All Gaya Sites

16 vedis and Chota Akshayavata (site 1)
Site Number: site001, Date Period: Early medieval?, Brief History: Supposed to be 16 vedis, but local priests say there are 19, Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Shraddha, Pindadana, Tarpana, Architectural Style: Stone pillars, roofed courtyard, Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: Stone-roofed courtyard with 16 internal pillars and 21 pillars on the perimeter -- small annex-mandapa with 4 pillars, floor is natural stone of hill. Small one cell entrance to the Chota Akshayavata south of 16 padas. Cell has one major sculpture of Surya and two other sculptural fragments. Exit of cell leads to Chota Akshayavata shrine, which is a plastered platform around the tree. There are numerous sculptures, panels and fragments plastered into platform and kept around the tree., Location: Chand Chaura, Approach: through Chand Chaura or north from Brahmasaror, Topographical Features: Top of the Mundaprishta hill on the western bank of the Phalgu across from the Sita Kunda, Usage: Active worship, Ownership: Vishnupada Prabandhakarini Samiti Ilake Chaudahasaiya Gayapala -- current head of committee is Shankaralala Pathak (Ghadiwala), Present Condition: Kept in the open, Conservation Assessment: Pillars are covered with pindas, in need of cleaning, Vishnu: Western wall of Chota Akshayavata platform: 1. dasavatara, 9"x40", 2. dasavatara, 5"x24" -- On top of Chota Akshayavat platform: 1. Vishnu, 16" -- Eastern wall of Chota Ashayavata: 1. broken Vishnu?, 10" -- Wall surrounding Chota Akshayavat platform: 1. Vishnu?, 20", Shiva: Small single cell: 1. shiva linga, 2. Ganesha, 24" -- On top of Chota Akshayavat platform: 1. Shiva linga and family, new -- Wall surrounding Chota Akshayavat platform: 1. Uma-Maheshvara, 18", 2. Uma-Maheshvara, 18", Devi: Eastern wall of Chota Ashayavata: 1. Parvati, 14", Other gods--goddesses: Small single cell: 1. Surya, 48" -- Wall surrounding Chota Akshayavat platform: 1. Surya, 18", Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone
Adi Gadadhara Temple (site 2)
Site Number: site002, Date Period: Early medieval, Brief History: Linked to Gaya Mahatmya, Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Pinda Dana, Shraddha, Darshan, General Remarks: The shrine is protected by Dhami pandas, not Gayawals. There is a new inscription by entrance and another on the eastern top wall., Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: Temple divided into three parts: inner sanctum is located on western-most side of temple with houses and an image of Adi Gadadhara -- the second part is a mandapa closed on the north and south sides and erected on 20 stone pillars -- this mandapa leads to an open mandapa erected on 21 pillars, which has an open shrine of Sakhshi Gopal and small shrine of Mangala Devi on the southern wall. Top of outer wall is tiled., Location: Part of Vishnupada Complex, southern-most entrance from ghat leads to shrine, Approach: On the way to Phalgu from Vishnupad Temple, Topographical Features: Western bank of Phalgu river on the eastern slope of Mundaprishta hill, Usage: Active worship, Ownership: Vishnupada Prabandhakarini Samiti Ilake Chaudahasaiya Gayapala -- current head of committee is Shankaralala Pathak (Ghadiwala), Protection Status: Under protection of Dhami pandas, Present Condition: Well-preserved, Conservation Assessment: Good condition, except everything plastered with yellow paint, Vishnu: Sakshi Gopal Shrine in outer mandapa: 1. Vishnu, with two attendents, 66", 2. Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesa, 24", 3. eroded Ganesha -- Inner mandapa, courtyard with six pillars: 1. eroded Vishnu figure, 30" -- Inner sanctum, up six marble steps: 1. Vishnu Adi Gadadhara, 66", 2. Vishnu, 26", Shiva: Inner sanctum, up six marble steps: 1. linga, Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone marble tile
Adi Gaya, Dhautpada, and Mundaprshtha devi (site 3)
Site Number: site003, Date Period: Early medieval sculptures, shrines dated to later, Brief History: Adi-gaya is supposed to be the oldest place in Gaya. It has a stone upon which pinda-dana is performed. Dhautapada seems like an early modern construction. Mundaprishtha has early medieval sculptures., Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Shraddha, pinda-dana, General Remarks: Mundapristha is under control of a female pujari which is interesting., Architectural Style: Adi-gaya is shikhara style, Dhautpada is a single chamber with an open courtyard, with natural stone coming out of floor. Mundaprishtha courtyard with small shrine in middle., Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: Adi-Gaya: Yellow plastered brick courtyard, divided into several spaces on different levels, to the east of shikhara temple with a two-story single chamber design. There is an open square immediately in front of temple. In front of courtyard, to the east, is a small mandapa with six pillars five feet high, two with carvings. -- Dhautpada: Square-roofed platform with natural stone emerging from the floor, with a roof of stone sheets and steel beams. -- Mundaprishtha: Single chamber with open rectangular courtyard, south of which was an open space for pilgrims to perform their pinda-dana and stay., Location: Southwest of Vishnupad Temple over top of adjoining hill, Approach: Through settlement to the southwest of Vishnupad Temple, Topographical Features: On top of adjoining hill, Usage: Adi Gaya: Under someone's control, but appears abandoned. Dhautpada: appears abandoned. Mundaprishtha: active worship., Ownership: Key to Adi-Gaya was with family living next door. Dhaut-pada shows no signs of ownership. Mundaprishta under control of pujari, Manju Tiwari., Protection Status: Adi-Gaya and Mundaprstha devi were well-protected. Dhaut-pada unprotected., Present Condition: Adi-Gaya is dilapidated. Dhaut-pada is in good shape but appears to be unmaintained. Mundaprstha devi is well protected, Conservation Assessment: All three need conservation, especially Adi-Gaya., Vishnu: I. Adi Gaya. On north wall of north chamber: 1. Vishnu, 24" -- Out front of temple: 1. heavily eroded Vishnu?, 2. Vishnu, 3. panel of dasavatara. II. Mundaprishtha: 1. Vishnu, 18", 2. Vishnu, 14", 3. Vishnu in panel, 32", 4. broken Vishnu?, 14", Shiva: I. Adi Gaya. Out front of temple: 1. ganesha. II. Dhautpada: 1. Ganesh, 32". III. Mundaprishtha: 1. linga, Devi: I. Mundaprishtha: 1. Camunda, 18", 2. Durga, with 12 hands 48", 3. Camunda, with 8 hands, inscribed, 48", Building-Structural Material And Other: Stone brick
Back Alley and Eastern Turn to River toward the ghat (site 21)
Site Number: site021, Date Period: Sculptures early medieval and medieval, General Remarks: A thoroughfare from Vishnupad northern entrance to ghat, Architectural Style: Various walls, buildings, and niches along the walkway to the ghat, Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: 1. northern entrance -l several images are plastered in the western wall, two were grilled 2. two are on the eastern wall 3. several were in a niche cum small 5' shrine 4. Shiva linga and a small fragment in a small chamber on southern wall 5. two panels stuck in a water tank and two more were stuck in the wall on the way to the ghat 6. three images at exit to Gadadhara ghat, Location: Path from northern entrance to Vishnupad back alley to the river between Adi Gadadhara temple and Uttaradi math, Approach: from Vishnupad to the Gadadhara ghat, Topographical Features: On the eastern slope of the Mundaprshta hill, Usage: Active worship, Ownership: Vishnupada Prabandhakarini Samiti Ilake Chaudahasaiya Gayapala -- current head of committee is Shankaralala Pathak (Ghadiwala), Protection Status: Not all are well protected, Present Condition: Decent, Vishnu: Western wall of northern entrance: 1. dasavatara, 7"x14", 2. dasavatara, 6"x14" below shrine -- Right wall of large niche with grille: 1. (central figure) vishnu, 48", 2. Vishnu, 20", 3. Vishnu, 21" -- way to Phaglu, to right of doorway of small niche: 1. Vishnu panel 7"x25" -- Noth side of inside gateway: 1. broken dasavatara, 5"x32", Varaha, 36", Shiva: Western wall of northern entrance: 1. ganesha, 14", 2. ganesha, 26" -- Eastern wall: 1. ganesha, 26" -- Floor of large niche with grille: 1. three shiva lingas, Devi: Left wall of large niche with grille: 1. parvata, 24" -- South side of inside gateway: 1. inscribed Durga, 44", Other gods--goddesses: Northern wall: 1. nandin -- South side of inside gateway: 1. 22. Vaishnavi?, 26" -- Outside (Phalgu side) of inside gateway: 1. broken panel (Naga), Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone
Bhima Gaya, Go-prachara, and Gadalola (site 4)
Site Number: site004, Brief History: These places are linked to Gaya Mahatmya and are used as vedis for gaya-shraddha., Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Mostly shraddha, but also pinda-dana, darshan, General Remarks: Two of these shrines are kept open. Go-prachara is under Pandas, who seemd concerned about encroachments at the edges of the shrines., Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: Bhima Gaya: Open courtyard with shrines in three corners. -- Gopracara: housed in a 19th century structure with hoof marks on the rock. -- Gadalol: seems to be a new rectangular hall, with a small shrine located in the south east corner, Location: Bhima Gaya: northeast of Mangala Gauri, about 50 steps down. Go-prachara: southwest of Mangala Gauri, about 30 steps down. Gadalola: across Gay-Bodh. Gaya road from Akshayavata, Approach: Gaya-Bodh Gaya road, turn right to Maranpur. These shrines are in vicinity of Akshayavata., Topographical Features: Bhima and Goprachara are on the southwestern and northeastern, respectively, slopes of Bhasmakuta hill. Gadalola is on the flat ground near Akshayavata., Usage: Bhima Gaya: inactive, but likely used in pitrapaksha. Go-pracara: slightly active, likely busy in pitrapaksha. Gadalol: appeared abandoned, but possibly active during pitrapaksha., Ownership: Pandas (met 3 Pandas at Go-prachara ), Protection Status: Bhima Gaya: left open Go-prachara: priest here pointed to encroachment on the southern and eastern side by surrounding settlements. Gadalola: left open, Present Condition: Bhima-Gaya needs to be maintained and cleaned., Conservation Assessment: Bhima Gaya: needs immediate repair due to fallen tree. Go-prachara: needs reconstruction and needs to be protected from encroachment Gadalol: unknown, Vishnu: I. Bhima Gaya. Shrine: 1. broken Vishnu, 24", 2. broken Vishnu with second Vishnu plastered in place of missing head. II. Go-prachara: 1. single central image of Vishnu, Devi: On way from Bhima Gaya to Vaitrani: 1. broken female figure, 18" Parvati?, Other gods--goddesses: I. Bhima Gaya. Shrine (rock carved figures): 1. Brahmaji, 2. Bhim, Building-Structural Material And Other: Stone brick
Brahma Sarovar and Kak Bali (site 5)
Site Number: site005, Brief History: This tank certainly dates from an earlier time, but it was plastered in the 20th century. There is a pinda-dana site called Kakbali at the north-western edge of this tank. This site again may date from an earlier time, but the shrine here (a rectangular mandapa- pillared hall and small single chamber-temple) dates from the 20th century. This is proved by two devanagari inscriptions installed on the outer wall of the mandapa, one of which records the donation by Dalmia in the vikram samvat 2062., Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: As the name suggests, the tank is associated with Lord Brahma. Besides, Kakbali is one of pinda sites, where pilgrims performed Pinda-dana. The site doesn't seem to be very important., General Remarks: Tank and Kakbali are sacred places but shrines here are mostly of recent origin. The bridge has an interesting collection of images. One of the Vishnu images is really good and seems to be of the eighth-ninth century and may require protection., Architectural Style: Low ceiling pillared hall and a Single chamber temple on the northern edge of the tank. There are a few other structures on the western and north bank of the tank., Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: The tank is plastered on all 4 sides and there are steps leading to the tank. A number of structures including open pillared halls and single chamber temples exist on the western and northern corner of the tank. On the northen edge is Kakbali., Location: 500 meters south-west of the Vishnupada temple, Approach: One can reach here either from the Visnupada side or from the Gaya-Rajgir highway side. On Gaya-Rajgir road, there is a northward road that leads to the Visnupada temple. The Sarovar (tank) is located on the west side of this road. A few meters south of the tank is a small bridge on this road, and several sculptures are installed on this bridge., Topographical Features: The tank id located at the south-western edge of Mundapristha hill (Visnupada and other shrines). Location of the tank at the edge/base of this hill helps the tank collect all the rain-water from the hill., Usage: Kakbali for pinda-dana and tank for rituals, bathing and other uses, Ownership: Not clear, Protection Status: Protection status Poor, Present Condition: Tank needs immediate cleaning and the shrines around need to be restored., Conservation Assessment: Bad, Shiva: Small pillar east of building: 1. broken Uma-Mahesvara 15", Building-Structural Material And Other: The structures around seem to have been built of bricks. Since the structures are painted yellow, it is difficult to see whether stones were used or not. They may have been used for constructing pillars, as is the local trend.
Courtyard Shrine northeast of Main Temple, just inside northern entrance (site 7)
Site Number: site007, Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Darshan, Architectural Style: Ram Mandir- Shikhara style, Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: Open courtyard with a rectangular shrine to the west, north of which is a stone platform with a tree. A small temple goes down from that platform., Location: Just inside northern entrance to Main Temple Complex, north of Indra Temple, Approach: Just inside northern entrance to Main Temple Complex, north of Indra Temple, Usage: Darshan, Ownership: Vishnupada Prabandhakarini Samiti Ilake Chaudahasaiya Gayapala -- current head of committee is Shankaralala Pathak (Ghadiwala), Protection Status: Well protected, Present Condition: Disorganized, space needs to be developed to make all statues visible, Conservation Assessment: Temple needs renovation, Vishnu: Western wall: 1. Vishnu in a niche, 16" 8th or 9th century ( worshiped as Sri Narayan) -- Inside chamber: 1. Vishnu, 24", 2. Vishnu, 18", 3. Vishnu, 30", 4. female with Vishnu attributes, 30" (maybe Vaishnavi), Shiva: Inside chamber: 1. ekamukha linga, 28", 2. linga, on floor -- At base of tree: 1. Uma-Maheshvara, Devi: Inside chamber: 1. Durga, 26", 2. goddess, Parvati? -- Inside gated shrine: 1. Vindhyavasini, Other gods--goddesses: Beneath tree: 1. saptamatrika panel?, Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone
Gaya Kupa and Gay Sir Vedi (site 8)
Site Number: site008, Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Gaya Kupa Vedi is identified as the navel of the Gayasura., General Remarks: It is one of the pinda offering shrine. All the images seem out of place and seem to indicate the pattern prevalent in Gaya of bringing sculptural pieces from other places to establish these shrines. Are there any other reasons for adding these sculptures to pinda-dana shrines?, Architectural Style: Small shrine, tree shrine and well, Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: 3 old sculptures within a small yellow-red shrine. There is a tree within the complex and a sculpture is placed on one side. Lastly, there is a well where the pilgrims offer the pinda., Location: South-west of Vishnupada shrine, Usage: Pinda-dana at the Gaya-kupa, Conservation Assessment: The shrine is in active worship and hence protected., Vishnu: Middle Shrine: 1. Vishnu 14", 2. Vishnu 18" (modern replica) -- Outside shrine to the north: 1. broken Vishnu on top of a broken 2 figure panel, Shiva: Middle Shrine: 1. Uma-mahesvara 28", Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone
Gayeshvari Temple (site 22)
Site Number: site022, Date Period: Sculptures from early medieval onward, Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Darshan, General Remarks: Good collection of early medieval images. Should be asked to register collection to avoid future theft., Architectural Style: Shikhara style, Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: Two chambers and passageway to north of sanctum., Location: 20-30 meters north of north entrance to Vishnupad in back alley, Approach: 20-30 meters north of north entrance to Vishnupad in back alley, Topographical Features: Northern slope of Mundaprshtha, Usage: Active worship, Protection Status: Good, Present Condition: Good, Conservation Assessment: Well-protected, Vishnu: At main image's feet: 1. Dasavatara panel -- Northern wall: 1. Vishnu, 18" (very old), 2. dasavatara panel 6"x22" -- Inside cell behind sanctum: 1. Vishnu in seated posture -- Western wall: 1. Vishnu, 14", Shiva: Western wall: 1. Ganesha in a shrine, 20" -- Eastern wall: 1. Ganesha, 2. five figure panel with lakulisha in center -- Inside cell behind sanctum: 1. Linga -- To west: 1. Ganesha -- To east: 1. Linga -- Entrance chamber: 1. Linga near north wall -- East wall: 1. Uma-Maheshavara, 24", 2. Uma-Maheshavara, 18" -- In a niche: 1. linga and nandin, Devi: Main image: 1. Mahishasuramardini, 60" -- Northern wall: 1. durga mahishasuramardini, 11-12" -- South wall: Durga mahishasuramardini, 48" -- In a niche: 1. Parvati, 10" -- North side of entryway: 1. Parvati, 20" -- South side of entryway: 1. Parvati, 20, Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone
Lakshamana Temple (site 17)
Site Number: site017, Date Period: Early Medieval, Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: It was a temple with a sculpture of Lakshmana, which was stolen., General Remarks: Another structural remnant of an old building of Lakhauri bricks with a dome stands right across the Lakshmana temple at the eastern bank. The standing part seemed under someone's control as the door was locked., Architectural Style: Shikhara?, Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: It has a sanctum with a western entrance, which leads to a mandapa/courtyard. The mandapa stands on 12 pillars, some of which were turned upside down during repairs. The roof also has pillar lintels. There are 3 niches on the northern wall and 2 on the eastern wall of the mandapa., Location: Eastern bank of Phalgu in the Salempur Village, north of the Sitakund group of temples at the foothill of Ramagaya., Approach: Through Salempur Village. Alternatively one can walk across the Phalgu from Vishnupada, Topographical Features: Located on a side hill at the foothill of Ramagaya, approx. 80 feet east of the Phalgu., Usage: Desecrated/ Abandoned, Ownership: None, Protection Status: Unprotected, Present Condition: It is in a bad condition as it is not under active usage., Conservation Assessment: Needs immediate attention and some restoration/renovation., Building-Structural Material And Other: Primarily stone Lakhauri bircks
Lalita Devi Mandir (site 23)
Site Number: site023, Date Period: Sculptures go back to early medieval, Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Darshan, General Remarks: Beautiful lintel with Vishnu dasavatara panel. Memorial with aarti in center of courtyard., Architectural Style: L shaped courtyard type temple in which images were stuck on western and southern wall. Courtyard had an open memorial, 8-10' high., Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: L shaped courtyard type temple in which images are stuck on western and southern wall. Courtyard had an open memorial, 8-10' high., Location: On way from Vishnupad Temple to Surya Kunda, about 10 meters from northern back entrance to Vishnupad Temple, Approach: On way from Vishnupad Temple to Surya Kunda, about 10 meters from northern back entrance to Vishnupad Temple, Topographical Features: Top of the Mundaprishta hill on the western bank of the Phalgu across from the Sita Kunda, Usage: Active worship, Protection Status: Well protected, behind locked gate, Present Condition: Average, Vishnu: 1. 9 figure Panel, dasavatara?, 2. Vishnu, 3. lintel panel with Vishnu dasavatara, over Lalita Devi image, panel seems medieval, 4. Vishnu, Shiva: 1. Ganesha, 2. Uma-Maheshvara, Devi: 1. Lalita Devi, Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone
Mahadeva Temple (site 11)
Site Number: site011, Date Period: Medieval, Brief History: Temple seems to have origins in Medieval or early medieval period, other historical details are unavailable., Local Tradition Associated With Building--Structure--Site: Gaya shraddha, place of pindadana and darshan, General Remarks: There is an inscription, Architectural Style: Inner sanctum with 20 pillars, Description Of The Building--Structure--Site: Mahadeva temple: Inner sanctum with a shiva linga and a twenty pillared mandapa Narasimha Temple (east of Mahadeva): small rock temple Sarasvati Temple (east of Narasimha): small rock temple Two single chamber shrines face Narasimha. All five are treated as one unit in Vishnupad., Location: Northeast of 16 padas in Vishnupad complex, Approach: in Vishnupad Complex, Topographical Features: Slope of the Mundaprishta hill on the western bank of the Phalgu, across from the Sita Kunda, Usage: Active worship and darshan, Ownership: Vishnupada Prabandhakarini Samiti Ilake Chaudahasaiya Gayapala -- current head of committee is Shankaralala Pathak (Ghadiwala), Protection Status: Good, Present Condition: Maintained, Conservation Assessment: Alright, Vishnu: I. Mahadeva Temple. By opening: 1. Vishnu, 16" -- Outside, left: 1. Dasavatara. II. Narasimha temple. Outside, southern side: 1. Vishnu sitting? -- Central figure: 1. Narasimha, 60" (likely 11th century) -- Northern wall: 1. Vishnu, 14" -- Northern wall outside chamber: 1. two dasavatara panels, 6"x40", 6"x30" -- Opposite wall, western (facing shrine): 1. Vishnu, 40", 2. Vishnu, 36" , 3. Vishnu, 36". III Another small Shrine nearby: 1. two Vishnu, 16" and 20", Shiva: I. Mahadeva Temple. South wall: 1. ganesha, 16", 2. Uma-Maheshvara, 14" -- Inner sanctum: 1. huge shiva linga -- North wall: 1. Uma-Maheshvara, 16". II. Narasimha temple. Outside, southern side: 1. Shiva? -- On top of shrine, northern wall: 1. eroded Uma-Maheshvara -- Northern wall: 1. Ganesha, 15". III. Sarasvati Temple. Inside: 1. Shiva linga -- Northern wall outside chamber: 1. mahakala bhairava, 40" -- Opposite wall, western (facing shrine): 1. Uma-Maheshvara, 14" -- Around corner: 1. lying female with child (Shaive figure, likely Parvati and Ganesha), Devi: I. Mahadeva Temple. By opening: 1. Camunda, 16" -- By opening, left: 1. Durga, 36". II. Sarasvati Temple. Inside: 1. Sarasvati, 40" -- Around corner: 1. lying female with child (Shaive figure, likely Parvati and Ganesha). III Another small Shrine nearby: 1. Durga, 26", Other gods--goddesses: I. Narasimha temple. Flanking door: 1. two yakshis -- Northern wall: 1. Indra?. 15". II. Sarasvati Temple. Inside: 1. Avalokiteshvara, 60", Building-Structural Material And Other: Brick stone