The name is derived from "Vihara" a place of Buddhist worship. Despite its staunch Hindu characteristics this region is the cradle of Buddhism and Buddhist religious thoughts. Most of its structures share the grim look that dates to the Aryan period.
The ancient Bodhi tree, which transformed Prince Siddartha to Lord Buddha, forms the niche and sancto-sanctorum of the temple. You can also witness the influences of Chinese, Thai, Sinhalese architecture here " brought by centuries of pilgrims from these places.
How to get there: The place is 12 kms from the Gaya Railway Station and 106 kms from Patna (the nearest airport).
Maha Bodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya
Said to have been built by Emperor Ashoka, this temple is the most spectacular in north India. It was destroyed by Muslim invasions and was at last reconstructed only in 1876. There is a large statue of Buddha here and numerous other sites of historical importance.