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Gaya is a major tourist destination in Bihar tourism. A land rich in cultural and religious heritage, Gaya is about 100 km south of Patna.Just as Bodhgaya is a major centre for Buddhist pilgrimage Gaya is a centre for Hindu pilgrims. Vishnu is said to have given Gaya the power to absolve sinners. Pilgrims come here to offer pinddhan at the ghats along the river and perform all the rituals. According to Ramayana, when Lord Rama came to Gaya along with Sita for pindadanam, Sita cursed the Falgu River following some disobedience on the part of the river. The mythology states that on account of this curse, Falgu River lost its water, and the river is simply a vast stretch of sand dunes.
It is situated on the banks of Falgu River place sanctified by both Hindu and Buddhists religions. Surrounded by small rocky hills by three sides and the river flowing on the fourth (western) side, the city has a mix of natural surroundings, age old buildings and narrow bylanes.Gaya derives its name from the mythological demon Gayasur.Over the period the word asur was dropped and the name Gaya remained in use.Gayasur was killed by Lord Vishnu by using the pressure of his foot over him .The demon was transformed into the series of rocky hills covering the landscape of the Gaya ciy.
Gaya was so holy that he had the power to absolve the sins of those who touched him or looked at him; after his death many people have flocked to Gaya to perform shraddha sacrifices on his body to absolve the sins of their ancestors. Gods and goddesses had promised to live on Gayasur's body after he died, and the hilltop protuberances of Gaya are surmounted by temples to various gods and goddesses. These hilltop temples at Rama Shila, Mangla Gauri, Shringa Sthan and Brahmayoni are part of the pilgrimage circuit..
Ghats and temples line the banks of the sacred Falgu River.The Mangla Gauri shrine is marked by two rounded stones that symbolize the breasts of the mythological sati the first wife of Lord Shiva.
Tourist attractions in Gaya