Vishnupada temple Gaya

Vishnupad temple – The original Footprint of Lord Vishnu – The Vishnupada Mandir at Gaya, Bihar

Vishnupad temple gaya, is a historic Hindu temple in Gaya, Bihar.

Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity of this temple.

A footprint of Lord Vishnu, known as Dharmasila, etched into a chunk of basalt marks the location of this temple near the Falgu River.

Lord Vishnu’s 40-centimeter footprint is engraved in solid granite and surrounded by a silver-plated basin inside the Vishnupada Mandir.

The construction date of the Vishnupada temple is unknown and it is believed that Lord Rama along with Ma Sita had visited this place.

Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, the ruler of Indore, rebuilt the current edifice on the banks of the Falgu river in 1787.

Gaya vishnupad temple photo

Vishnupada temple Gaya

image courtesy

History of Vishnupad temple Gaya

Gayasura, a demon, once performed a penance and asked for a boon that everybody who saw him would attain salvation (Moksham).

Because salvation is obtained by being righteous during one’s lifetime, individuals began to attain it more easily.

To prevent immoral people from attaining Moksha Lord Vishnu asked Gayasura to go beneath the earth and did so , by placing his right foot on the asura’s head.

Lord Vishnu’s footprint remained on the earth’s surface after he pushed Gayasura beneath it, and we still see it today.

Shankam, Chakram, and Gadham are among the nine symbols found on the footprint.

These are thought to be lord’s weapons.

Gayasura, who had been shoved into the ground, begged for food. Lord Vishnu bestowed upon him the gift that someone would offer him meals every day.

Those who do so will have their souls accepted into heaven. It is said that if Gayasura does not receive nourishment for a day, he will emerge and till today different parts of country people pray for the welfare of the departed souls and offer food, feeding Gayasura.

Within the temple stands the immortal , Akshayavat tree , where the final rituals for the dead take place.

There is another legend behind the Vishnupad temple !

If you notice Falguni river, there is no much water in the river at Gaya, though apparently, there is water upstream as well as downstream.

This is apparently because of a curse on the river.

According to legend, Lord Rama travelled to Gaya with his siblings and Goddess Sita to do the sacred ceremonies for his father, Dasaratha.

Ma Sita was seated on the riverbanks, while the brothers were bathing. King Dasaratha , then emerged from the sand and claiming to be hungry , requested for the Pindanam.

Mata Sita requested that he wait till his boys returned before she prepared the traditional Pindam of rice and tilam for him.

King Dasaratha refused to wait and demanded that she give him pindams made from the sand she was holding.

She had no choice but to grant him the Pindam he requested in the presence of five witnesses: the Akshaya Vatam, the Falguni River, a cow, a Tulsi plant, and a Brahmin.

Lord Rama came there soon after and began the ceremonies. Apparently, in those days, the ancestors would come in person to collect their portion, and when King Dasaratha did not show up, they were perplexed.

Mata Sita then informed them of what had occurred, but Lord Rama could not believe his father would take sand pindams.

Sita now stated her witnesses and requested that they inform Rama of the truth.

Only the Akshaya Vatam stood by her and stated the truth, while the others lied in an attempt to support Rama’s side.

Being angry with their behavior, Ma Sita cursed them all, saying that the Falguni river would no longer have water at Gaya, and that the Cow would no longer be worshipped from the front and that there would be no more Tulsi plants at Gaya, and that the Gaya Brahmins would never be satisfied, that they would always be hungry and crave more and more.

She then blessed the Akshaya Vatam, promising that everyone who came to Gaya would also conduct the Pinda pradaanam there.

A hence a Pind Daan done at Gaya on Panchakroshi Gayakshetra is believed to guarantee a safe passage for the souls of twelve generations.

How to reach Vishnupad temple ?

Vishnupad temple Address : Chand Chaura, Gaya, Bihar, 823001

If you are coming by train : Gaya railway station to vishnupad temple is 4 KM away.

If you are travelling by Air : 12 KM away from Gaya Airport

Check out below trains for Gaya ( Please confirm the train nos and timings on IRCTC website ):

  • DIKSHABHOOMI EX (Train NO: 11045)
  • CHAMBAL EXP (Train NO: 12175)
  • KOLKATA RAJDHNI (Train NO: 12301)
  • HWH JU EXPRESS (Train NO: 12307)
  • HWH DLI KLK MAI (Train NO: 12311)
  • SDAH RAJDHANIEX (Train NO: 12313)
  • KOAA AGC EXPRES (Train NO: 12319)
  • HWH MUMBAI MAIL (Train NO: 12321)
  • HWH NDLS EXPRES (Train NO: 12323)
  • HWH LKU EXP (Train NO: 12353)
  • DURGIANA EXP (Train NO: 12357)
  • RNC JANSHATABDI (Train NO: 12365)
  • HWH JSM EXP (Train NO: 12371)
  • POORVA EXPRESS (Train NO: 12381)
  • GAYA MS EXPRESS (Train NO: 12389)
  • MAHABODHI EXP (Train NO: 12397)
  • RNC NDLS RAJ EX (Train NO: 12439)
  • HLZ ANVT WKLY S (Train NO: 12443)
  • BKN KOAA SUP EX (Train NO: 12495)

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