Gaya Vishnupad Temple is an ancient Sri Vishnu temple Located along the Falgu River in Gaya, Bihar State. Gaya is 100 km away from Bihar’s capital city Patna This is the most attractive destination to visit in Gaya and also in the whole of Bihar. Legendary saints Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramakrishna have visited this shrine. The footprint of the Sri Vishnu is incised in a block of basalt. It is believed that Sri Maha Vishu killed Gyasur by placing his foot on the chest.
The current architecture and the building of the temple were built by Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, who was the ruler of Indore in 1787.
The temple is built with large blocks of gray granite held together by iron clamps. The octagonal sanctuary faces east. Its pyramidal tower rises to 30 meters. The tower has sloping sides with alternately flat and jagged sections. Inside the temple is the immortal banyan tree Akshayabat, where the last rituals for the dead take place.
Gaya Vishnupad Temple place is also considered to be the place under which Lord Buddha meditated for six years. Inside the Vishnupada Mandir, the 40cm long imprint of Sri Vishnu is imprinted on a solid rock and surrounded by a silver basin.
There is a golden flag and a pair of gold Kalash has been inlaid on top of the temple which uses glitter. It is said that a long time ago two thieves tried to steal the Golden Flag and Kalash from the top of the temple, but one thief turned to stone at the top and the other became a stone after falling to the ground. The Thieves Stone is still in public view.
Vishnupad Mandir Timings:
Morning: 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Evening: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Gaya Sri Vishnupad Temple History:
Once a demon known as Gayasura did a heavy penance and sought a boon that whoever see him should attain salvation (Moksham). Since salvation is achieved through being righteous in one’s lifetime, people started obtaining it easily. To prevent immoral people from attaining salvation Lord Vishnu asked Gayasura to go beneath the earth and did so by placing his right foot on asura’s head. After pushing Gayasura below the surface of the earth, Lord Vishnu’s footprint remained on the surface that we see even today.
The footprint consists of nine different symbols including Shankam, Chakram, and Gadham. These are believed to be weapons of the lord. Gayasura now pushed into earth pleaded for food. Lord Vishnu gave him a boon that every day, someone will offer him food. Whoever does so, their souls will reach heaven. The day Gayasura doesn’t get food, it is believed that he will come out. Every day, one or the other from different parts of India will pray for the welfare of his departed and offer food, feeding Gayasura.
Places near Gaya Temple:
Sankata Maaka Mandir
Mangala Gauri Temple
Phalgu River Ghats
Baba Baidyanath Dham or Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple
Patan Devi Temple
How to reach Vishnupad Temple:
Jayprakash Narayan International Airport at Patna is the nearest Airport which is 124 km.
Gaya Railway Junction is the second most important station in Bihar after Patna Rail Station. This Rail junction connects three metropolises like New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai through Important Broad Guage Routes, including the Grand Chord line. From here devotees have to take a private taxi to reach the temple. Guya temple is just 4.6 km.
Direct trains are available from Gaya to other important stations like Ranchi, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Agra, Mathura, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur and Puri.
Gaya is well connected to Patna, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Kolkata, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Prayagraj and Delhi. The highway connecting Gaya to Patna is not in good condition, the railway services between the two stations are up to the mark.
Vishnupad Mandir Address:
Bihar – 823001.