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My Home Away From Home in India: Sakura House

Bodhgaya, India. I first stayed at the Sakura House in 2014. Having studied in Tokyo, I was intrigued to find a Japanese-friendly inn in India located near the Thai Temple.

Upon inspection, I realized the friendly innkeeper Dip Agrawal was married to a Japanese national and they had a lovely, international family.

Bodhgaya, not far from Nepal, was where Lord Buddha obtained Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree five hundred years before Christ.

Today, Mahabodhi Temple surrounds the tree, with parts of the temple contributed by King Ashoka a thousand years ago.

Tourists flock to worship here, many on pilgrimage, especially from Buddhist nations. His Holiness the Dalai Lama holds court with tens of thousands in audience every December in an event known as “Kalachakra.”

Sakura House is a budget hotel and a great stay option for budget travelers who just want to tour the historic city. Gaya city and the airport are about four miles away. Sakura House has a total of fifteen comfortable rooms offering relaxing accommodation to the guests. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk service and a complimentary breakfast.

There is a back-up generator installed to deal with frequent power outages. Round the clock room service is also provided so that the guests enjoy a comfortable stay at the hotel.

In fact, the owner is on the board of the J. Luce Foundation India, responsible for our free primary school at Saraswati Center in the countryside, as well as Lotus Free School, and Ganesha House being built by Orphans International.

Each of these projects are for the poorest of the poor, once called the “Untouchable” or Dalit. Most of the people we serve live in mud-and-manure huts without plumbing.

Dip helps them. He knows India well and is happy to arrange custom tours ‘walking in the footsteps of Buddha,’ visiting Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta, or even a trip over the Himalayas into neighboring Nepal.

In all of the chaos, I find serenity with the staff of Sakura Hotel who I am pleased to call my friends.

I am proud of my friend Dip Agrawal [Luce Index™ Score: pending] and his work, love to stay in his friendly hotel and play with his friendly little dog, and cannot recommend him or his establishment more highly.

Jim Luce
Jim Luce
Raising, Supporting & Educating Young Global Leaders through Orphans International Worldwide (, the J. Luce Foundation (, and The Stewardship Report ( Jim is also founder and president of the New York Global Leaders Lions Club.


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