10 Buddhists Pilgrimage Sites in India

India is a land of diversity where diverse religions can be found within the same state and the country. Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, and Christianity are some of the widespread religions in India but nowadays Buddhism is quite popular among youths as its wonderful teachings of life inspire every youth. Its teaching ranges from separation from the materialistic delights of the world, truth, and non-violence.

A number of monasteries are located at the different corners of India which can be explored on your Buddhist pilgrimage tour in India, starting from Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya which is the most famous and acclaimed Buddhist Monastery in the country.

1- Mahabodhi Temple (Location- Bihar)

Mahabodhi Temple (Location- Bihar), pilgrimage site

One of the most divine Buddhist places in India which is established in Bodh Gaya, Bihar and was built by the great King Ashoka in the 3rd century. This 180 feet high huge pyramid architecture reflects the teachings, custom, culture, and tradition of Buddhists. A huge and gorgeous idol of Lord Buddha is standing majestically in this yellow stoned structure.

Specialty- the sacred Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha attained self-enlightenment.

2- Mahaparinirvana Temple (Location- Kushinagar)

Mahaparinirvana Temple, pilgrimage site

The second holiest Buddhist places in India which are not only famous for its religious significance but also for its tourism rate. This Buddhist site is not only visited by Indian tourists but also by international tourists with the same level of enthusiasm. The beautiful architecture and the spiritual aura of this site are quite appealing to the visitors.

Specialty– A huge sleeping postured statue of Lord Buddha (6 meters high) which symbolizes Buddha’s highest state of salvation.

3- Wat Thai Temple (Location-Kushinagar)

Wat Thai Temple, pilgrimage site

Also called as the Buddhist treasures in India, Wat Thai Temple is known for its tranquil aura. The atmosphere inside the temple makes it a perfect place for meditation as the ambience is filled with complete serenity and peace. It’s impossible for the visitors to ignore the natural charm of this Buddhist site which is studded with greenery all around.

Specialty– Designed with a beautiful combination of Buddhist and Thai architecture and its green environment all around the temple.

4- Sarnath Temple (Location-Varanasi)

Sarnath Temple, pilgrimage site

The place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon on wisdom after attaining the enlightenment and the architecture was constructed during the 3rd century BC by the great King Ashoka. Presently, it is counted among the top 5 Buddhist religious places in India.

Specialty– The first spiritual discourse was delivered by Lord Buddha after gaining the enlightenment. It also houses some other Stupas which enhance the charm of this site.

5- Sanchi Stupa (Location- Madhya Pradesh)

Sanchi stupa, pilgrimage site

It is believed to be the most ancient stone monument in India built by the great emperor Ashoka. This magnificent architecture represents very beautifully the glory of Buddhism architecture and also the arts. The intricate carvings on the walls, pillars, and the gate of Stupa makes it one of the most visited Buddhist sites in the country.

Specialty– Beautiful relics of Lord Buddha, exquisite carvings on the gateways, and the huge spherical dome.

6- Rumtek Monastery (Location- Sikkim)

Rumtek Monastery (Location- Sikkim), pilgrimage site

Nestled beautifully on the hilltop in Sikkim, Rumtek Monastery was known as the Dharma Chakra Centre originally. Besides being a spiritual place, Rumtek is also known for its growing tourism rate due to its beautiful location and surrounding landscapes comprised of green mountains which gives a visual treat to the visitors coming to this place.

Specialty– Its fine architecture is quite famous in the world and the breathtaking view of the entire Gangtok town.

7- Theravada Buddhist Temple (Location- Itanagar)

Theravada Buddhist Temple (Location- Itanagar), pilgrimage site

One of the most prime Buddhist destinations in East India, Theravada is considered to be an ideal place for seeking meditation due to its serene ambience. The place holds great religious significance in Buddhism and is also known for its surreal natural beauty.

Specialty– Verdant greenery, comfortable, positive, and peaceful vibes and also the cleanliness of the structure makes it unique and special.

8- Kapilvastu (Location- Siddharth Nagar, Uttar Pradesh)

Kapilvastu (Location- Siddharth Nagar, Uttar Pradesh), pilgrimage

This Buddhist site holds a great religious and historical significance and also famous for housing numerous Stupas. Kapilvastu is believed to be the place where Lord Buddha was grown up and lived up a happy life with his son Rahul and wife before leaving for Nirvana.

Specialty– The inscriptions of Deoputra in the Stupa Complex, Palace site, and the ruins of the palace of Prince Gautam’s father King Suddhodhan.

9- Ghum Monastery (Location- Darjeeling)

Ghum Monastery (Location- Darjeeling), pilgrimage site

It is believed to be the oldest Buddhist site in the city of Darjeeling which is elevated at a great height of 8000 feet. This highly elevated monastery was established by Lama Sherab Gyatso in the year 1850. One can witness many ancient manuscripts of Buddhists inside the premise of this structure.

Specialty- the clay used to design the huge statue of Buddha in the monastery was brought from Tibet. The view of imposing Kanchenjunga is an additional treat to the eyes.

10- Ajanta Caves (Location- Maharashtra)

Ajanta Caves (Location- Maharashtra), pilgrimage site

Included in the list of World Heritage Sites as declared by UNESCO, Ajanta Cave is a beautiful Buddhist architecture which was constructed during 650 CE and 2nd century BC. The paintings and the sculptures depicted on the walls of the cave tell many stories and also numerous things about the Buddhist culture. The serenity and tranquillity of the cave is an additional feature of this Buddhist site in India.

Speciality– set of 3 rock-cut structure, the greenery of the surrounding areas, and the huge meditations halls.

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