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Buddhist Heritage Sites in India



Bihar

– The land which got its name from Vihara, the Pali variant for ‘a secluded place where Buddha walked, contemplated and gained enlightenment", Bihar is richly endowed with Buddhist heritage. Dotted with temples, monasteries, stupas, chaityas and Asokan edicts, Bihar is famous for Bodhgaya, synonymous with the Buddha’s enlightenment, Rajgir for Griddhakutta, Vaishali where Lord Buddha preached his last sermon, Kesariya – world’s longest stupa, the Asokan pillar at Lauria Nandangarh, etc.

Uttar Pradesh

- Uttar Pradesh has been a page-turner in the life of Lord Buddha. After attaining enlightenment, Lord Buddha decided to preach the ultimate knowledge to his followers. Here Lord Buddha turned the wheel of life at Sarnath near Varanasi, and at Kushinagar, he attained his Mahaparinirvana - the ultimate release of soul from body. To commemorate this, a temple is erected on the site.

Jammu and Kashmir

- Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir is known as a base point for Buddhism and from here only, the compassionate religion penetrated to Far East countries including Tibet, China, Japan, etc. The isolated Shangri-la of Ladakh is famous for its serene surroundings and historic Buddhist monasteries. Masked dance of Hemis Fair in the month of June is another attraction of Ladakh’s bestowed Buddhist Heritage.

Himachal Pradesh

- The land of the Monasteries, Himachal Pradesh has Buddhist heritage belonging to 8th century B.C. Revalsar Lake, Tabo, Key, Lhalung, Nako, Dhankar and Dharamshala provide evidences of Tibetan Buddhism’s growth and absorption. Dharamshala is also famous worldwide as the home of IV Dalai Lama and many Tibetan monks in exile.

Odisha

- Odisha played a major role in transformation of Emperor Ashoka, who after a lot of bloodshed in the Kalinga War embraced Buddhism. Present day Odisha is dotted with monastic ruins of Udayagiri, Khandagiri, Ratnagiri, and Dhauli hill as a part of its Diamond Buddhist circuit.

Madhya Pradesh

– Madhya Pradesh is known for one of the best known Buddhist sites in India – the Sanchi Stupa. This world heritage site is the oldest stone structure in India. Built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C., this Buddhist complex is dotted with monasteries, stupas and other buildings. The simple hemispherical structure is believed to be erected over the enshrined relics of Buddha. A crowned Chhatra, symbolizing a high rank protects and honors the relics. The four monumental gateways or Toranas also add on to the unique craftsmanship of Sanchi, unlike other simplistic stupas form an added attraction to Buddhist Heritage of the state.

Maharashtra

– Famous worldwide for the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra has many other caves contributing to the rare Buddhist heritage of the state. These caves served as the rainy retreats for wandering monks and in return became the canvas of their artistic brilliance. Many of the cave complexes have Buddhist cave paintings that testify the fact.

Karnataka

– The state of Karnataka is known more for its 11 Asokan Edicts, which express his transformation from a brutal king to the ‘beloved of the gods’ – Piyadassi. Famous rock edicts of Karnataka are in Bellary, Raichur, Chitradurga, Koppal and Siddhapura.

Andhra Pradesh

- Andhra Pradesh is dotted with magnificent ruins of the Monasteries, stupas and viharas contributing to the Buddhist Heritage of the state.The inscriptions of the Andhra Ikshvaku period reveal that the great stupa of Jaggayyapeta, Nagarjunakonda and Ramireddipalle served as a Buddhist center for wandering monks.

Sikkim

- The isolated state of Sikkim is a thriving center of Tibetan Buddhism. Dotted with many monasteries, this secluded state serves a home for many monasteries and practicing monks. The famous monasteries contributing to the Buddhist heritage of Sikkim are Pemayangtse, Rumtek, Dubdi, Tashiding, etc.

Arunachal Pradesh

– The land of the dawn-lit mountains, Arunachal Pradesh is a famous Buddhist spiritual center dotted with monasteries and gompas. The largest monastery of India, Tawang, Bomdila monastery and excavated remains of Vijaynagar comprise the important Buddhist heritage circuit of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Anyone in the world, who compassionately feels about the Buddhist Heritage, can sponsor this cause. One can download the Application form below, fill it and send it to us with one time Joining Fee of 500 and Annual Membership Fee of 1,000 drawn on behalf of Buddhist Heritage Tourism Promotion Council to become a member.

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