In the parched surroundings, near Phalgu, which is 18 km
north east of Bodh Gaya, are located the
remote Mahakala Caves, which are famous for the severe penance that Buddha
subjected himself to. As a consequence of the penance, Buddha became
absolutely emaciated and skeletal.
Buddha finally realised the futility of all self-denial he indulged into, for years. This realisation made him leave for Bodh Gaya where he finally attained enlightenment, after a final strife with worldly temptations.
There is a large dry riverbed, which is a turnoff to the right from the Gaya road, 9 km out of Bodh Gaya. During the dry season, it winds its way through three villages including Khiriyama.
It is advisable to undertake this walk in winter only as it gets very hot, in summers. This walk should only be attempted in winter; at other times it gets far too hot.
There is a Tibetan monastery, which is run solely by Tibetans, at the top of the cliff. There are a few smaller caves also, in the vicinity.