Sarnath : Sarnath, located just 10 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. You can see here Dharmekh Stupa is which 128 feet high, and 93 in diameter, Deer Park, Ashoka Pillar. While you are there do no forget to see Sarnath Archeological Museum, which also houses some of the greatest treasures of Indian Buddhist art.
Bodhgaya : The holiest site for Buddhists from all over the world and the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, Bodh Gaya sits on the great Ganges plain in the central part of the state of Bihar. During the 6th century BC, a local prince named Siddharth (also known as Gautam) renounced all material possessions and, after practicing rigorous penances for years, attained enlightenment or Nirvana whilst sitting under a Bodhi (Bo) tree. After gaining enlightenment, Gautam became known as the Buddha (The Enlightened One) and spent the restof his life spreading his messages of love and peace. The main attraction in Bodh Gaya is the Mahabodhi Temple, now declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The temple, which replaced the original shine built by Ashoka in the 2nd century has been restored and features an intricately carved pyramidal spire 54m high. It houses a large gilded image of the Buddha. Ashoka allegedly destroyed the original Bodhi tree, and the current tree situated behind the temple, is reported to be a sapling from the tree that Ashoka’s son took to Sri Lanka.
Kushinagar : Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh in India is the city of beautiful Stupas and Temples and considered to be one of the Holy Places in India. From Buddhist followers to the Indian devotees, this is one of the major pilgrimage destinations in Uttar Pradesh.Tourist Attractions in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh and other tourist attractions of Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India. So plan your tours to Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh and enjoy your idyllic retreat.
There are a number of tourist attractions in Kushinagar which you can explore during your Tours to Kushinagar. One of the major Tourist Attractions in Kushinagar which is also one of the important tourist places in Kushinagar is the Ramabhar Stupa. One of the sacred shrines of Buddhists this is the place where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparnirvana. During Buddha Purnima a number of travelers India come to Kushinagar to take part in the festivities of Kushinagar.
Another major tourist attraction is the Nirvana Temple. Near this temple Lord Buddha passed away. There is a tall statue of Lord Buddha in this temple in Kushinagar. The Mathakaut Temple in Kushinagar is also one of the important tourist places in Uttar Pradesh. It is in this place, the archaeologists discovered a black stone image of Lord Buddha which was called the ‘Bhumi Sparsha Mudra’. The last sermon of Lord Buddha was delivered over here.
The Watt Thai Temple is one of the most visited temples in Kushinagar. The Japanese temple is also one of the beautiful temples in Uttar Pradesh and one of the major pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh for the disciples. The Chinese temple with Oriental design and décor will also attract the tourists.
Lumbini: Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, in the southwestern region of Nepal, almost 2500 years ago. Ever since then, the city has always continued to be the central point of Buddhism. Lumbini, in the present times is a small quiet town in the southwestern Terai plains of Nepal, where the ruins of the old city can still be observed. The followers of both Hinyana and Mahayana sects of Buddhism worship Lumbini. The furbished up garden and the environs of Lumbini have the remnants of many of the ancient Stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar is said to be set up by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 250 BC which bears a message about the birth of Gautama Buddha.
The most important attraction of Lumbini is the holy temple of Maya Devi. The temple has a stone sculpture of Maya Devi in labor pain. The image shows her holding the branch of a tree while Buddha is getting birth. The temple is very popular among the women having some or other fertility problem. Another variety of the same plant is known as Banyan; the same tree under which Buddha got enlightened. The Bo plantation and a newly planted forest close by provide an air of serenity to the surrounding. Lumbini is recently being modernized under the Master Plan of the Lumbini Development Trust, a non-governmental organization devoted to the re-establishment of Lumbini and its development as a pilgrimage spot.
Apart from its religious and historical importance, Lumbini offers cultural insights into the village life of south west of Nepal. The must see occasion is the weekly communal Bazaar. Villagers come from far distant places to buy grains, spices, pottery, jewelry, saris and various other items.
Rajgir: Rajgir was the place where Lord Buddha spent twelve long years in meditation. Literal meaning of Rajgir is ‘house of the king.’ It was the capital city of Magadha Empire till the time of Lord Buddha. Only in later phase Ajatshatru established his capital at Pataliputra which was strategically located. Rajgir is located at the distance of around forty six kilometers from Bodh Gaya, another Buddhist pilgrimage.Rajgir is equally important and relevant for Buddhists, Jainas and Hindus. Mahavira had spent some time at this spot before getting Kevalya. Mahavira, the twenty fourth tirthankar of Jain sect, had spent around fourteen long years meditating. It makes Rajgir a popular pilgrimage for Jainas too.Rajgir was the venue for first Buddhist Council. The council was held at Saptparni caves. There was a famous monastery at Jivkamaravana and Lord Buddha often visited this monastery out of love and affection. The development and popularity of Buddhism among local population, particularly among trading class was immense and they helped Rajgir become the center of Buddhist activities. Famous surgeon and Buddhist follower Jivaka lived here and contributed towards the growth of Buddhism.Rajgir has many tourist attractions including of Griddhakuta hill, the place which saw the conversion of Magadha king Bimbisara to Buddhism. Other places such as the Jail of Bimbisara, Gym of Jarasandha, Venuvana, Karand tank, Maniyar math, Swamabhandar cave, Pippala cave, newly constructed Viswa Shanti Stupa are some major tourist attractions at Rajgir. Rajgir houses some twenty six temples of Jain sect in its hill area and one need to be good in trekking to reach to them.Rajgir is part of Buddhist Tourist Circuit and is linked with other Buddhist pilgrim destinations which are relevant for Buddhists across the globe. Rajgir is just ten kilometers away from Nalanda, another Buddhist pilgrim destination of great relevance. King Bimbisar donated a monastery to Lord Buddha for his residence at Rajgir called Venuvana Vihar. Remnants of that construction can be seen even today.Gridhkutta This was the place where the lord Buddha set in a motion his second wheel of law and preached many inspiring sermons to his disciples. The Buddha Sangha of Japan has constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), at the top of the hill in commemoration. A bridle path leads to up to the hill but it is recommended to take the Aerial Chair lift which operates every day except Thursday.Bimbisar Prison King Bimbisara was imprisoned here by his son Ajatsastru. It was chosen by king for his incarceration as he could see Lord Buddha climbing up to his mountain retreat atop the Griddhakuta hill. There is a clear view of the Japanese Pagoda. One can visit the stupa of peace built on the top of the hill.
Nalanda: Nalanda, founded in the 5th century AD, is famous as the ancient seat of learning. The ruins of the world’s most ancient university lies here which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous center of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th-12th centuries. Hieun Tsang stayed here in the 7th century AD and left detailed description of the excellence of education system and purity of monastic life practiced here. He also gave a vivid account of both the ambiance and architecture of this unique university of ancient times. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. The Gupta kings patronized these monasteries, built in old Kushan architectural style, in a row of cells around a courtyard. Emperor Ashoka and Harshavardhana were some of its most celebrated patrons who built temples, monasteries and viharas here. Recent excavations have unearthed elaborate structures here. An International Center for Buddhist Studies was established here in 1951. Nearby is Biharsharif, where an annual urs is celebrated at the Dargah or tomb of Malik Ibrahim Baya. Baragaon, 2 km away has a sun temple, famous for Chhath puja. To be visited are Nalanda museum & Nava Nalanda Mahavihar in addition to the great ruins.The “Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara” has just got inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List at the 40th Session of the World Heritage Committee meeting.
Sravasti : Sravasti, capital of an ancient kingdom by the same name, is sacred to the Buddhists because it was here that Lord Buddha confounded his critics with a million fold manifestation of himself, seated on a thousand-petalled lotus, as fire and water emanated from his body. The nearest airport is in Lucknow (151 kms) and the railhead is in Balrampur (19 kms).
The capital of Kosala Mahajanapada in the ancient times, Sravasti is also known as Sahet-Mahet. During the annual vassavasa, the city hosted the Lord for 25 years ( during the rainy seasons). The presence of Lord Buddha in Sravasti led his Sangha advance to congregate into one place. Sravasti is also renowned for the magical feats showed by Lord Buddha, sitting on a lotus, and for the other many stories that are linked with Buddha. The most popular is the story of the woman who came to resurrect her dead son. There are many other stories, related to Sravasti, basically confirming the supremacy of Lord Buddha and proving him as a legend. Its not known whether these really happened or not but looking at the faith of the local people its hard to believe that these are mere stories and not the truth that happened here. The place also has a magical charm that enlivens tired tourists instantly. IN city tour of Sravasti visit to The Ananda Bodhi tree, Jetavana and Shobhanath temple.
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