|Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya where Buddha is said to have attained Nirvana|
|Sarnath is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma|
Sarnath is one of the most visited sites for devout followers of Buddhism. And the stupa at Sarnath is one of most spectacular monuments exhorting Buddhism. Sarnath also happens to be the place where famous Buddhist hymn ‘Buddham Sharnam Gacchami’ originated.
Considered one of the top Buddhist sites in India, Sarnath houses many stupas and monasteries which include Dhamek Stupa, Dharmarajika Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa and Ashoka Pillar. The lion capital carved on the Ashokan Pillar at Sarnath was adapted as the National Emblem of India.
Located in the Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar is one of the most beautiful Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in India.
The city is briefly mentioned in Ramayana epic which says that King Kusha, the son of Lord Ram, laid the foundation stone of this city. Kushinagar has great significance for Buddhist pilgrims as Tathagata (Lord Buddha) breathed his last here at the age of 80 years.
Several Buddhist stupas and Viharas dating back to 3rd and 5th century are still found alive in the precincts of this ancient town. The most famous attraction of this town is Parinirvana temple which houses a wonderful statue of Buddha in a reclining position.
One of the ancient Indian cities which gained prominence during the life span of Lord Buddha, Sravasti is a must visit destination for all Buddhist pilgrims.
Legend says that the city was named after a mythological king Shravasta. The city is known for playing host to Gautama Buddha for 25 rainy seasons and preached largest amount of sermons and instructions.
The city is dotted with relics and ruins of several ancient stupas and monasteries of which Jetvana Monastery and Ananda Bodhi tree are a must visit for all pilgrims.
|Ajanta Caves near Aurangabad are recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO owing to their immense cultural value|
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Contributed by Nikhil Chandra