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The Gaya Mandir, famously known as the Vishnupad Temple, is dedicated to the mighty Lord Vishnu. It is situated near the serene Phalgu River. It is a popular destination in Bihar. Get the best view of the city of Gaya, a popular tourist destination which is visited by many. Another highlight of the temple is the famous Banyan Tree, also called the Akshayavat, where the rituals occur after a person dies. Let us dive straight into the history and origin of the Gaya Mandir and some other famous temples in Bihar that are a must-add to your itinerary!

History Of Gaya Mandir

The Mighty Lord Vishnu pushed Gayasura beneath the earth’s surface.

Image Credit: Keymaker31 for Wikimedia Commons

Once upon a time, there was a demon known as the Gayasura. He made a lot of sacrifices and asked for a boon. The boon was that whenever someone looked at him, that person would gain salvation. A person should not be able to attain it so easily just by looking at Gayasura, which could even result in people attaining salvation who are cheaters. So, Lord Vishnu asked Gayasura to go under the Earth’s surface. Now that Gayasura was under the earth’s surface, he begged for food from Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu granted his wish and promised him that someone would give him food, and since then, whenever someone dies, the family makes food in the name of the dead for Gayasura.

Must Read: Mundeshwari Temple

What Makes Gaya Mandir So Special?

Stunning architecture of Gaya Mandir

Image Credit: Neil Satyam for Wikimedia Commons
The stunning architecture of the Gaya Mandir adds to the spiritual charm of this heavenly temple and is a must-add when you plan a vacation to Bihar. The history of the Gaya Mandir can be traced back to the legend of Ramayana, and it was even visited by Sita and Ram. That’s what it is believed by the Hindus, but the Gaya Mandir is believed to have been rebuilt during the reign of the Queen Ahilya from Indore. The splendid architecture of the temple – the intricate carvings and detailing- and the fact that the temple is built out of stone are testaments to the craftsmanship of the architects who built the temple.

Highlights Of The Mandir

The footprint of Lord Vishnu that is almost 40 cm in length

Image Credit: Sumit Magdum for Wikimedia Commons
The weapons of Lord Vishnu are depicted by the various symbols (9 in number) – some of them are Chakra, Gadha, and Shankh on a footprint that is believed to be of Lord Vishnu, that is massive, about 40 cm in length, this is where the name, Vishnupad is derived from. Another name for Vishnupad is Dharamshala, which is found to be carved on a rock. The solid rock is adorned with red sandalwood and silver metal. The temple is a visual marvel and extremely beautiful. You would need to go on a little climb, which is almost 1000 steps made out of stone, to reach the top of the temple adorned by the picturesque Brahmajuni Hill. It might seem a little tiring, but the views from the top are worth it!

Suggested Read: Temples In Bihar

Other Temples In Bihar To Visit

Are you planning the perfect itinerary to Bihar and looking to add some stunning temples to it, along with a visit to Gaya Mandir? Here are some places in and around Bihar to make your trip more serene and beautiful!

1. Mahabodhi Temple

The Stunning Mahabodhi Temple with its intricate carvings

Image Source: Pexels

Mahabodi Temple, built in the 5th century during the reign of the Gupta dynasty, is of holy importance to the devotees of Buddha. The literal translation of Mahabodhi is the Great Awakening, which comes from the belief that this is where Buddha attained enlightenment. The temple’s splendid architectural design is mainly made of bricks, and it is astonishing how the temple still stands tall and strong.

Location: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231
Timings: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Nearby Restaurants: Mahamaya Restaurant, Nirvana Garden Cafe & Restaurant, Tibet Om Cafe

2. Patan Devi Temple

Patan Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga near Gaya mandir

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Famously also known as Maa Parmeshwari, it is one of the Siddha Shakti Pithas in India. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga. Legends say that Devi Sati’s ‘right thigh’ fell off here. Devotees of Goddess Durga visit the temple in large numbers, especially on Tuesdays. Durga Puja is a festival celebrated on a large scale at the Patan Devi Temple. The Patan Devi Temple is also home to three other goddesses: Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasarasswati.

Location: Sadikpur, Patna, Bihar 800007
Timings: 7 am to 1 pm, 4 am to 9 pm.
Nearby Restaurants: Pind Balluchi, Mainland China, The Spice Court, Basant Vihar

Suggested Read: Tourist Places In Sasaram

3. Mundeshwari Temple

Lord Shiva is one of the deities in the Mundeshwari Temple near the Gaya Mandir

Image Credit: Shivam Kumar for Wikimedia Commons

The Mundeshwari Temple is also dedicated to goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. It is of great importance to Hindus, and people come from faraway places to visit it. The temple’s architecture is in the Nagara style. The oldest Hindi temple is situated in Ramgarh village. Plan a visit to the Mundeshwari Temple during Navratri, as a fair is organized on a large scale, making it a popular tourist destination.

Location: Mundeshwari Dham Rd, Bhabua, Paunra, Bihar 821103
Timings: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nearby Restaurants: Hotel Atithi, Amit Hotel, Green Park Restaurant

Further Read: Places To Visit In Madhubani

The legend of Gaya Mandir—doesn’t it seem so attractive? These were just some of the temples with a very brief history. Plan a trip to Bihar to learn more about its cultural heritage. Take some days off work and book your flight tickets immediately. You are in for a trip full of solitude and tranquillity—a must for all city dwellers!

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Cover Image Source: Surajkumar12111 for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Gaya Mandir

What time of the day is the Gaya Mandir open?

The temple opens as early as 5 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. There is a morning arti at 5:30 in the morning and the evening arti at 6:30 in the evening.

What are some restaurants that I can eat at that are located near Gaya Mandir?

Enjoy some of the most scrumptious food at Jungle Restaurant, Zaika Que-Pure Veg Restaurant, Hop To It, and Moti Mahal Delux Restaurant.

How should I travel to the Gaya Mandir?

You can travel very conveniently by flight as there is a Gaya International Airport very near to the temple. Buses are very frequent as well, serving as a very convenient mode of transport along with railways.

Do the various symbols on Lord Vishnu’s footprint signify something?

They are on the 40 cm long footprint signifying the great weapons of Lord Vishnu. Some of them are Chakra, Shankh, and Gadha.

What are some great tourist attractions other than Gaya Mandir that I can add to my itinerary while planning a trip to Bihar?

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Bodh Gaya, Barabar Caves, Valmiki Tiger Reserve, and the Buddha Smriti Park are some great tourist attractions that I can add to my itinerary for Bihar along with Gaya Mandir.

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