A great mendicant and one of the greatest spiritual teachers in the world, Gautam Buddha or ‘The Awakened One’ gave us the gift of Buddhism. A novel religion based on renunciation and transcendental knowledge. Born into a wealthy family in modern-day Nepal, he gave up his comfortable life after witnessing the suffering in the world and embraced the life of an ascetic. His quest for truth, knowledge and a better way of life led him on a journey into different parts of the world. Consequently, the places related to the Buddha in India and other neighbouring places became important pilgrimage centres, a fact ‘The Enlightened One’ had rightly predicted.
“After I am no more, O Ananda, men of belief will visit the four places with faith, curiosity and devotion: Lumbini, where I was born; Bodhgaya, where I attained enlightenment; Sarnath, where I gave the first sermons; Kushinagar, where I shall pass into Maha Parinirvana.” – Shakyamuni Gautam Buddha, Mahaparinirvana Sutta.
Want to embark on this unique dharmayatra or the sacred Buddhist circuit? All you have to do is book a journey on The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train and you can feel the legend of the lord come alive in these sacred destinations. This extensive train tour covers:
- Lumbini: Situated in Southern Nepal, Lumbini is the birthplace of prince Siddhartha. Still preserving the archaeological remains of Lord Buddha, this sacred place has several Buddhist monasteries, monuments, museums, etc. that remain flocked with tourists and devotees who travel from countries far and wide. The most famous monument is the Mahadevi Temple in Lumbini Garden which has been dedicated to the Queen Mayadevi, mother of the Buddha. Myanmar Golden Temple is another magnificent structure known for its marvellous architecture.
- Bodh Gaya: A cornerstone of Buddhist pilgrimage in India, Bodh Gaya marks the spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment and the religion was founded. A fertile land with rich, verdant green fields and a serene Falgu river make this place ideal for monks, nuns and pilgrims to unite in religious harmony and experience tranquility like never before! The biggest attraction of the area is undoubtedly the Bodhi tree and the Mahabodhi Temple built around it.
- Sarnath: Located almost 10 kms from Varanasi, it is the place where more than 2500 years ago, Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Housing several significant historical and religious sites, its main attractions include Dhamek Stupa aka ‘The seat of Lord Buddha’ from where he gave his teachings, Mulgandh Kuti Vihara, Chaukhandi Stupa and Dharmarajika stupa among others. One more interesting structure is the Ashokan Pillar which was established by Emperor Ashoka in 273-232 B.C and it soon became the foundation of the Buddhist sangha.
- Kushinagar: Kushinagar, the place where Lord Buddha attained salvation and left his physical form in 543 BC. His revered mortal remains were preserved in eight commemorative chortens which were further distributed into 84,000 stupas by King Ashoka throughout his kingdom and beyond.
Visit these and other holy sites like Varanasi, Rajgir, Nalanda and Sravasti on an incredible 8 days/ 7 nights journey that takes pilgrims to the next level. All this and more in the comfort of a unique train that will cater to all your needs. Ready to undertake this life-changing journey of the best Buddhist places in India and beyond? Complete your bookings at www.irctcbuddhisttain.com