Heading into the first day that our holiday officially begins, we had decided to check out the Vishnupad Temple Gaya which is the main attraction of the town. It would also give us the opportunity to visit the sources of one of the greatest religions of the ancient world, Hinduism. The temple is the host to the footprint of Vishnu. The footprint constitutes as the main shrine of the temple and contains nine different symbols of the Hindu religion. We were excited to visit such a place.
The ride to the temple took us to the banks of the Falgu River which was a sight of its own. The river passes through Bodhgaya and is sacred to the Hindus. There are pilgrimages made to this river for a chance to bathe in its sacred waters. The sun was high in the sky and the water was shining in the high noon light. The temperature was comfortable enough for light clothes and we were enjoying ourselves thoroughly. Soon we arrived at the temple which was situated at the banks. We had hired a car for the occasion and were at our destination quickly enough.
Before entering, we spent a well half an hour taking pictures of the river and available subjects around, some of which included ourselves. The entrance to Vishnupad Temple Gaya is a large gateway with intricate carvings on the walls. The octagonal shrine is made to face east toward the rising sun. The temple is supported by intricately carved pillars. There is a pyramidal tower which rises up to at least a hundred feet. The view was incredibly beautiful and brought on an intense feeling of nostalgia to the air. The interior was similarly beautiful. I had gone in ahead with my kids while their father was still outside finding his perfect frame. There were a good number of people milling around but not so much as to find myself uncomfortable. The shrine is surrounded by a silver plated basin. There are legends that the footprint of Vishnu was there to lock inside a demon that was granted a boon.