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The name of a town in Bihar regarded as one of the seven ancient holy cities of India. It is a major pilgrimage site, sacred to both Hindus (as one of the three major tīrthas on the Gaṅgā) and Buddhists (as Bodhgayā, the site of the Buddha's enlightenment). A myth of origin, found in the Māhātmya sections of the Agni and Vāyu Purāṇas, tells how the gods persuaded the asura Gaya to sacrifice himself there to maintain the world order, and created a site where it would be particularly efficacious to make offerings (piṇḍas) to the ancestors (pitṛs).

Subjects: Hinduism.

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