Buddhist Circuit India
Buddhism offers four major sites of Buddhist Pilgrimage: the Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini (Nepal), the site where he attained Enlightenment at Bodhgaya (india), the site where he gave his first sermon at Saranath (India) after achieving Enlightenment and the site where he achieved Mahaparinirvana at Kushinagar (India).
Place of interest in Buddhist Circuit India
Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. Pilgrimages focus on the sacred garden which contains the site of the birth, the Mayadevi temple, the Pashkarni pond and the Ashoka pillar. Lumbini is one of four magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha, the others being at Kushinagar (India), Bodh Gaya (India) and Sarnath (India).
- Bodh Gaya:
Bodh Gaya is religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is the famous as the place where Gautam Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment. Bodha Gaya is the one of the most holy place on earth for the followers of Buddhist faith all over the world. Situated by the bank of river Neranjana the place was then known as Uriwela, King Ashoka was the first to build Mahabodhi Temple. The major attraction of Bodh Gaya is Mahabodhi Temple with the diamond throne called the Vajrasana and the holy Bodhi tree. The tree was originally a sapling of the Sri Mahabodhi tree in Srilanka, itselg grown from a sapling of the original Bodhi tree.
Sarnath is the deer park located 13 km north-east of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, India. After attaining Enlightenment at Bodhgaya the Gautam Buddha went to Saranath and it was here that he gave his first sermon to his five disciples named Kaundinya, Bashpa, Bhadrika, Mahanaman and Ashvajit in the deer park to set in motion the “Wheel of The Dharma”. It is one of the most holy sites as this place the stream of the Gautam Buddha’s teaching first flowed.Within the deer park complex is the large Dhamekh Stupa was built in 500 CE to replaced an earlier structure commissioned by the Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE, along with and several other monuments. Stupas originated as circular mounds encircled by large stones. King Ashoka built stupas to enshrine small pieces of calcinated bone and other relics of the Buddha and his disciples. An Ashoka pillar with an edict engraved on its stands near the site.
Kushinagar is a town and a Nagar Panchayat in Gorakhpur district of Indian state of Uttar Pradesh located 52 km east to Gorakhpur city. It is named after the sacred death place of Lord Gautam Buddha. At Kushinagar, Lord Gautam Buddha, an apostle of peace, compassion and non-violence, attained Mahaparinirvana (Salvation) in 483 BC. At the time of the Gautam Buddha, Kushinagar was the capital of the Mallas, and the scene of the Gautam Buddha’s last breath before Mahaparinirvana. His mortal remains were preserved in eight commemorative chortens, and then further distributed by King Ashoka into 84,000 stupas across his kingdom and beyond. Important places to see here are the Mukatanabandhana stupa and the Gupta period reclining Buddha statue in red sandstone.