Top 8 Places of Buddhist Circuit

1. LUMBINI- Across the border in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal lies the Lumbini Park, the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha, who was later become the Enlightened One- Lord Buddha. Queen Mahamaya Devi of the Sakya clan was on her way to her parental home when she gave birth to a Prince under the Sala tree. 

Places of interest :

  • Temple of Maya Devi
  • A tank in which it is said that the baby was bathed.
  • Ruins of monasteries.
  • Ashoka Pilla  

2. BUDDHAGAYA- Bodhgaya is the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage. It was in Bodhgaya in Bihar, India that Prince Siddhartha found Enlightenment (nirvana) under the bodhi tree after meditating for 49 days. No longer a bodhisattva (mentor), he became Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One. 

Primary points of homage are the Mahabodhi Temple, the Vajrasan throne donated by King Ashoka, the holy Bodhi Tree, the Animeshlochana chaitya, the Ratnachankramana, the Ratnagaraha, the Ajapala Nigrodha Tree, the Muchhalinda Lake and the Rajayatana Tree. The spiritual home of all Buddhists, devotees from many Buddhist countries have built temples around the complex in their characteristic architectural styles. Bodhgaya today is a vibrant and inspiring tourist attraction. 

Places of interest : 

  • Mahabodhi Temple
  • Famous Bodhi tree
  • Monasteries of many Buddhist countries

3. SARNATH- Here the Lord Buddha gave his first significant teaching and  asked his followers to avoid Two extremes and follow the Middle Path and disclosed the four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path to his first five fellow seekers at deer park and they become the first Buddhist Order of monks (The Sangha) and rolled the wheel of Dharma in the World. 

Places of interest : 

  • Deer park
  • Dhammeka Stupa
  • Ashoka Pillar
  • Ruins of monasteries from the 3rd century BC.
  • Archaeological museum

4. KUSINAGAR- Here in this most beautiful forest, Lord took Mahaparinirvana under the Sala trees in the mist of greatest gathering of his followers. 

Places of interest : 

  • Makutabandhana Stupa built to house the relics of the Lord after his cremation.
  • Large clay image of Lord in the Mahaparinirvana position
  • Stupa commenmorating the Buddha's cremation

5. VARANASI- Thousand of Hindu pilgrims come to bathe and worship every day at the bathing ghats of Holy river Ganges. The ghats are the sights to behold, specially at dawn when thousands stand waist- deep, the Aarti( Hymns and prayers) and the sight of hundreds of lighted lamps floating on the waters are sights one can not forget. 

6. NALANDA- It is the famous monastic university during the 5th to 12th century AD. For metaphysic, logic, medicine, grammar, Buddhist scriptures and practice. Ten thousand students used to attend this famous University. Huien Tsang, the Chinese traveller, spent many year as a student as well as teacher during 7th century.  

Places of interest : 

  • Ruins of monastic sites
  • Arcchaeological museum

7. RAJGIR-It was the capital state of Magadha at the time of Lord, Mauryan King Bimbisara ruled over it and become follower of Lord Buddha.

Lord most favorite retreat place is Gridhakuta- vulture Peak, where Lord own cousin and disciple Devadatta rolled down the huge rock in an attempt to kill the Lord. 

Places of interest : 

  • Gridhakuta - Vulture Peak
  • Veluvana - a bamboo grove donated by King Bimbisara to Lord and it is the first Buddhist monastery
  • Jivaka's mango grove ( Jivaka was the personal Physician of Lord Buddha)
  • Saptadhara ( Seven hot springs), where it is said that Lord visited to relieve his arthritic pain
  • Saptaparni caves where the first Buddhist council was held.
  • Pippala stone house where the most senior monk Ven. Maha kassapa stayed.

8. SARAVASTI- It was the capital of the Koshala kingdom, where Lord Buddha spent his 24 rainy seasons. It is place where the most famous dreaded murderer Angulimala tempted and admitted in the holy Sangha and became enlightened being. The famous merchant Anthapindika donated the Jeta grove and turned it in to popular Jetavana monastery. 

Places of interest : 

  • Jetavana monastery
  • Ruins of Kosambkuti and Gandhkuti- Lord resting cell
  • Angulimala stupa
  • Ven. Anandabodhi trees- Planted by most Ven. Ananda in the present of Lord himself and it is the most veneration place for the devotees.

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