and Nepal are the repositories of rich Buddhist heritage. Here, Buddhism
came into being and grew up as the fourth largest religion in the world.
Around 2,600 years ago, Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born to the Sakya
ruler Shudhodhana in Lumbini forest, at present which is in Nepal. Thereon,
he lived in indulgence as a prince in Kapilavastu. But sooner, the material
pleasures waned for Siddhartha and the search to end the inner sorrows
began. Sooner, he renounced his material pleasures as an ascetic, started
meditating and fulfilled his objective of achieving enlightenment in
Bodhgaya. Next, the Buddha continued his walk towards Sarnath near Varanasi.
Here, he preached his first sermon to the first five followers. Here, he
laid the foundation of Buddhism that rested in preaching and uplifted
millions of followers with his enlightening sermons. He continued doing this
for the rest of his life till his Mahaparinirvana in Kushinagar that
relieved him from the cycles of life and death.
The above mentioned locations that uphold the Buddhist traditions are
present in the neighbouring countries of India and Nepal and have become the
major Buddhist Pilgrimage
locations worldwide. Seen with great regard
by every Buddhist in the world, these pilgrimage places are suggested by the
Buddha himself in his Mahaparinibbana Sutta, to gain merit of life on earth.
to this sermon, every Buddhist follower should visit Lumbini in Nepal
(birth), Bodhgaya (enlightenment), Sarnath (first-sermon) and Kushinagar
(final mahaparinirvana) in India to learn to be like Buddha and practice the
life based on middle path. In addition to the above mentioned sites,
pilgrims can also visit the Sravasti where Buddha spent the largest amount
of rainy retreat. During Buddhas life, Sravasti is known to be his
favoured site. Rajgir or Rajgriha was also the favourite place of Buddha and
the Vulture peak here was the site for many of his sermons.
Sankassa is the place where Buddha descended to earth from Tusita heaven
(after teaching his mother the Abhidhamma in heaven.) Vaishali is another
privileged Buddhist destination known for many Buddhas miracles. Here,
he received a bowl of honey from a monkey.
A Buddhist pilgrimage through such religious sites not only takes a pilgrim
closer to Buddha in life, but also inspires him to follow the footsteps of