GAYA, 100km south of Patna, is a transit point for visitors to Bodhgaya, 13km away. Gaya has no real tourist attractions but many Hindus come here to honour their parents a year after death by offering pinda – funeral cakes – at the massive Vishnupad temple (no entry to non-Hindus). Pilgrims also bathe at the riverside ghats. Brahmajuni Hill, 1km southeast of the Vishnupad temple, is said to be where Buddha preached his fire sermon.

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