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Why Gaya is Holy? – Reason for Holiness of Gaya in Bihar

Gaya in Bihar is a holy location for performing Shradh, Tarpan and Pind Daan to dead ancestors in Hindu religion. The holiness of Gaya is associated with King Gaya, popular known as Gayasura, and Lord Vishnu.

Legend has it that Gayasura performed several austerities. He became so powerful and pure that the position of the Devas, celestial beings, were threatened. They sought the help of Vishnu.

Bhagvan Vishnu then appeared before Gayasura and asked what his desire was. (Note in some stories Vishnu is believed to have defeated Gayasura in a battle and then granted him the boon)

King Gaya wanted to become the most sacred of all tirthas or holy places. Vishnu granted the boon and King Gaya got Moksha or liberation.

Vishnu then called the celestial beings and instructed them to perform a yajna at the place where King Gaya did austerities.

He also asked them to request Gayasura for his body so that Yajna might be performed on it.

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and celestial beings proceeded to perform the Yajna.

However as soon as the yajna began, the body began to move. A divine stone, Deva Shila, was kept atop the body and all celestial beings entered it. The body became still and the sacrifice was performed.

Thus Gaya city became holy. It was on the Phalgu River, that Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, performed yajna on the body of Gayasura.

The first pinda daan was performed by Brahma here and it was for King Gaya.