The Indian landmass is highly visited for its religious attractions. The motherland had given birth to numerous saints, scholars, and spiritual leaders who saved mankind from perishing and showed humans the path that leads them to salvation. Of various saints who taught the common man the way to lead a peaceful life, Gautama Buddha is highly revered. The preacher who gave away his comfort and wealth to discover the truth and motto of life traveled centuries ago on unknown & obscure paths to discover the truth. Throughout his search for the answers to his questions, he journeyed from Nepal and halted at various destinations that today stand as famous pilgrimage places for followers of Buddhism. Some of the famous destinations for Buddhism in India are:
Snuggled in the district of Gaya, Bihar, and associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, Bodhgaya is highly revered in Buddhism as it is the same place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment (Bodhimandala) under a banyan tree (bodhi). The illustrious attractions here are the Mahabodhi temple complex, Bodhi tree, and Dungeshwari caves. The Mahabodhi Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that turns in numerous Buddhist followers each year.
Sarnath holds great significance in Buddhism as the place where Buddha gave his first sermon (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta) to his five disciples after enlightenment. Sarnath houses numerous stupas & monasteries namely Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, Dharmarajika Stupa, and Ashoka Pillar. It is the same place where the famous Buddhist hymn ‘Buddham Sharnam Gacchami’ came into origin.
Nestled n the state of Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar is another famous Indian Buddhist tour destination in India. The place holds great significance as the place where Buddha breathed his last. The town is home to numerous stupas and Viharas, dating back to 3rd and 5th centuries. One of the most famous attractions here is the Parinirvana temple which houses a 6.10 meters long sandstone statue of the Buddha in a reclining position. The city is also mentioned in Ramayana which says that it was founded by King Kusha, the son of Lord Ram.
Sravasti was one of the six largest cities during the times of the Gautama Buddha. Currently located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, it was here that Buddha preached the largest amount of his sermons during his stay here for 25 rainy seasons. The region is also home to relics and ruins of numerous stupas and monasteries dating back centuries. The Jeevan Monastery and Ananda Bodhi tree are the famous attractions here. Moreover, monasteries from countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Tibet, Myanmar, and China have also been constructed here.
Located in the state of Maharashtra, the Ajanta caves are 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments dating back to the 2nd century BCE to about 480 or 650 CE. The caves are the epitome of Buddhist religious art and are a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in India. The caves are filled with figures of the Buddha and important days of his life and depiction from the Jataka tales.