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Gaya

Gaya is 100 kilometers south of Patna, the capital city of Bihar. Situated on the banks of Falgu River (Niranjana, as mentioned in Ramayana), it is a place sanctified by the Hindu, the Buddhist and the Jain religions. It is surrounded by small rocky hills (Mangla-Gauri, Shringa-Sthan, Ram-Shila and Brahmayoni) by three sides and the river flowing on the fourth (eastern) side. The city has a mix of natural surroundings, age old buildings and narrow bylanes.
Ancient history

Documented history of Gaya dates back to the enlightenment of Gautam Buddha. About 11 km from Gaya town is Bodh Gaya, the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. Since then the places around Gaya (Rajgir, Nalanda, Vaishali, Patliputra) had been the citadel of knowledge for the ancient world. These centers of knowledge further flourished under the rule of dynasties like the Mauryans who ruled from Patliputra (modern Patna) and covered the area beyond the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent. During this period, Gaya was a part of the Magadh region.

Modern history

The town of Gaya, in about 1810 , consisted of two parts : one the residence of the priests, which properly was called Gaya ; and the other the residence of lawyers and tradesmen, which was originally called Elahabad, but later on,as developed by a renowned collector “Saheb”- Mr.Thomas Law, it was called Sahebgunj.It is the birthplace of eminent nationalist Bihar Vibhuti Dr Anugrah Narain Sinha;Bihar's first deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister.The last great ruler of Magadha was maharaja of Tekari. Great nationalist and leader of Kisan Andolan, Swami Sahajanand Saraswati established an ashram at Neyamatpur, Gaya (Bihar) which later became the centre of freedom struggle in Bihar. His close associate was Vir Keshwar Singh of Parihas. All the prominent leaders of Indian National Congress visited there frequently to meet Pandit Yadunandan (Jadunandan) Sharma, the leader of Kisan Andolan who resided in the ashram set up by Swamiji. Pandit Yadunandan (Jadunandan) Sharma became the undisputed leader of peasants in the Gaya district and second in command to the legendary freedom fighter and peasant leader Swami Sahajanand Saraswati.[2] Gaya has also immensely contributed in the Indian Independence Movement. During the independence movement, the All India session of the Congress was held under the presidency of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das in 1922, which was attended by great illumanaries and prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad,Dr Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Nehru and Sri Krishna Sinha.
Shri Ishwar Chaudhary was a member of Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Lok Sabha during 1971-79 and 1989-91 representing Gaya constituency of Bihar. A well known social and political worker, he devoted his life for the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society. He took active part in the proceedings of the House, which bear a testimony of his concern for the toiling masses of the country. He served on the Committee on welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. He was also associated with the consultative Committee of the Ministry oœ Labour and Welfare. Shri Ishwar Chaudhary, who was a candidate for election to the Tenth Lok Sabha, fell to an assassin's bullet on 15th May, 1991. He was only 52 years old.