India brings to you a diverse mélange of religions. While Hinduism remains a major religion practiced here, there are many other religions which have left their mark in various parts of the country. One such religion breathing in India is Buddhism. Every year streams of travelers book Buddhist Tour Packages in India to witness the serenity and spirituality of this soul soothing religion. After Gautam Buddha was born as a prince in Lumbini, he traveled to India in search of truth behind life and suffering. After years of meditation, he attained enlightenment and preached and taught sermons. This is the reason why India has many ancient places where Buddhism still breathes. Travelers book Buddhist Tour Packages in India to be a part of the most popular Buddhist Circuit which takes them through the life of Buddha. Some of the popular destinations covered in this Buddha tour package include Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar.
Lumbini is surely the most significant destination of this Buddhist circuit where the birth of Siddhartha took place. It houses some prominent attractions to explore, including the Pashkarni pond, the Mayadevi temple and the Ashoka pillar.
Bodhgaya literally evokes images of Buddha. It is the place where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree following which he became Lord Buddha. Bodhgaya houses numerous sights visited by thousands of Buddhist followers from all over the world like the Bodhi tree, Vajrasan throne donated by King Ashoka, Muchalinda Lake, Mahabodhi Temple, Animesh Lochana chaitya, etc.
Next important place in this circuit is Sarnath, the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. During his preaching, he taught his followers the path to attain inner peace and enlightenment. Here Dhamekha Stupa was built by King Ashoka which remains a popular place to visit.
Kushinagar is the place where Lord Buddha left this world in 543 BC. The place where he died has been preserved in 8 commemoration Chortens. These were later converted into 84,000 Stupas by King Ashoka. Do visit the Mukatanabandhana Stupa here apart from the reclining Buddha statue constructed during the Gupta period.
Vaishali in Bihar also holds a great importance in Buddhism as Buddha taught his last sermon here. It is around 60 kms from Patna. Vaishali has a series of historical attractions, including Ashokan Pillar, Vishwa Shanti Stupa, Abishek Pushakaran, Raja Vishal ka Garh, Bawan Pokhar Temple, etc.
Rajgir, 70 kms from Bodhgaya, is where Buddha stayed for 12 years and spread his principles. He talked about Lotus Sutra and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra here. This significant place has numerous places of historical importance some of which include Ajatshatru Fort, Bimbisara Jail, Cyclopean Walls, etc. Here you will find many Jain temples as well.
Shravasti is believed to be the place where Buddha performed his first miracle. It is 150 kms from the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. As per Buddhist tradition, the city was named Savatthi as the sage Savattha lived there. Gautam Buddha passed a major part of his life in Shravasti and thus, it still carries some major wonders like Anandabodhi tree in Jetavana monastery, Gandhakuti (Buddha’s hut), Stupa of Angulimala, etc.