33 km from Gaya, the small village of Gurpa or Gurpada is home to the Kukkutapadagir mountain where Maitreya, the future Buddha, will return and receive the robes of the Buddha kept with the latter’s successor, Maha Kassappa who is still in a state of meditation here. Before his death, the Buddha had given the robes to Maha Kassappa under whose presidentship the first Buddhist Council was held in the Magadhan capital of Rajagraha (modern Rajgir).
Legend has it that when Maha Kassappa sensed that his life was nearing its end he decided to proceed to Kukkutapadagiri. During his journey to Gurpa, he withstood all the obstructions and the three peaks of the Kukkutapadagir mountain parted ways resulting in the creation of a seat for him. Since then Maha Kassappa is awaiting the arrival of Maitreya who will descend to this world in order to share the message of the Buddha with the mankind.
Today Gurpa is a major Buddhist pilgrimage centre. Such is the popularity of the place that followers of Buddhism in other parts of the world have created Gurpada in their own native countries.
How to reach Gurpa
Rail: Though Gurpa has itself a railway station on the Grand Chord line, the nearest major railway station is Gaya which is 33 km away from Gurpa. Gaya is well connected by rail with major places and cities in the country.
Air: Patna is the nearest airport connected by air from major cities of India.
Road: It’s a long day trip from Gaya to Gurpa. Good roads connect Gurpa with all the important places in India.
Best Time to visit
In summers, from April to June, the temperature of Gurpa hovers between 45°C and 30°C and it is quite hot during that time. The winter season, from October to March, is the best time to visit Gurpa.