing drinking water and water for irrigation projects. As for minerals is concerned, then stone (Boulders) is the major mineral found here. It is majorly used for construction purposes and is one of the major exportable items of Gaya district. For More Click Here
Business and Economy of GayaEconomy of Gaya is completely driven by agriculture. More than half of the population’s employment and livelihood is dependent on agricultural sector alone. While remaining of the population is dependent on small & medium scale industries and service sector for their livelihood. Small & Medium Industrial sector is completely dominated by agro based and textile industries. There are also quite a few leather based and chemical industries. As for service sector is concerned, then it is completely dominated by banking sector, hospitality sector and unregulated retail sector. The district doesn’t have any large scale industries as of today.
Healthcare in GayaGaya does have robust healthcare infrastructure, but it definitely needs more hospitals and clinics for meeting healthcare needs of its growing population. The current number of hospitals in Gaya is around 50. Amongst these most of them happens to be private hospitals and homeopathic hospitals and very few are public hospitals. Bihar state government has also set up 24 Primary Health Centers (PHC) and 439 sub health centers in villages where there are no private or public hospitals. As for other important healthcare infrastructure like blood banks, eye banks and pathological labs, then over the years their numbers have increased steadily and are expected to increase even further in coming years.
Transportation in Gaya
As far as connectivity is concerned, then Gaya Railway Station holds immense importance. It is the main railway station of the district and connects it to almost all the important cities of India. Besides, Gaya also has a domestic airport. It is located some 5 to 6 kms away from famous Bodh Gaya temple. It also connects Gaya to almost all the important cities direct and indirect flights. Auto rickshaws are unarguably the most popular local transportation in Gaya. At least in main city of Gaya and its adjoining towns Auto rickshaws are the main lifeline. Another very important lifeline is newly inaugurated city bus, which actually operates only in the main city of Gaya. But as of today there are only 20 city buses operating and cover only 6 routes of Gaya city.
Tourism in GayaGaya is an awesome place when it comes to religious destinations. Since some of the most prominent temples and sacred destinations of our country are located in BodhGaya which is not too far from Gaya. And most prominent and sacred amongst them obviously happens to be Mahabodhi temple and Bodhi tree – birthplace of Buddhism and place where Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment. Other prominent religious destinations of near Gaya are as follows:
Thai Monastery: One of the most beautiful Buddhist Monasteries of India. The most special thing about this monastery being that it has been constructed completely in Thai architectural style.
Vishnupad Temple: Immensely sacred temple for Buddhist as well as Hindus. Gautama Buddha is widely believed to have meditated in this temple for almost 6 years.
Dungeshwari Temple: This is another one of those temples where Gautama Buddha spent years and years in meditation.
Art and Culture of Gaya
Gaya may not have its own unique dance and music, but Indian classical music and dance have always been integral part of its culture since time immemorial. Gaya Gharana of Indian classical music – though not that well known – is one of the prominent Gharanas here. Besides, Gaya is a place where Hinduism and Buddhism have evolved for thousands of years. Followers of both these religions bring their own rituals, values and beliefs. In fact Gaya is probably the only place in entire North India where Hinduism and Buddhism enjoy seamless union.
Cuisine of GayaGaya doesn’t have its own unique cuisine. Here the cuisine is all about typical Bihari and North Indian cuisine. All the basic staple food, sweet dishes, fast food that is popular in rest of Bihar is but obviously popular here too. It is also pertinent to mention here that although most of the people in Gaya are vegetarian, but non vegetarian food does enjoy decent popularity.
Gaya at a glanceCountry: India
Elevation: 111 m (364 ft)
Location: 24.75°N 85.01°E
Languages: Magahi, Hindi, English
Time zone: IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN: 823001 - 06
Telephone code: 91-631
Railway Station: Gaya Junction
Airport: Gaya Airport
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