|India is the birthplace of Buddhism. Before it spread to all over the world, Buddhism was a flourishing religion in India. The dominance of Buddhism lasted for 1700 years during the 5th century BC and 12th century AD. After the Turkish invasions starting from the 12th century AD, the religion experienced a steady decline. Buddhism is still practiced by a minority in India, but it is the main religion in many of the South Asian countries like Japan, China, Korea and Thailand.
Lumbini , Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar are the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of the world.
Buddhism started in Bodhgaya in India, where prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became known as Lord Buddha. He was born in Lumbini, in present day Nepal. Bodhgaya is the location of the famous Bodhi tree which is believed to have originated from a sapling of the tree under which the Lord sat meditating, before attaining enlightenment. The Mahabodhi temple is the other major attraction in Bodhgaya which is located in the eastern state of Bihar in India. Many Buddhist tours offer attractive tour packages to Bodhgaya and the other important Buddhist sites in India.
The deer park in Sarnath is sill preserved along with the ruins of the monasteries and stupas that bear testimony to the flourishing state that Buddhism had reached in India. This is the park where Buddha is said to have delivered his first teachings about Dharma, and other basic concepts of Buddhism. Sarnath is also the location of many other interesting structures like the Dhamek stupa and the remnants of the Ashokan pillar which was originally surmounted by the lion capital, which is now the national emblem of India. Sarnath is located in Uttar Pradesh in India, very near to the famous Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.
Kushinagar is the fourth important Buddhist site in the world, and the third in India. This is the site of the Lordís death, or Parinirvana. The cremation site of Lord Buddha can still be seen. Ruins of many stupas and viharas, dating back to the heydays of Buddhism can also be seen here.
There are other places in India which are important for the history of Buddhism. These include Dharamshala, Sanchi, Ajanta and Ellora caves, and the Kanheri caves in Maharashtra. These places are home to most of the major Buddhist monuments in India. All the major Buddhist tours cover these and some other minor sites related to Buddhism in India.
Touristplacesinindia.com offers all inclusive information about Buddhism in India and other information on tourist places in India.