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Buddhist Pilgrimages

In Northern India’s Gangetic Plains and South of Nepal, several Buddhist pilgrimage centers are located. This area is situated between Rajgir and New Delhi. All these places reflect the life of Gautam Buddha, the place where he lived, where he taught, where he preached sermons, where he attained entitlement and where he attained Nirvana. These sites are connected with Gautam Buddha’s life and not only Buddhists but also followers of other religions visit these destinations. Besides India, there are many pilgrimage centers and shrines located in different countries.

Main Pilgrimages Sites of Buddhism are:

Basically, there are four Buddhist pilgrimage sites that are worthy of visit not only by Buddhist followers but also other religion followers. A sense of spiritual urgency is felt when visiting these places. These four places are-

  • Lumbini: Gautam Buddha’s birthplace located in Nepal
  • Bodh Gaya: the place where Gautam Buddha attained Enlightenment (located in the current Mahabodhi Temple).
  • Sarnath: It was formerly referred to as Isipathana where Gautam Buddha delivered his first teaching.
  • Kusinara: The place where Gautam Buddha died. It is now referred to as Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Other Sites of Buddhism:

Besides the main four sites mentioned above, there are four more sites that have gained a lot of popularity as Gautam Buddha performed miracles. Today, these places have also formed a part of these Buddhist sites that are visited by followers from all over the world. Now all these total Buddhist sites are referred to as “The Eight Great Places” or “Attha-mahathanani” in Pali language. Tipitaka is purely commentarial as none of the miracles occurred here. These additional four places are-

  • Sravasti: Also referred to as “Place of the Twin Miracle”, while performing miracles, he showed his supernatural abilities to his followers. At Sravasti, most of the time was spent by Buddha and this is the reason, it is considered to be ancient India’s major city.
  • Rajgir: This is the place where an angry elephant, Nalagiri was subdued, through friendliness. Another major city is Rajgir in ancient India.
  • Sankassa: From Tusita heaven, this is the place of the descending to earthafter a stay of three months teaching the Abhidhamma to his mother.
  • Vaishali: From a monkey, this is a place of receiving an offering. Vajjian Republic’s capital, Vaishali is another major city of ancient India.

In Nepal and India, there are many other pilgrimage centers that are linked with the life of Gautam Buddha. These places are Nalanda, Pataliputta, Gaya, Vikramshila, Kosambi, Kapilavastu, Sanchi, Amaravati, Varanasi, Nagarjuna Konda, Devadaha, Kesariya, Mathura Mandaver (Bijnor U.P), Pava and Hapur (Ghaziabad U.P). Mostly these cities are situated in the Gangetic plain.

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Buddhist Pilgrimage 1
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Buddhist Pilgrimage 6

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