Gaya is a city of ancient historical and mythological significance. It is a place sanctified by the Jain, Hindu, Islam and Buddhist religions. Gaya finds mention in the great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. 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. Gaya and the entire Magadha region came under the Mauryan rule with Ashoka (272 BC – 232 BC) embracing Buddhism. He visited Gaya and built the first temple at Bodh Gaya to commemorate Prince Gautama's attainment of supreme enlightenment.