Hear is short description of nine religious place in India, plane your journey with this place:
1.BODH GAYA, Bihar an UNESCO site, INDIA
2.RAJGIR, Bihar, INDIA
3.STUPA OF SARIPUTRA, nalanda, Bihar, INDIA
4.VAISHALI, Bihar, INDIA
5.KUSHINAGAR, in uttar Pradesh, INDIA
6.SARNATH in uttar Pradesh, INDIA
7.SHARVASTI , in uttar Pradesh, INDIA
8.RUMTEK MONASTERY, in Gangtok, INDIA
9.GHOOM MONASTERY in Darjeeling, INDIA
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Body Gaya is a UNESCO site.it is one of the four holy sites related to the life of lord Buddha, and particularly to the life of lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of the Enlightenment.The first temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C and present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temple built entirely in brick, still standing in India from Late Gupta period. The present Mahabodhi Temple complex at BodhGaya comprises the 50 m high ground Temple, the Vajrasana, Sacred Bodhi Tree and other six sacred sites of Buddha’s enlightenment, surrounding by numerous ancient votive stupas, well maintained and protected by inner, middle and outer circular boundaries. A seventh sacred place, the Lotus pond is located out side enclosure to the south. Both the temple Area and Lotus pond are surrounded by circulating passage at two or three levels and the area of the ensemble is 5 m below the level of surrounding land. Next to Bodhi tree there is a platform known as VAJRASANA( the diamond thine), installed by Ashoka to mark spot where Buddha sat and Meditated.
The 80ft Buddha statue in Bodhgaya, India
The unveiling and conservation of great Buddha statue took palace in Nov 18, 1989, the first great Buddha ever built in the history of India.
Opening hours: 7:00 to 12:00, 14:00 to 18:00( to 17:30 in winter). For further information about Great Buddha statue, contact: Daijoko Buddhist Temple, Great Buddha statue Road, Post Box No: 20, P.O.- Bodhgaya 824231, Gaya, Bihar, India. Tel: 631220747, Fax: 6312220407. Email: email@example.com
Dungedhwari caves: Dungedhwari cave temple , also known as Maha Kala caves , is situated 12 km north east of Body Gaya, Bihar.
* Muchalinda Sorovar: The place where the Buddha spent the sixth week in maditation after his Enlightenment, a severe thunder storm broke out and seeing the Buddha getting drenched, the snake king of the lake called Muchalinda come out abode and protected the Buddha with his hood from the violant wind and rains.
* Sujata Gary: This ancient stupa is believed to be the place where Gautama Siddhartha meditated following severe penance of fasting before he attained enlightenment. The legend goes as that a village lady Sujata offered a bowl of rice pudding when she saw meditating Goutama severely emaciated , Gautama accepted the offer and realized the fautility of the shelf despivation . After this incident he went to meditate under the Bodhi tree and was enlighted and become the Buddha.
*Barabar cave: The barabar and Nagarjuni Hills are situated about 41km from Bodh Gaya ( 25 km north of Gaya) and contain in all, Seven rock – cut caves of which four are in the Barabar hills. Barabar caves is an important archaeological site. The caves carved out from solid rocks bear details of the life of Buddha.
* Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple: This temple was built in 1972 with the help of international Buddhist communites. The structure of the temple is carved out of wood and it’s looks like a Japanese shrine. It showcases a lot of japanese paintings which narrate the events from life of Goutam Buddha.
*RatanaGara: The ratnaghara or the jewel House is the temple where the Buddha spend the forth week in meditation. Situated in the north -west of the temple, the Buddha meditated here. Reflecting on the patthana or dependant Origination. A ray of six colours was said to have emanated from his body during that period and the Buddhist have designed there flag based on these colours.
* The BODHI Tree: at the western side of the Mahabodhi stupa in Bodhgaya stands the large and historic Bodhi Tree under which Shakyamuni Buddha, then known as Goutama, attained enlightenment 2500 years ago. For seven days after enlightenment, the Buddha continued to meditate under the tree with out moving from his seat. The earliest records on the tree are in the “kalinga bodhi Jakarta” which gives a vivid description of the tree to be planted at this site. It still performs a very important to Buddhist of all traditions.
Situated 55km from capital city Patna, Vaishali is an important destination for Buddhist. Vaishali is famous as the place where Lord Buddha peaced his last sermon before he died in kushinagar around 483BC. The sedate town of Vaishali was named after king Visala who was mentioned in epic of Ramayana. Some even believe that Vaishali was the first state in the world to bring the practice a democratic and republic government. If you are ready for a small excursion , then the best time to visit Vaishali is during October/ November months. Around 35 km away from Vaishali is someone which hosts Asia’s largest cattle fair during this period.
* ASHOKAN PILLAR : Erected by the Mauryans to commemorate the sight of lord Buddha’s last sermon, Ashoka pillar has become the mark of tourism in Bihar. Locally known as ” Bhimsen’s Lathi”, Ashoka pillar is a single piece of highly polished of red sandstone. On the top of the 18.3 m high pillar, is a life size statue of lion sitting on a inverted lotus facing north towards kushinagar.
* Coronation Tank: coronation Tank , also called Abhishek Pushkami held a very important position in century old Vaishali. The water of coronation Tank during that period was considered to be holy and sacred. Thus it was used for anointing Vaishali’s elected representatives before they were sworn into there respected positions.
*Archaeological Museum: Archaeological Museum in Vaishali might not be as big as other archaeological Museum around the country. But the items that are put on display are among the most significant in the Indian history and of the most successful kingdom.the museum is fitted with remains that were excavated from this site giving you an insight into the Buddhist world of that era. The museum is open on all days except Friday from 10 am till 5 pm.
* Buddha stupa I & II : The Buddha stupas here were created for the second Buddhist council that happened here in the 383 BC. Although the exteriors of Buddha stupa I is not in a great condition, but tells us a lot about the architecture during that period. It is also famous as one eight of the sacred ashes of lord Buddha were found here. Another casket was found at the site of Buddha Stupa II which contained the sacred ashes of lord Buddha.
Rajgir was the place where Lord Buddha spent twelve long year in meditation. Literal meaning of Rajgir is “house of king”. It was capital city of magadha Empire till the time of lord Buddha. Rajgir is located at the distance of around 46 km from BodhGaya, another Buddhist pilgrimage.
Rajgir was the venue for first Buddhist council. The council was held at saptaparni caves. There was a famous monastery at jivkamaravana and lord Buddha often visited this monastery out of love and affection. The development and popularity of Buddhism among local population, particularly among trading class was immense and they helped Rajgir become the centre of Buddhist activities. Famous surgeon and Buddhist follower jivaka lived hear and contributed towards the growth of Buddhism.
Rajgir is part of Buddhist Tourist circcuit and is linked with other Buddhist across the globe. Rajgir is just ten kilometers away from nalanda, another Buddhist pilgrim destination of great relevance. King Bimbisar donated a monastery to Lord Buddha for his residence at rajgir called Venuvana Vihar.
*Ghosrawan: Ghosrawan was once the epicenter of religious activities of Buddhism. Ghosrawan had a Buddhist monastery and the seat of higher learning.
* Pipala cave: Pipala cave located rajgir is popular Buddhist pilgrim destination. it was center of religious activities during the lord Buddha time.the cave is outcome of natural process of natural forces overtime.
* Jethian: Lord Buddha had become so popular during his lifetime that may rules of his time were greatly influenced by his teaching and knowledge. One such ruler was Bimbisar, the king of Magadha.
* Indasala cave: located in rajgir district of Bihar indasala cave is a major Tourist attraction and a Buddhist pilgrim destination. The cave is considered sacred for the reason that Lord Buddha delivered one of his most intellectually stimulating discourses here.
* Vishwa Santi stupa: Vishwa Santi stupa is a mejor tourist attraction at rajgir. Rajgir is a Popular pilgrim destination for Buddhists. The viswa Santi stup is located on a 400 meter high hill. The stupa is build in memorable and on the four corners of the stupa are four glimmering status of Buddha. To reach the top of this hill one has come through the ropeways.this place is also called the Giddhkoot.
* Venu Vana: site of monastery Venu Vana Vihar built by king Bimbisara for lord Buddha to reside. This was king first offering to lord Buddha.
* Karanda Tank : it is the tank in which Buddha used to bath.
* Gridha kuta: This was the place where the lord Buddha sat in a motion his second wheel of lawan for three months even during the rainy season.peached many in spring sermons to his disciples. The Buddha Sangha of Japan have constructed a massive modern stupa , the shanti stupa ( peace pagoda), at top of the hill in commemoration. A bridle path leaders to upto the hill but it is much more fun to take the Aerial chair lift which operates every day except Thursday. One way ride takes 7.5 min and the view is splendid of rajgir.
STUPA OF SARIPUTRA, Nalanda:
In ancient India, nalanda was prime seat of knowledge and learning. In the 5th century, the Gupta emperor found hear a university for study of Buddhism which was one of the greatest study centre in the contemporary world.
The biggest of all tourist attractions in nalanda is excavated remains of the ancients India Buddhist university of nalanda which had over 5000 International students and teachers, and a library of nine million manuscript at the time. It’s elaborately planned temple and monasteries represent the rich, ancient legacy of knowledge in Bihar and speak volumes of its glorious past. The place is still counted as one of the ancient place with reach history.
* The stupa of SARIPUTRA: The stupa of SARIPUTRA was the favourite disciple of Lord Buddha who attended salvation and become an Arhat. Structured in a pyramidal shape , it has towers above the entire complex. The premises of the stupa has pillared structure surrounding it , which make it look spectacular.
*Nalanda University Archaeological complex:
This is the excavated site of the great university spread over an area of 14th heacters. The complex had red brick building hemmed by gardens. A central walkway runes through the complex from north to south. On the eastern side of the central alley, where the viharas ( monasteries) and the chaityas ( temple) adornmed its western side. A half broken structure of lord Buddha is housed in a chaple.
* The nalanda Archaeological Museum: The meseum , although small in size , stands just opposite to the entrance of the excavated site. It has an impressive collection of the Hindu bronzes and a number of undamaged structure of the lord Buddha that were found in the area. Two enormous terracotta jars which stands behind in the museum in shades enclosure, date back to 1st century.
* Nava Nalanda Mahavira : The institute, devoted to the study and research in Pali Literature and Buddhism , is a new addition to the tourist attractions in Nalanda. Many students come to study here from abroad .
* Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall: The hall has been constructed in the memory of famous Chinese scholar , Hieun Tsang. Tsang lived in this place for 12 years during the 7th century A.D and studied Yoga from Acharaya shil Bhadra.
SARNATH , UTTARPRADESH:
A pilgrim place for Buddhist, sarnath features a number of temple and complitly serene surrounding with its various historically significant , Architectural Marvel .Being the place where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, Sarnath has since been a popular tourist attractions and is well known for its culture significance as well as mystcal settings. To name a few attractions contributing to spiritual significance of Sarnath , we have Ashokas pillar, Dharma stupa built by Emperor Ashoka and many more.
CHAUKHANDY STUPA: The CHAUKHANDY stupa is regarded as one of the most devine and important monuments of the Buddhist culture. This stupa has been built on the exact spot where the great Lord Buddha first meet his five asceties – to whom he later want to peach his first teaching. The monument has been erected as a commemoration of his significant event that eventually become instrumental in the rise of the religion of Buddhism. The CHAUKHANDY stupa is an evolution over burial mounds and servers as a shrine to great Lord Buddha.
Sarnath is a very holy site for Buddhist pilgrimage in the state of Uttarpradesh. The entire city is a testimony to the Buddhist culture because of the many historical Buddhist monuments that call this city there Home.
*ASHOKA PILLAR, SARNATH:
The Ashoka pillar crafted out of stone is an impressive structure with four lion at the top. This 50m long pillar along with the Dhamek stupa , are Ashoka’s gift to Buddhism and the entire complex has calm aura to it. India’s oldest archaeological museum has been built at the periphery of the complex. Dhamek stupa is an important landmark for Buddhist where his lesson for the very first time . There are also prayer wheel in the compoun with beautiful carvings of ” om Mani Padme Hum” in Sanskrit . The graphic representation of Ashoka pillar and the world ” satyamav Jayate” written below in Devnagari have been adopted as the official Emblem of India.
* THAI TEMPLE:
A well known attraction in Sarnath , the Thai Temple displays the style of Architecture. The Temple is set amongst beautiful garden and is managed by Thai Buddhist Monks offering calm and peaceful surroundings.
* TIBETAN TEMPLE, Sarnath:
The Buddhist shrine has been decorated with Thangksa which are Tibetan Buddhist paintings. The temple features a statue of Shakyamuni, the Buddha. The prayer wheel are seen outside the buildings which are been rotated clockwise, release paper scroll with prayers written on them.
* ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM , sarnath:
Established in the year 1910, the Archaeological Museum displays a small collection of artefacts ranging from the 3rd century BC to 12 century AD.
Kushinagar is where Lord Buddha breathed his last last on earth. Because of this , the place is a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhist. The place is forgotten until , 1861 when General A. Cunningham and A.C.I. carlyl exposed the hidden wealth through excavations. Several monuments mark the aceociation of lord Buddha with kushinagar, which are today important tourist attractions in kushinagar.
* NIRVANA STUPA:
The huse stupa made of Bricks was exposed by carlyl in 1876. The Brahmi inscription states that Lord Buddha’s remains has been desposed hear. A copper vessel was unearth at this site.
*Nirbana Temple: A 6 mtrs long statue of reclining Buddha represent the dying prophet . The statue was unearthed in 1876.
* Mathakuar shrine: Some 400 yeards from the Nirvana stupa, it enshrines a black stone image of Buddha delivered his last sermon here.
* Ramabhar Stupa: Nearly 1 km away this 49ft tall Stupa makes the site where the Lord Buddha was cremated. In ancient Buddhist Texts this Stupa has been referred to as Mukut – Bandhan Vihar.
* Japanese Temple: This is a resent construction. Here is installed a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha made of eight metals which has come from Japan.
* Kushinagar Museum: The Buddha museum, containing finds from excavation at the site , is open every day except Sunday.
******GHOOM MONASTRY , Darjeeling:
At the grande elevation of 8000 ft, the Yoga choeling or old Ghoom MONASTRY is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist MONASTRY of the Darjeeling. Established in 1850 by Lama Sherab cyatso, this shrine is part of the yellow hat sect known as Gelupka who worship the “cornming Buddha” or Maitreyi Buddha”. A 15foot high statue of Maitreyi Buddha is seen in the center hall, made entirely of clay brought from Tibet. This statue was installed during the tenture of the second head of the monastery Lama DemoGeshe Rinpoche. One can also find many rear Buddhist manuscript within the permises. Visitor are treated to a beautiful view of the majestic within the premises. Visitors are treated to a beautiful view of the majestic kanchenjungha outside the monastery. Prayer flag are flown by the resident monks in typical Tibetan tradition. In front of the Maitreyi Buddha Statue hang two huge oil lamps which keeps burning through the year. The wall of the monastery are elaboratly painted with depictions and art of Tibetan Buddhism, with different images of bodhisattvas.
At a distance of 22 km from Gangtok SNT Bus station, RUMTEK monastery is a beautiful, Buddhist Gompa situated near Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, also called as Dharma chakra center. It is one of the largest monastries in Sikkim and among the best place to visit in Gangtok. The monastery was originally built in mid 17th century under the supervision of changchub Dorje, the 12th Karmapa Lama. Parched on a hill overlooking Gangtok, RUMTEK MONASTRY is the seat of the Karmapa Lama, the third highest monk in the Tibetan Buddhism. The MONASTRY belongs to the kargyu sect of Buddhism originated during the 12th century CE in Tibet, with the generosity and help of the Sikkim royal family and the local folks of Sikkim, the MONASTRY was rebuilt by the 16th Karmapa Rangjung rigpe Dorje and named as RUMTEK Dharma chakra center in 1966.
The architecture of the MONASTRY is one of the finest in the world and resemblance the original one in Tsurphu, Tibet. The main building of RUMTEK MONASTRY is three stored. The ground floor has a large prayer hall which contains large hand painting and statues. The first floor is where the 16th Karmapa lived and top floor has Terrance and a small Stupa. The MONASTRY also houses other precious items likes the Black Hat ( known as Vajra Mukul) which is studded with gold , diamond, Ruby and many other precious stones.
The monastery complex also house the karma Sri Nalanda Institute of Buddhist studies and the Golden Stupa. Constructed in the year 1984 , the Nalanda institute is the most beautiful building in the complex which attracts numerous students from around the world who spend at least nine years here. Opposite the entrance of the institute, a samll hall house a four meter high Golden Stupa which contains the precious relies of his holiness the 16th Karmapa. One can also visit old RUMTEK MONASTRY, constructed by the 9th Karmapa in 1740, stand half a kilometer further the new MONASTRY.
The MONASTRY is hosted to several Tibetan festivals organized throughout the year which include Tsechu chaam and Kagyat Dance. Losar celebration ( Tibetan New Year) takes place during February- March . The Vechiles or Taxi are dropped below the hill from where is a firly long and steep uphill walk to reached the main entrance of the MONASTRY. One need to carry ID to visit the MONASTRY.