Hindu ancient texts suggests that performing ancestral rituals of Pitru Paksha in Gaya makes a person free of Pitru, matru and Guru debts of his lifetime.

Pind daan at Gaya ; source : wikimedia commons


Welcome to the wonderful readings at www.onindianpath.com. Today I am going to share few interesting facts about Gaya – a pilgrimage of Hindus to perform the ancestral rituals.


Hindu society believes that if a Hindu performs Shraad and Pindaan at Gaya, it will provide moksha to his last seven generations.

Moreover, it is believed that a Hindu will be blessed to get into the Heavens and brahamlok by performing shraad, yagna, tarpan and pind daan at Gaya.

Legends of Gaya

According to ancient text, there was a devil name Gayasur. He perform a great penance to get the blessings of God.

And, after getting the boon from the God he started torturing deva, gandharva and other humans on the Earth. At this, all the Gods prayed to Lord Vishnu to save the Earth and swarglok from Gayasur.

Thus, Lord Vishnu killed Gayasur with his gadha (mace) and he kept a stone on his head. Consequently, many pleading and apologises from Gayasur made Lord Vishnu forgive him and blessed him. He blessed the devil with Moksha.

Gaya- a pilgrimage to Hindus

Apparently it is believed that the stone is still present at the Vishnupad Temple at Gaya. Additionally, it is believed that because Lord Vishnu has killed Gayasur at Gaya, the place is a great pilgrimic site for all the Hindus.

Similarly, all the Hindus believe that Gaya is a pilgrimage site for attaining Moksha. Even Puranas suggests that all the a Hindu should perform all the ancestral rites and rituals of shradh and pind daan at Gaya.


Pind is a Hindi word which means any object in a circular shape. Symbolically, human body is also a pind. Pind is made of rice flour or Barley flour. Hence, donating the pind is called Pind daan.

Subsequently, Pind Daan is performed during specific times alloted for sharad or pitru paksha in Hinduism. Pitru paksha lasts for 16 days as per Hindu panchang, is dedicated to honoring and remembering one’s ancestors.

Also, one uses Barley flour, black seaseme seeds, kheer, rice, milk and sattu for pindaan. The rituals aim to ensure the well-being of both the living and the deceased in the spiritual realm.

Places at Gaya

In Gaya, there are 44 vedis to perform ancestral rituals. I am discussing the mostly visited places of Gaya.

Vishnupad Temple at Gaya

Undoubtedly Vishnupad temple is the foremost important one.

Firstly, it is believe that if a Hindu go and visit the Vishnupad Temple, he will be free from all the sins and his deceased ancestors will attain Moksha in form of pitra Narayan.

Akshayavat at Gaya

Secondly, Akshayavat is located near the Vishnupad Temple. Actually, Akshayabat is a sacred banyan tree where pilgrims offer pind to their ancestors.

Pretshila Hill at Gaya

Although, Pretshilla hill is believed to be the place where Lord Rama offered pind for his father, King Dasharath. Moreover, it is one of the major Pilgrimage for Hindus to perform ancestral rituals.

Brahmayoni Hill at Gaya

Another important location for ancestral rituals is Brahmayoni Hill at Gaya. Specifically, it’s believed that offering pind daan here helps in liberating the souls of ancestors of last seven generations.

Ramshila Hill

However, Hindus believe in honoring ancestors for satisfaction of decesed souls of the respective families. They come here to perform pind daan and believe it to be a sacred place for the salvation of ancestors’ souls.

Falgu River at Gaya

The Falgu River or Phalgu River flows through Gaya. Indeed it is considered pious for performing ancestral rituals like tarpan (offering water) for ancestors.

Infact all these locations are significant for performing pind daan and other rituals to honor and seek blessings for the departed souls of ancestors.


Hindus visit Gaya during the annual Pitru Paksha period to perform Sharad rituals and pind daan to their deceased family members. In Hindu culture, it is advisable to perform pind daan and sharad rituals at any time of day and night at Gaya. Have a blessed read.

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