Gaya's history goes way back to the times of the Mahabharata and Ramayana when it is believed that Lord Ram and Lakshman descended upon Gaya to offer the Pind Daan ritual. Gaya has a rich history of several dynasties ruling the region - stretching from 6th century BC to the 18th century AD. Ancient Bihar, and in particular Gaya, boasts a history of knowledge, learning, art and culture. The Sisunaga dynasty ruled the region in 600 BC, coincided with Buddha's enlightenment, and it's ruler Bimbisara became a disciple of Buddha. The Gupta Empire ruled the Gaya region in the 4th and 5th century AD and Gaya was the capital of the Bihar region. The Nanda dynasty controlled Gaya for a brief period sometime between 343 and 321 BC and was then followed by the Maurya Empire headed by Ashoka; the chief proponent of Buddhism during those times. During the Hindu revivalism age, the Guptas ruled for two centuries between 4th and 5th century AD, and then Gaya was passed to the Pala Empire, whose leader Gopala built the Bodh Gaya temple. The Khilji dynasty briefly held power in Gaya, Sher Shah Suri then held the reins and brought the entire Bihar region back to its glory days. The Mughals ruled the region for years before the British took over control till independence.
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