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Seven most famous Buddhist destinations in India

Bodhgaya, India

Lord Buddha spent most of his moments of life traveling to various places in India and his followers can feel his footsteps during their visits to all these holy places. If you are also planning to have a visit to such places in India where Buddha made his presence felt with his myriad avatars, check out which locations are the best to keep on your priority list.


Soon after enlightenment, Lord Buddha had reached this holy place of Sarnath, which is just 10 km away from the easily accessible Varanasi city. About 2,500 years ago, Sarnath witnessed Buddha’s first delivered sermon. In 234 BC, emperor Ashoka visited Sarnath. Greatly influenced by Buddhism, he erected a stupa. Since then, several stupas or Buddhist structures were erected in Sarnath between 3rd and 11th century BC. If you plan to visit Sarnath, there are several locations worth appreciating, such as Dhamek and Chaukhandi stupas, Sarnath Museum, Mulgandha Kuti Vihar, Ashoka Pillar, etc.


This historically significant place is famous because Lord Buddha had reached the state of Mahaparinirvana here when he was 80 years of age. This means that he attained the state of Permanent Bliss or the highest stage of salvation. Lord Buddha took his last breath at Kushinagar and was cremated at the Ramabhar stupa. Tourists from all over the world come to visit some attractive places in Kushinagar, including the Mahanirvana Temple, Ramabhar Stupa, Mathakuar Shrine, Buddha Vihar, Birla Temple, etc. Visitors can easily reach Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh from where a bus or taxi can take them to Kushinagar that is about a little more than 50 km from Gorakhpur.


This place is also located in Uttar Pradesh at about 47 km from Farrukhabad. Commonly known as Sankisa, this place is famous as people believe that all Buddhas descend here. It is thought that Lord Buddha, along with Lord Brahma and Indra, had also descended in Sankisa after giving sermons to his mother who was in heaven. A colossal Shiva Linga is also present at this place that has ruined monasteries and stupas from ancient times. This place holds an annual fair during July and August. Tourists either take flights from Agra to Sankisa or come by buses and taxis through Farrukhabad. The most famous attractions of this place include the Buddha Temple, Temple of Maya Devi, Shravan Mela, and the Ruins of Ashokan Elephant Pillar.


Located at a distance of 15 km from the city of Nalanda in Bihar, this place is also known as Rajgriha (the home of royalty). Lord Buddha had stayed for several years in Rajgir and had delivered many of his sermons at this place. Emperor Bimbisar was also converted to Buddhism by Lord Buddha in Rajgir. This place also holds written teachings of Lord Buddha. The famous places to visit in Rajgir include Griddhakoota Hill, Vishwa Shanti Stupa and Venu Vana Monastery. Reaching Rajgir is not at all difficult as the rail and road network links it to various cities in Bihar.


This place was frequently visited by Lord Buddha who also preached here his last sermon. In 3rd century BC, emperor Ashoka erected his most famous lion pillars in Vaishali. The places of importance for visitors in Vaishali are the Vaishali Museum, Raja Vishal Ka Garh, Kolhua and Bawan Pokhar Temple. This city is well-connected to other nearest cities by all modes of transportation. The nearest airport is Patna at a distance of around 70 km. People can also come through trains and its nearest railway station is at Hajipur that is 35 km away.


Based in Uttar Pradesh, Sravasti is a place where Lord Buddha preached for about 24 long years. People have witnessed various miracles of Lord Buddha at this place. There are several old stupas, temples and monasteries at Sravasti. The place holds several attractions for tourists, such as Kosambi-Kuti, Gandha-Kuti, Ananda Bodhi Tree and Jain Temple. Sravasti is located nearly 35 km from Balrampur and about 135 km from the capital city of Lucknow. It is easiest to travel to this place by road as it is connected to almost all nearby cities.


Bodhgaya, India

This is place where Prince Gautama attained enlightenment while sitting under the Bodhi tree and where he actually turned into Lord Buddha (‘the enlightened one’). Buddhists or actually most of the followers of Lord Buddha across the world are deeply attached to this place of pilgrimage. Located 13 km away from Gaya in Bihar, this place is famous for its Mahabodhi temple that is a World Heritage Site. Other places worth visiting in Bodhgaya include several monasteries. Visitors can reach Bodhgaya through Gaya, which is a well-connected place to all major Indian cities. From Gaya, bus and taxi services can help tourists to reach Bodhgaya.

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