(Last Updated on : 24/12/2016)
The sacred sites of Buddhism
are prominently scattered in East India, in Bihar
and eastern Uttar Pradesh
. The four principal Buddhism places are spread in the Ganges Valley
of India - the birthplace of Gautama Buddha
, presently in South Nepal, Bodh Gaya
in Bihar where he attained enlightenment, Sarnath
in Uttar Pradesh
where he first preached and Kushinagar
where he attained Parinirvana
Bodh Gaya, Bihar
Bodh Gaya is the religious site that houses the most prominent monument of Buddhism in India, Mahabodhi Temple
. Located in the Gaya district
, it is famed for being the place where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment, under what came to be known as Bodhi Tree
. Bodh Gaya is the most important site among the four premier ones for Buddhists.
Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh
Sarnath is a city situated northeast of Varanasi
in Uttar Pradesh, renowned for being the site of the deer park where Buddha first taught the Dharma
and the Buddhist Sangha
came into existence. It was also the site of Buddha's first teaching after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the Four Noble Truths
and the teachings associated. The site houses the majestic Dhamek Stupa
and Chaukhandi Stupa
, the latter commemorating the spot where Buddha met his first disciples.
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh
Kushinagar town in Uttar Pradesh is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site
, where Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained Parinirvana after his death.
Buddhist sites in Rajgir
include Maniyar Math
, a cylindrical well-like structure of archaeological relevance inside the Rajgir valley. Son Bhandar Caves
in Rajgir showcase the Buddhist art of ancient India to the hilt. Venuvana
in Rajgir is the site where Venuvana Vihar monastery was built by King Bimbisara
for Lord Buddha to reside. TVenu VanT or the forest of bamboos was the royal park gifted to Buddha in order to make it easier for his devotees to visit him. Today, it is a park with attractive sights of bamboos, flowers and a large pond with Buddhas image at the center.
The ancient city of Vaishali
in Bihar is the site where Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in 483 BCE and later in 383 BCE, the Second Buddhist council was convened here by King Kalasoka. The site also houses one of the best preserved Pillars of Ashoka, topped by a single Asiatic lion.
Saptaparni Cave, Bihar
is a pre-historic cave in Bihar, the venue of the First Buddhist Council in ancient India.
The World Heritage Site Nalanda
houses the excavations of a large Buddhist monastery dating back to the Magadha kingdom. It was a centre of learning from the 7th century BCE to 1200 CE.