(Last Updated on : 18/03/2016)
Gaya is the pilgrimage places for the Hindus and Buddhists. It is believed that a Hindu will reach heaven if his last rites are offered under the celebrated 'Akshayabat' or immortal banyan tree, standing in the yard of Vishnupad Temple. Believed to be built on the footsteps of Lord Vishnu
, the grand temple was renovated by Ahalyabai, queen of Indore
History of Gaya
Gaya derives its name from the mythological demon Gayasur. According to Vayu Purana, Gaya was the name of a demon whose body was pious after he performed rigid penance and secured blessings from Lord Vishnu. It was said that the body of Gayasura was transformed into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of Gaya. In early era Gaya became popular among Buddhists as Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment under Bodhi tree
. Gaya further flourished under the rule of Mauryans who ruled from Pataliputra and covered the area beyond the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent. During this period, Gaya was a part of the Magadh region.
Geography of Gaya
Gaya is surrounded by hills from three sides and one side by rivers. The climate of Gaya is seasonable. The climate of Gaya is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year.
Demography of Gaya
Gaya had a population of 863,454. Gaya includes Gaya (Municipal Corporation), Kaler (Out Growth) and Paharpur (Census Town). Gaya Municipal Corporation had a total population of 863,454, out of which 445,764 were males and 417,690 were females. The population below 5 years was 29,015. The sex ratio was 986. The literacy rate for the 7+ population was 85.74 per cent.
Economy of Gaya
Gaya is the second biggest economy for Bihar
. It has a large number of household industries like production of agarbattis, production of tilkut and lai, stone crafting, power looms, The small Scale manufacturing industries, packing industries, plastic products industries, Scrap Industries and hand looms. Gaya functions as a service centre for the surrounding towns and villages. Commercial activities are located along the important roads of the town. The main vegetable market in the city is the Kedarnath Market. In additional the city has a large number of informal shops. On account of Gaya being an important centre for religious tourism, the city has a large number of costly and affordable hotels.
Education of Gaya
Gaya is one of the largest education hubs in Bihar. A number of private schools of national reputation are coming up and many of them are present in the city like Delhi Public School, Creane Memorial School, D.A.V, Kendriya Vidyalaya and many more. Apart from large number of schools there are plenty of colleges including, Government Medical College A N Magadh Medical College and Hospital ; a Government Engineering college, Gaya College of Engineering managed by the Department of Science and Technology of Government of Bihar. It was formerly named 'Magadh Engineering College (MEC)' from 1980 to 1994. Now it is a public institute under name 'Gaya College of Engineering (GCE)' and two private engineering colleges also. Indian Institute of Management Bodh Gaya is one of Alumini in the city. Various colleges for science, arts and commerce are there in city like one of prestigious college i.e Gaya College. Magadha
University, the largest university of Bihar is also in Gaya.
Tourism in Gaya
Gaya is the sacred place for Hindus. Some of the primary tourist location sin Gaya are Deo, Barabar caves
, Parasnath hills
, Chotanagpur plateau