vishnupad temple

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vishnupad temple overview

#2 of 11 Places To Visit in Gaya
vishnupad temple
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Gaya District, Bihar, India
entry fee
No Entry Fee
All days of the week
6:30 AM - 7:30 PM
visit duration
30 minutes to 1 hour

about vishnupad temple

The main focus in this mammoth temple complex, which is home to 14 temples, is the 30-m high temple of Vishnupad, to the right of the entrance. The temple has eight rows of beautifully carved pillars, which support a mandapa (pavilion). In the sanctum is the footprint of Vishnu, Gaya’s patron deity, 40-cm long and carved in basalt, placed in an octagonal enclosure. The walls are engraved with the Vishnu Sahasranam (1,000 glorious names of Lord Vishnu). Above the Vishnupad is a silver umbrella (the chat khappar), engraved with the different avatars of Vishnu. Atop the structure is a 50-kilo gold flag, donated by a devotee, Gayapal Panda Bal Govind Sen.

To the right of the entrance is a temple to Garuda, Vishnu’s vahan. The main bronze bell in the compound was presented by Ranjit Pandey, minister of the erstwhile King Rana of Nepal. Another bell that hangs at the entrance was gifted by a British officer named Gillander, in January 1790. Also within the complex are temples to Shiva, Panchamukhi (fiveheaded) Hanuman, the 16 vedis (different rishis), Sakshi Gopal, Krishna Dwaraka, Indra, a shrine to Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, and the Adi Gadadhar Mandir, from where one descends to the Phalgu River. The temple is almost always filled with many young couples sitting with priests, performing rituals for the well-being of their ancestors. Before the actual prayer, haggling with pandas is inevitable. Though the crowds are constant, the temple management makes an effort to keep the area clean by constantly having the compound washed and cleaned.

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