Near Bodhgaya, Pragbodhi
is the site where Buddha practiced
austerities in order to find the awakening and the solution of life from
pain and suffering. Located on the top of mountain, the site has several
ancient stupas along with a small Tibetan Buddhist temple.
The oldest surviving rock cut caves in India; Barabar
is located on
the twin hills of Barabar and Nagarjuni. Carved in the Mauryan times, the
caves have the larger Buddhist Chaitya including stupa emblems, elephant
engravings, circular vaulted chambers with rectangular mandapa and a curved
Champanagar in the Bhagalpur district is the place visited by Lord Buddha
many times. Also, the site witnessed some of the important discourses and
sermons from Lord Buddha including Kandaraka Sutta, Sonadanda Sutta, etc.
One of the prime attractions of Champanagar is a tank known as Gaggara's
Lotus Lake where lotuses bloom. On the banks of the lake is a grove of huge
Champaka trees, which is believed to be the most favored spot of Buddha.
Another lake, Sarovana Talab yielded a number of Buddha statues in 1900s
- the time when the lake was cleaned.
There is a legend behind Dona Stupa
. After Buddhas
Parinirvana and cremation, a dispute ensued between the four Buddha
disciples over the division of his mortal ashes. Eventually the task of fair
division of the ashes was ensued to a Brahmin named Dona. He divided the
ashes into eight equal halves for the claimants. The disciples, satisfied by
his fairness presented him the vessel in which the ashes had been stored.
The stupa at Dona enshrines the very same holy vessel which is now reduced
to a grassy mound. A Hindu temple is built over the mound where the idol of
goddess Tara is worshipped.
Once a very large and elaborate Buddhist Vihara, Ghosrawan
presently contains the relics of the same. To enshrine the presence of Lord
Buddha in the area, the 10 feet statue black stone statue of meditating
Buddha is carved. Few kilometers towards the south Ghosrawan is Tetravan,
where a temple showcases an extensive collection of Buddhas and
enshrines the Mahakassapa, the successor of Lord Buddha who is
still believed to be waiting for the arrival of Maitreya, the future Buddha.
When Mahakassapa, the successor of Lord Buddha himself realised that his
life was nearing its end, he moved towards Kukkutapadagiri, a mountain
resort close to his heart. During the passage, the group experienced various
obstacles like falling of rocks that hindered the journey further. But
nothing stopped him from his ultimate journey of life. He struck all these
rocks with the accompanying group which paved way for his journey. After he
reached the hill top, the hollow space was formed in the rocks where he
indulged himself into the deep meditation. Followed by this, the rock crater
closed around him. This sacred mountain where Mahakassapa is enshrined is
known as Gurpa. According to scriptures, the future Buddha or Maitreya will
first visit Kukkutapadagiri, raise Mahakassapa out of mountain; get Buddhas
robe from him and then begin his journey of dispensation.
A venue for many of Lord Buddhas discourses, Hajipur
prominent Buddhist site as it enshrines the mortal remains of Ananda, the
very wise and closest disciple of Lord Buddha. He also served as the
attendant of Buddha for 20 years and played a major role in recording his
teachings after his
The famous teachings preached here are of Cula Goplalaka Sutta, a Middle
The beautiful caves at Indasala
in Bihar witnessed a number of
sermons and discourses from Lord Buddha himself including Sakkapanha Sutta
After achieving enlightenment, as a gesture of keeping the promise meet
King Bimbasara, Gautama Buddha, accompanied by the large group of monks
visited Rajgir. Hearing the news of Buddha visiting him, Bimbasara, his wife
along with royal entourage came out of the city and welcomed the Buddha. The
place where both the great men met is the present day Jethian
then village of Lativana. The place where Buddha stayed in Jethian had been
marked as a Stupa, built over the Supatittha Cetiya, which is now reduced to
a large mound. Besides this, a large and impressive statue of the Buddha
adorns the site.
The biggest Buddhist stupa at Kesariya
has been deeply associated
with Lord Buddha once stayed there and preached the Sutta on the same name
Kalamas of Kesaputta
to the natives of the area.
According to legends, the time when Buddha got the realization of his
Parinirvana and he left Vaishali on his way to Kushinagar, a large group of
followers moved behind him and refused to leave him. When the crowd reached
the then Kesaputta, Buddha urged them to return back to their homes and
after many attempts, finally they agreed. To console gloomy crowd, he gave
them his begging bowl. To commemorate this place, a stupa was built by
The worlds first residential university, Nalanda was one of the first
great centers of learning in recorded history. The university in its
glorious years attracted scholars and students from far away China, Greece,
and Persia. Around 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monk students from all over the
Buddhist world lived and studied here. Buddha himself visited the university
many times. At present, ruins of Nalanda are spread over an area of 14
hectare along with small stupas statues of Lord Buddha. Ongoing excavations
in the area have also unveiled elaborate Buddhist structures in Nalanda
Derived from Rajgriha - Abode of the kings, Rajgir
witnessed several episodes of Buddhas life. Here only Lord Buddha
preached various sermons, proselytized Emperor Bimbisar at the Griddhakoota
- Vulture Hill and meditated many times.
The Jivekarmavan monastery at Rajgir was the favorite residence for Buddha.
The teachings of Lord Buddha were penned down at Rajgir and it was also the
venue for the first Buddhist Council. Such is the reverie of Rajgir which is
now a prime Buddhist Pilgrim spot.
Once the favourite resorts of Gautama Buddha, Vaishali
the last sermon and the announcement of Parinirvana. In Vaishali only,
several monkeys offered Lord Buddha the bowl of honey. Notable Buddhist
sites in Vaishali include Stupa of Buddhas ashes built by Lichchvis
and Ananda Stupa, the famous lion pillar by Emperor Ashoka.
Kurkihar houses relics of Buddhist Vihara or monastery of ancient times
which is now reduced to a mound. The excavations in the Buddhist site in
1930 revealed 148 finest bronze artifacts of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, bells,
stupas and ritual objects.
The small village of Lauriya is known for its 26 metre huge stupa called
Nandangarh which enshrines the ashes of Lord Buddha. It was built by Emperor
At the time of Buddha, the city of Patna was known as Pataliputra. One of
the world's oldest capital cities with a continuous history of many
centuries, Patna is a base point to explore the Buddhist footprints in the
Vikramsila University (Bhagalpur)
was one of important Buddhist centers of
learning in India during the Palas rule, along with Nalanda
University. Established by King Dharmapala during 8th or early 9th Century
A.D in response to a supposed decline in the quality of scholarship at
Nalanda, Vikramsila in its golden period had more than one hundred teachers
and about one thousand students. Presently ruins of Vikramsila University
can be explored in Bhagalpur region of Bihar.