As the birthplace of Buddhism, you can find many of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage places in India, many of which are located in the states of UP and Bihar. Pilgrims from all over the world visit India to pay respects at these sites while tourists gather to understand the life of Buddha better while looking at the historic and cultural impact of the major religion. Of these destinations, four hold the utmost importance.
According to the Buddha’s last sermon, the four most important places for the Buddhist Dharma Yatra are Lumbini, where he was born, Bodhgaya, where he gained enlightenment, Sarnath, where he preached his first sermon and Kushinagar where he attained Mahaparinirvana.
The IRCTC Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train itinerary makes it possible for you to visit all four destinations, along with other significant destinations in a matter of eight days. All this while enjoying great amenities on-board and off the train.
Book your journey with us today for a fulfilling journey that will change your perspective on life.
Some Places Related To Buddha In India
Mahabodhi Temple (Bodhgaya)
The magnificent Mahabodhi Temple is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also marks the location where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Located east of the Mahabodhi Tree, the temple boasts of superb architecture detailed engravings and arch motifs. It stands 52 metres high in the form of a cylindrical pyramid until the neck where it becomes cylindrical and is topped by Chatras.
Gridhakut Hill (Rajgir)
A favourite meditation spot of the Buddha, the Gridhakut Hill or Vulture Peak was the spot where he set in motion the second wheel of law and preached many sermons to his disciples. It is also said to be the spot where he preached the famous Lotus Sermon.
Gifted to the Buddha by the Magadhan King Bimbisara as his first offering, the Venuvan currently has a Buddha statue and a pond nearby, which creates a peaceful atmosphere. Despite the name which can be translated as Bamboo Grove, there isn’t much of the plant here, though its greenery is quite attractive.
The ancient University of Nalanda was founded several years after Lord Budhha left the material world. But he graced the city with his presence on many occasions and his follower Sariputra was born here. The university was once the epicentre of Buddhist learning, its ruins are a testament to its grandeur.
Dhamek Stupa (Sarnath)
One of the most notable Buddhist pilgrimage places in India, the Dhamek Stupa marks the location of his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. It was originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 BCE, though the structure was later replaced in 500 CE. The stupa has a base of 28 metres in diameter and 43.6 metres in height. It is built partly with stone and partly with bricks and is adorned with floral engravings of Gupta origin in the stone facing the lower part.
Mahaparinirvan Temple (Kushinagar)
The Mahaparinirvana Temple is known as the spot where the Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana or ultimate salvation. The quintessential Buddhist place of worship houses a reclining statue of the Buddha that measures 6.10 metres and faces west, representing the sunset of his life. There is also a stupa next to the shrine built on the same platform of 2.74 metres in height.
Rambhar Stupa (Kushinagar)
Built over a portion of the Buddha’s ashes, Rambhar Stupa marks the location where his body was cremated. It makes for an imposing structure with an impressive height of about 50 feet or 15 metres. The stupa is located only 1.5 kilometres away from Mahaparinirvana Temple, the texts refer to it as the Mukut-Bandhan Chaitya.
Matha Kuar Shrine (Kushinagar)
The Matha Kuar Shrine marks the spot of the Buddha’s last sermon. It hosts a statue of the Buddha that’s 3.05 metres tall and depicts the Buddha under the Bodhi Tree in Bhoomi Sparsa Mudra. The current shrine was constructed more recently and is surrounded by many ruins.
Jetvana Vihara (Sravasti)
The ancient Jetvana Vihara is among the most revered places related to the Buddha in India, attracting pilgrims from all over the world even today, who pray and meditate in the tranquil atmosphere. The Buddha would stay at Anandakuti and Gandhakuti, the ruins of which are still revered by devotees.
Book your journey on the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train to visit stupas, monasteries and monuments associated with the Buddha.
Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, which is located in Nepal. The exact location is marked by the Maya Devi Temple, named after his mother.
Yes, our journey includes an excursion to Lumbini. The train stops at the Nautanwa Railway Station located close to the India-Nepal border. From there, a bus takes you across the border to Lumbini.
Many non-Buddhists visit significant Buddhist destinations because they also hold historic, architectural, cultural, artistic and educational value.
The train covers some of the most revered sites in Buddhism, allowing Buddhists to learn more about the culture and history while deepening their spiritual connection.
The train ticket covers more than just AC1 and AC2 accommodation. Double/twin bedded hotel accommodation, tour guides, meals, monument entrance fees and transportation fees are also included. You can learn more here.
The train starts its journey from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station and after eight days returns to the same station.