Many bloggers and big travel companies always talk about Buddhist tour of India. But they even don’t have the slightest idea what are the real hidden Buddhist destinations of India. In this article, I am going to tell you all about the most authentic places of Buddhism. These are the places where Buddha stayed and preached.
Kesariya Stupa: 1
Kesariya stupa is one of the most important and hidden Buddhist destinations of India. Ancient texts say, on this last journey, Lord Budha stayed at this place and spent a night here. At this place Buddha revelled about the secrets of his last birth, Buddha said in his previous births he ruled as Chakravarti Rajas. which later has came to know as Buddhist Jatak – Story. After his last discourse, when Buddha set out for Kushinagar, the Licchavis started following him. Buddha gave them his alms bowl and told them to go back, but they refused to return. Seeing this Buddha created an illusion of a river in spate which compelled them to go back. This site is still there and famous as Deora in modern Kesariya village. Later King Ashoka built a stupa at the place.
Sailent garden & Relic Stupa, Vaishali: 2
Very few people in the world know about this silent garden and relic stupa of Buddha. This silent garden which contains Buddha’s relic stupa lie-down in Vaishali, Bihar. The Local people of Vaishali says that every year a thunder sound, erect with light from the stupa and no one knows the reason behind this. The stupa is one amongst the eight original relic stupas of Buddha. According to ancient texts, when Buddha attained Mahapariniryana, the Mallas of Kushinagar has cremated his body with royal ceremony. Later that all the eight kings of state distributed the remain mortals of Buddha among them. The stupa initially was a small mud stupa measuring 8.07 meters in diameter raised in 5th century B.C. Later during Maurya, Sunga and Kushan periods, it was encased with bricks and enlarged in four phases, which increased the diameter till 12.00 meters.
Kolhua is a famous Buddhist excavation site, which is lie-down in Vaishali Bihar. It is approximately 65 km away from Patna city. The excavations of Kolhua have revealed the famous Ashoka pillar containing a life-size statue of a lion on the top. Kolhua was under the rule of Licchavi’s during the time of Buddha. There is a legend about this place, according to the ancient texts, this is the same place where monkeys have offered the honey bowl to Buddha. This is one of the most critical events out of eight significant events of Buddha’s life. He spent many years at Kolhua. Nowadays a brick stupa is standing at the same place of the event, where monkeys have offered the honey bowl to Buddha.
Buddhist destinations of India: 4
Rajgir is one of the essential Buddhist destinations of India. During the ancient time when Patliputra was not inexistent, Rajgir was the capital of the Magad. In those days people use to call it Rajgrih. Rajgir or Rajgrih means the home of Royalty. This place has a deep connection with Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Buddha had spent many years in Rajgir and also delivered many sermons here. At this place, only Buddha proselytised emperor Bimbisar at the Griddhakoota hill. Ancient texts say, when Budda’s cousin Devdatta injured him, the physician Jivak treated Buddha at Rajgir only. There is a ropeway in Rajgir which takes you uphill to the Shanti Stupa and Monasteries. Some Japanese Devotees have made these monasteries in the memory of Buddha.
Buddhist destinations of India: 5
The Nalanda Stupa, also known as the Sariputra Stupa, is the most iconic of the surviving monuments in Nalanda. It is lie-down in Bihar, India. Mauryan Emperor Ashoka Built the pyramid shape stupa in the 3rd century, in the honour of Buddha’s follower Sariputra. The multiple flights of stairs surrounding the stupa, lead to its top.Nalanda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site now.
Buddhist destinations of India: 6
Hiuen tsang memorial
The Hiuen Tsang Memorial lei-down in Nalanda Bihar. It is situated 8 kms away from the Nalanda ruins. The auditorium has been build in the memory of chine traveller and writer Hiuen Tsang. Hiuen had come to India in 633 AD, to study Buddhism and mysticism at Nalanda University. T-sang travelled all across India at that time and later written about it. The place where he learned yoga from his teacher Acharya Sheel Bhadra, is the same place where the memorial hall is standing today. During his stay in India, T-sang collected several documents which today are the significant source of Indian history. These documents are still well preserved in the memorial hall.
Buddhist destinations of India: 7
Sarnath is the place where Gautam Buddha gave his first speech after he became enlightened. Gautama came to Sarnath from Bodhgaya after 5 weeks of his enlightenment. When he reached near Sarnath he had to cross the river by a ferry to reach Sarnath, but Buddha had no money to pay the ferryman. People believe that Gautama has crossed the Ganges river, through the air. After reaching the Sarnath, Buddha enlightened his five former companions using his spiritual powers. Very soon, Buddha Sangha (community) had grown from 5 to 60 in number. Later then, Buddha told them to leave from there, and teach the Dharma to all the people in the world.
Buddhist destinations of India: 8
Kushinagar is Buddha’s Mahanirvana(left his body) place. It is lie-down in the Utter Pradesh state of India. Nowadays a stupa is standing at the site, where Lord Buddha’s last right has been performed. There are many ancient sources, which confirm that Lord Buddha had many discourses at this place. Kushinagar is one of the most significant Buddhist sites in the world.
Buddhist destinations of India: 9
Bodhgaya is the Kashi of Buddhism. It is lei-down in the Bihar state of India. The ancient text says this is the place where Gautama Buddha got enlighten 2,500 B.C. ago. Nowadays a Mahabodhi Temple is standing at the site. Adjacent to the Mahabodhi Temple there is the Bodhi tree, the ancient text says that under this tree only Gautama Buddha got his spiritual powers. However, Bodh Gaya is also a major pilgrimage centre for Hindus. In Hinduism, people believe Buddha is the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. UNESCO has listed Mahabodhi Temple as a world heritage property.
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Buddhist Tour package 5D/6N