Right after our trip to Sikkim, we booked a train ticket to Gaya en route to Bodhgaya. I heard that it’s an interesting place to visit in India because of the big concentration of Buddhist monasteries instead of Hindu.
Getting to Bodhgaya
Since we came from Sikkim, we took a shared jeep from Pelling to Siliguri and spent the night in Siliguri before heading to new Jaipalguri Train station the following morning.
We took the overnight train to Gaya since there’s no direct train to Bodhigaya and took a rickshaw to our final destination (Bodhgaya).
Tip: Shared rickshaw to Bodhgaya are cheaper but you can rent the entire rickshaw for yourself for around 150 Rupees.
Where to Stay
Bodhgaya is a tourist and pilgrim town and it’s full of accommodations for all budget. Just don’t travel during the peak season where it’s almost impossible to get an accommodation even in monasteries.
If you want to stay in monasteries, Tibetan Karma Monastery and the Bhutanese Monastery offers accommodation to travellers.
My Personal Experience
It was around late May when we were in Bodhgaya and it was so hot. The temperature was going above 40 degrees. June and July and is said to be hotter (sometimes reaching to 45 degrees celsius). Accommodation is plenty during these times but the heat is almost unbearable.
Nevertheless, we still continued on with the journey and explored various monasteries in Bodhgaya. They say that all Buddhist countries in the world has their monastery here in Bodhgaya.
The monasteries are very beautiful and make sure to go inside to see the beautiful interiors as well.
There are also Buddhist course being offered in some places for those who are interested to learn about it.
I also found out that Bodhgaya is also a great place to buy Tibetan and Buddhist artefacts. Some of these shops can be found near Tibetan Karma Temple.
We also visited the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya where you could find the Bodhi tree where Buddha attained enlightenment. I’ll write a separate post about it. This seems to be the main reason why Buddhist pilgrims visit Bodhigaya.
They say that the best time to go is around October to March where Tibetans from Dharamsala and Buddhist from all over the world go to Bodhigaya. If you want to visit Bodhgaya at these times, make sure to book your accommodation ahead of time.