Buddhism is one the world largest and fast growing religion whose philosophies are based on Lord Buddha’s teachings. Lord Buddha was man who left the luxuries of life including his family to set out on path to enlightenment not only for himself but for others also. The enlightenment is said to alleviate the suffering for man and bringing him peace. This religion is now widespread with many Asian countries having it as their primary religion. Like all religions Buddhism is also a growing religion with some place holding special importance to the followers of Buddhism. Some of such important religious places for Buddhism are
- Bodh Gaya
Located in Gaya District in India’s state of Bihar, Bodh Gaya is of special importance to Buddhists all over the world. In this the place,under a Bodhi treeLord Buddha gained his enlightenment and realized nirvana through meditation. Bodh Gaya houses important Buddhist monuments like the Diamond Throne, the Bodhi tree and the Mahabodhi Temple. This forgotten city was lost to time until the British excavated it in the 19th century AD.
Located in Nepal’s Rupahdehi districtLumbini is said to be the birth place of Lord Buddha. The first 29 years of his life after enlightenment were spent here by Lord Buddha making this one of the four main religious places for Buddhists. Since 1997 current day Lumbini has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is a village located about 15 Km from India’s city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. In this place the first sermon was delivers by Lord Buddha and he himself mentions Sarnath as one of the four main religious places for Buddhists. Though most of the structures were destroyed due to the Turks invasion a few temples and stupas stand strong in Sarnath. Emperor Ashoka’sfamous lion pillar can be found in the Sarnath Museum.
- Kusinara/ Kushinagar
This small village is located in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district and is considered one of the most important religious places for Buddhists. Kusinara/ Kushinagar is said to be a place chosen by Lord Buddha himself for his death, thereby this place is known to be place where Lord Buddha achieved parinirvana (nirvana after death) after his death.
Outside of India Swayambhunath is considered to be one of the holiest places for Buddhists. Located on top of a hill in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley is an ancient religious complex that houses shrines, temples and stupas relatedto Buddhism dated in various dates in history. A Tibetan monastery and a library can be found in Swayambhunath. It is believed that this complex was commissioned to be built in the 5th century AD.
Located just 20 Km from Nepal’s city of Kathmandu, Boudhanath is the home to the Boudhanath stupa an important religious place for Buddhists everywhere. While looking at Buddhist stupas the Boudhanath stupas is one of tallest to be found and it is also a big tourist attraction.
These are the six most important religious places for Buddhists. So if you are interested in Buddhism and its teachings these are the must places for you to visit.