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Vishnu Temple at Gaya in Bihar – Gaya Vishnupad Temple Famous for After Death Rituals

Vishnupad Temple in Gaya in Bihar is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is famous for the after death rituals in Hindu religion. This Vishnu temple is unique as the footprint of Srihari is worshiped in the temple – Vishnupad or Vishnu Path – pad or path means feet.

This ancient temple is located on the banks of Falgu River. It is believed the first shrine here was built during the Treta Yuga. Bhagavan Sri Ram and Mata Sita had visited the place. The present structure was built in the 18th century AD by Ahilya Bai Holkar.

In the sanctum sanctorum or garbha griha, of the shrine, a 40 cm long footprint of Lord Vishnu is imprinted on a rock. This is the main form of Vishnu to which worship is offered here.

The main sanctum is octagonal in shape and faces east. The tower rises up to 100 feet.

Akshayabat, a banyan tree, in the temple complex is sacred. Shradh rituals are held here.

Story of Vishnu Temple at Gaya
There are numerous legends associated with the temple. All of which has Gayasura and Vishnu as the main characters.

Gayasura got the boon that he can provide moksha or liberation to any person he wishes. To prevent Adharmic people from attaining liberation, Vishnu placed the right foot on his head and sent him into the netherworld. The footprint of Vishnu remained on the ground and this is worshiped in the Vishnu Temple at Gaya.

Gayasura pleaded for food and Vishnu gave him the boon that someone would provide food daily. The souls of forefathers of people who provide food here will attain moksha. This is the reason why Pinda Daan and Shradh is offered here.