Most Important Buddhist Pilgrimage Places (Part 2)

Rajgir, Bihar

The capital of the Magadhan Empire followed by Pataliputra, Rajgir is popular for its curative hot springs (although the bathing enclosure lefts much to be desired). During the rainy season, Buddha would stay at Griddhakuta Hill, a section of the Ratnagiri chain of hills. On the other part of the Ratnagiri is the Saptaparni Cave which is the place that the first international Buddhist council was founded after Buddha’s death after writing down his teachings. To honor the 2,500 years of the first council, the Japanese Buddhist Association established a stupa above the cave and an aerial ropeway bridging it with the bottom of the hill. The ruins of the famous Nalanda Mahavihara, the university town discovered in 411 AD, is about 11km away from here.

Kapilvastu, Uttar Pradesh

Named as Piprahwa now, a part of archaeologists and historians are determined that this is the old site of the palace where Shakya Prince Siddhartha once lived when he dreamed the three sights that changed his life forever. He was urged to find out why people suffered from mystery and travelled for six whole years until he reached the place that later came to be called as Bodh Gaya which is 110km away from Gorakhpur and has a UPSTDC tourist lodge. Tourists can visit Nepal from this site to see Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini.

Shravasti

An ancient city, one of the biggest during the Buddha’s lifetime and become a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists and travellers as Buddha once spent most of the time after enlightenment at this place.

The Twin Miracle was believed to have happened here, where the Buddha emitted flames from the upper part and water from the lower part of his body. Destinations of interest are Jetavana Monastery, Anandabodhi Tree, Anathapindika and Angulimala Stupas. All of which are located near West Rapti River, Uttar Pradesh