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Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India

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Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India

In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Sometimes, it is a journey to a sacred place or shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith. Members of every major religion participate in pilgrimages. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.


There are number of historical Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.

Primary sites

Buddhism offers four major sites of pilgrimage: the Buddha's birthplace at Lumbini, the site where he attained Enlightenment Bodh Gaya, where he first preached at Benaras, and where he achieved Parinirvana at Kusinagara. Some Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India are listed below:

  • Bodh Gaya, Bihar - The site of the enlightenment of Gautama Buddha.
  • Sarnath, outside Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh - The site of the first sermon.
  • Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh - the site of the Buddha's paranibbana.
  • These are three of the four holiest sites in Buddhism. The fourth, Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, is now in southern Nepal.

    Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India

  • Patna, Bihar - Formerly known as Pataliputra, it was the seat of the Mauryan empire and a significant Buddhist centre
  • Rajgir, Bihar - Formerly known as Rajagaha, it was the capital of Magadha, ruled by King Bimbisara, one of the most prominent monarchs and supporters during the lifetime of the Buddha
  • Nalanda, Bihar - Site of an ancient Buddhist university, destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khalji during Islamic attacks
  • Sravasti, Uttar Pradesh - Formerly known as Savatthi, it was the capital of Kosala, ruled by King Pasenadi, one of the most prominent monarchs and supporters during the lifetime of the Buddha
  • Vaishali, Bihar - Seat of a republican state of the Lichchavis, prominent supporters of the Buddha. Site of the Second Buddhist Council
  • The name of Bihar is derived from vihara, meaning monastery, such was the association of the area with Buddhism. In addition to these sites which were visited by the Buddha, other sites in India have become notable

  • Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh - Site of a large stupa built by Ashoka, it also stored the relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana, the two chief disciples of the Buddha; reputedly the place from which Mahinda set out to proselytise Sri Lanka.
  • Ajanta and Ellora, Maharashtra - the site of intricate cave paintings depicting Buddhism
  • Nagarjunakonda, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Salihundam, Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, Ratnagiri, Odisha, Lalitgiri, Odisha and Udayagiri, Odisha - former sites of Buddhist education
  • There are a proliferation of Tibetan Buddhist sites in India

  • Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Rumtek, Sikkim
  • Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
  • Tabo Monastery
  • Leh, Ladakh
  • Namdroling Monastery, Bylakuppe, Near Mysore, Karnataka
  • Further sites

  • Bojjannakonda, Andhra Pradesh
  • Bhattiprolu, Andhra Pradesh
  • Bagh Caves, Madhya Pradesh
  • Chandavaram, Andhra Pradesh
  • Guntupalli, Andhra Pradesh
  • Ghantasala, Andhra Pradesh
  • Harwan, near Srinagar, Kashmir
  • Nelakondapalli, Telangana
  • Pavurallakonda, Andhra Pradesh
  • Phanigiri, Telangana
  • Panderathan, Kashmir
  • Parihaspura, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Ramatheertham, Andhra Pradesh
  • Vadnagar, Mehsana District, Gujarat
  • McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
  • Namphake, Dibrugarh, Assam
  • Surya Pahar, Goalpara, Assam
  • Hayagriva Madhava, Hajo, Assam
  • Pemayangtse Monastery

    The Pemayangtse Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Pemayangtse, near Pelling in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, located 140 kilometres (87 mi) west of Gangtok.

    Tawang Monastery

    Tawang Monastery in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

    Zang Dhok Palri Phodang

    Zang Dhok Palri Phodang is a Buddhist monastery in Kalimpong in West Bengal, India. The monastery is located atop Durpin Hill, one of the two hills of the town. It was consecrated in 1976 by the visiting Dalai Lama.

    Rumtek Monastery

    Rumtek Monastery also called the "Dharmachakra Centre", is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa controversy.

    Enchey Monastery

    Enchey Monastery is located in Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim in the Northeastern Indian state. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism.

    Tashiding Monastery

    Tashiding Monastery is a Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism in Western Sikkim, northeastern India. It is located on top of the hill rising between the Rathong chu and the Rangeet River.

    Dubdi Monastery

    Dubdi Monastery, occasionally called 'Yuksom Monastery' is a Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism near Yuksom, in the Geyzing subdivision of West Sikkim district.

    Ralang Monastery

    Ralang Monastery is a Buddhist monastery of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism in southern Sikkim, northeastern India. It is located six kilometres from Ravangla.


    Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India Wikipedia

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