“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.
09/02/2023 10:55 AM

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Important Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites

There are numerous pilgrimage Buddhist sites in South East Asia and Eastern Asia. But there are only four most important pilgrimage Buddhist sites that are most sacred and have important significance in Buddhism tradition. These Buddhist sites are located in the Gangetic plains of Northern India and Southern Nepal. These four holy sites refer to those sites that had witnessed the important event of life of Lord Buddha.

The Four Most Important Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites are as Follows:

Lumbini (Birthplace Of Lord Buddha)

Important Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites
  • Lumbini is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world and was listed on UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
  • Lumbini is the holy site where Lord Buddha was born from Queen Maya Devi.
  • Lumbini is located in the Southern region of Nepal.
  • The Great Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini with his teacher, Upagupta in 249 B.C. to spread the practices and beliefs of Buddhism.
  • Ashoka erected an inscribed pillar marking the birthplace of Lord Buddha and seven steps taken by Lord Buddha when he was born. This pillar is popularly known as “Ashoka Pillar”.

Bodh Gaya

  • After leaving his birthplace, Lord Buddha attained “ Enlightenment ” under a pipal tree. That pipal tree is known as Bodhi tree .
  • It is located in Gaya district in Indian state of Bihar.
  • Bodh Gaya is also famous for Mahabodhi temple , bodhi tree , and various ancient Buddhist culture .
  • The Great Emperor Ashoka came to Bodh Gaya in 259 B.C. and he constructed the magnificent Mahabodhi temple near the Bodhi tree .

Sarnath (First Teaching)

  • Location: the north east of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • According to Buddhist tradition, Sarnath is the place where Buddha gave his first preaching to five monks (Pañcavaggiya ) and the place where he taught about Dharma.
  • Specifically, Buddha gave his first preaching in Deer Park located in Sarnath and started “Wheel of Dharma”.
  • Lord Buddha preached about Four Noble Truth, Noble Eightfold Path (middle way), and various Suttas . The Four Noble Truths are: there is Suffering, Cause of Suffering, End of Suffering, and Eightfold Path to end the suffering.

Kushinagar (Death Of Lord Buddha)

  • Kushinara also known as Kushinagar is one of the Four Most Important Pilgrimage sites of Buddhism and is located in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Kushinagar is the holy site Lord Buddha chose to die and attain “Parinirvana” for three reasons.
    • The first reason is Kushinagar was the proper venue to preach Maha-Sudassana Sutta.
    • The second reason is related to Subhadra following the path left by Lord Buddha.
    • The third reason is Lord Buddha wanted to leave the important Buddhist relics in the hand of Brahman Doha.

Other Important Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites Are :

  • Rajgir in Bihar : Place of the subduing of Nalagiri, the angry elephant, through friendliness. Also here first Buddhist council was held.
  • Vaishali, (Bihar) : Place of receiving an offering of honey from a monkey. Also the site of last sermon of Buddha.
  • Shravasti(the capital of the kingdom of kosala), Uttar Pradesh : Site of maximum sermon of Buddha.
  • Sankassa: Place of the descending to earth from Tavatimsa heaven (after a stay of 3 months teaching his mother the Abhidhamma).
  • Piprahwa, (Uttar Pradesh) on the Nepal border.
  • Sanchi and Bharhut in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Mahaviharas of Nalanda, Vikramshila, Sompura, Odantapuri, Pushpagiri and Jagaddala.
  • Sirpur in Chhattisgarh.
  • Lalitagiri, Vajragiri and Ratnagiri in Odisha.
  • Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu.
  • Bhaja and Karla Caves, Pune(Maharashtra).
  • Ajanta, Ellora and Pithalkora Caves, Aurangabad (Maharashtra).
  • Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, Pandavleni Caves, Nashik in Maharashtra.
  • Ghum Monastery, West Bengal.
  • Rumtek, Pemayangtse and Enchay Monastery, Sikkim.
  • Alchi Monastery, Spituk Monastery, Shey Monastery etc. in Ladakh.
  • Dhankar Monastery, Nako Monastery(Kinnaur), Kye Monastery, Tabo Monastery(Spiti Valley) etc. in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Tawang Monastery (largest monastery in India), Bomdila Monastery Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Namdroling Monastery, Bylakuppe, Karnataka.
  • Rock-cut elephant and Ashokan edicts at Dhauli, Odisha (developed in the Mauryan period).

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