Belief has no start or end. It is a journey in itself and sometimes it leads to pilgrimages in search of much needed peace of mind. There are several Buddhist places of worship in India. These destinations are either related to Gautam Buddha himself or other Buddhist personalities and their lives.
Places of Buddhist religion are places with serenity and calmness. If you are in search of tranquillity, a place where you can unwind your spirit, Buddhist Circuit is just the right type of tour for you! The monasteries, the stupas and the chants of Mantras can make you live there forever and fall in love with the religion. There are in fact so many destinations in India that have Buddhist significance and amongst them Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar hold great importance for the devotees.
1. Gaya â€“ Bihar
Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under a Pipal tree in Bodhgaya. This city which is named after the demon Gayasur lies on the banks of river Phalgu and contains a number of monasteries constructed by devout Buddhists of Japan, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The major attraction in Gaya is the Maha Bodhi Temple or the Vishal Buddha Mandir that has a life-size statue of Buddha sitting in a deep meditation. The Chaukramama or the Jewel Walk is yet another place of interest in Bodhgaya; it is said that this was the spot where Buddha used to come for a stroll.
2. Sarnath â€“ Uttar Pradesh
Sarnath where Buddha after attaining enlightenment proceeded to deliver his first sermon on wisdom. The first monument that you encounter after entering the city is the Chaukhandi Stupa, and several others that were erected during the reign of Emperor Asoka. Also, the Dhamek Stupa, which is a conical structure that signifies the place where Buddha delivered his first teachings of the Four Noble Truths. Mulagandha Kuti Vihar and Sarnath Museum are yet other major attractions for the tourists in Sarnath.
3. Laddakh â€“ Jammu and Kashmir
Laddakh region also witnesses the influence of Buddhist culture to a great extent. The ancient monuments, monasteries, oral literature, art forms, fairs and festivals of the region; all reflect the age-old culture of Buddhists and their practices.
4. Kushinagar â€“ Uttar Pradesh
The place where Lord Buddha attained â€˜Maharparinivanaâ€™- the highest stage of salvation. The Ramabhar Stupa is about 50 feet tall and situated where Lord Buddha was cremated. Other major attractions are: Mahanirvana Temple, where a Buddha statue in kept in a reclining position; Mathakuar Temple, Watt Thai Temple; Japanese Temple, where â€˜Eight Metalsâ€™ statue of Lord Buddha is kept and the Chinese Temple, which is predominantly constructed in a Chinese architectural style.
5. Kapilavastu â€“ East Uttar Pradesh
Kapilvastu is the place where Lord Buddha was born. The major tourist attractions in Kapilvastu includes Stupa Complex, where the inscriptions of â€˜Deoputraâ€™ (Kanishka of the Kushana Dynasty) can be found; Palace Site is yet another attraction and is believed to be the ruins of the palace of King Shuddhodhan, the father of Prince Gautam.