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Summary on the important Buddhist Pilgrimage sites in Bihar

18-NOV-2016 15:36

    Bihar is known for the centre of power, learning, and culture in India for 1000 years during classical Indian History. Most of the powerful kingdoms of Ancient India rise in the region for example- Magadha Empire (Shishunaga dynasty, Nanda Dynasty, Mauryan dynasty, Shunga dynasty, and Kanva dynasty), Anga (Mahajanpad), Videha (Mithila) Kingdom etc. It is associated with the advent of earliest myths and legends of Sanatana Dharma, Buddhism and Jainism.

    Jagranjosh

    Source: www.buddhistplacesinindia.com

    The region is intimately linked to the Buddha’s life, resulting in a trail of pilgrimages which have come to be known as the Buddhist circuit. Here, we are giving the ‘Summary on the important Buddhist Pilgrimage sites in Bihar’ which is helpful for those students who are preparing not only for Bihar PSC Exam but also other State-PSC Exams.

    The origin of Buddhism and Jainism

    Bodhgaya

    1. It is a place where Gautam Buddha obtained enlightenment under Peepal tree which is commonly known as ‘Bodhi Tree’.
    2. It is situated by the bank of river Neranjana the place was then known as Uruwel.
    3. In 2002, UNESCO declared Mahabodhi Temple (Bodh Gaya) as World Heritage Site.

    Pragbodhi

    1. It is place where, Buddha practiced asceticism in order to find the reason of human suffering and the solution of life from pain & sufferings before enlightenment.
    2. The word ‘Pragbodhi’ means 'prior to Enlightenment’ and the place symbolically envisage exactly the same fact.
    3. It is located on the top of mountain about three miles to the north-east of Buddhagaya on the bank of the river Phalgu.

    Barabar Caves

    1. It is one of the oldest surviving rock-cut caves of India which was structured around 322–185 BC.
    2. It is located on the twin hills of Barabar and Nagarjuni of Makhdumpur Block of Jehanabad district, Bihar which 24 km away from Gaya.
    3. Carved in the Mauryan times, the caves have the larger Buddhist Chaitya including stupa emblems, elephant engravings, circular vaulted chambers with rectangular mandapa and a curved architrave.

    Champanagar

    1. It is located in Bhagalpur district and the site is known for the important discourses and sermons from Lord Buddha including Kandaraka Sutta, Sonadanda Sutta, etc. 
    2. Gaggara's Lotus Lake is the centre of attraction not only for Buddhist but also other tourist because lake is famous for the beautiful lotus flowers that bloom in it.

    Dona Stupa

    1. There is folk story behind the site that after Buddha’s Parinirvana and cremation, a dispute resultant the division his mortal ashes among the four Buddha disciples.
    2. Stupa is famous for holly vessel which is turned into grassy mound.
    3. A Hindu temple is built over the mound where the idol of goddess Tara is worshipped.

    Ghosrawan

    1. It is situated near the town of Bihar Sharif, Bihar.
    2. The site is famous for the 10 feet tall shinning black stone image of Lord Buddha.
    3. Tetravan which is only few kilometer the site is also centre of attraction for the Buddhist tourist because of the wonderful classification of the statues of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas.

    Gurpa

    1. It is only 40 km away from Bodh Gaya.
    2. According to the legend that it is place where Mahakassapa (Buddha's successor) waited for Maitreya.
    3. According to Buddhist scriptures envisages that the Maitreya will first visit Kukkutapadagiri and raise Mahakassapa out of mountain; get Buddha’s robe from him and then begin his journey of dispensation.

    Hajipur

    1. Ukkacala is the ancient name of the modern Hajipur which is located nearby Patna.
    2. It is one of the important Buddhist site and famous for the mortal remains of Ananda who was closest disciple of Lord Buddha.
    3. This site has immense significance in Buddhism because the Buddha himself delivered discourse i.e. Cula Goplalaka Sutta here.

    Summary of Ancient Indian Dynasties and their contributions

    Indasala Cave

    1. It is located near Rajgir district of Bihar.
    2. The site is known for its religious significance because Sakkapanha Sutra discourse was delivered by Buddha when Sakka approached him to seek answer for his eight questions.

    Jethian

    1. It is a place where, the King Bimbisara along with his wife meets the Buddha.
    2. Buddhist tourist attracted by the remains of a stupa constructed over Supatittha Cetiya.

    Kesaria Stupa

    1. It is located in the East Chamaparan district of Bihar.
    2. Kessaputta was the ancient name of the place because it is the place where the Buddha delivered his famous discourse i.e. Kalama Sutta to the Kalama people who were local inhabitant.
    3. It is the largest stupa in the world with six floor structures that represented the last days of Lord Buddha and his humanitarian approach towards people, independent of caste and creed.

    Nalanda University

    1. It is the largest Buddhist monastery.
    2. It is first Indian residential university which was founded by Gupta ruler 'Kumar Gupta'.
    3. Knowledge of the university comes from the literary work of the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (Hiuen-Tsang).
    4. It was destroyed by the Turkish invader Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193.
    5. It was excavated by B.P. Sinha of the Patna University under Archaeological Survey of India in the year 1960-69.

    Rajgir

    1. It is important religious site of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
    2. The literal meaning of the city Rajgir is ‘Abode of the kings’.
    3. It was the first ancient capital city of Magadha Kingdom but after coming Udayin capital city was shifted to Patliputra.
    4. City is association with Haryanka dynasty Kings- Bimbisara and Ajatashatru.
    5. Shanti Stupa, Gridhakuta Hill, Ancient Ruins and Saptparni Cave are centre of attraction not only for Buddist tourist but also other tourist.
    6. First Buddhist Council was conducted here under the patronage of Ajatshatru with monk Mahakasyapa in which decision had taken to preserve the Buddha’s teaching (sutta) and rules of the Buddhism discipline.

    Vaishali

    1. It was capital city of the Licchavi which was the first example of a republic of the world.
    2. Republic was the part of the Vajjian Confederacy (Vrijji) of Mahajanapada around the 6th century BC.
    3. Ashokan Pillar, Fort Vishal, Museum, and Bawan Pokhar Temple are the tourist attraction site.
    4. Lord Buddha had delivered his last sermons and announced his prospective mahaparinirvan in this city.
    5. The Second Buddhist Council was held here under the patronage of King Kalasoka which was presided by Sabakami.
    6. The travelogue accounts of Chinese explorers- Faxian and Xuanzang states about the city which was later used in 1861 by British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham to first identify Vaisali with the present village of Basrah in Vaishali District, Bihar.

    Kurkihar

    1. This site is consists of relics of Buddhist Vihara which is now mere a mound but after excavation 148 finest bronze artifacts of Buddha’s, Bodhisattvas, bells, stupas and ritual objects came into existence.

    Lauriya Nandangarh

    1. Site is famous for 26 metre huge stupa which was built by King Ashoka.
    2. Stupa enshrines the ashes of Lord Gautama Buddha.

    Patna (Patliputra)

    1. It was founded by the Magadha ruler Ajatashatru in 490 BC as a small fort (Pataligrama) near the Ganges River.
    2. City is associated with the Haryanka dynasty, Maurya Empire, Shunga Empire, Gupta Empire and Sher Shah's Empire.
    3. Patna Museum, Kumrahar, Golghar, Martyr's Memorial, Har Mandir Takht, Pathar ki Masjid, Sher Shah Suri Masjid, Khuda Baksh Oriental Library, Sadaqat Ashram, Agam Kuan, Gandhi Setu, Padri Ki Haveli, Biological Park, and Modern Planetarium are the centre for attraction of tourist.

    Vikramsila University (Bhagalpur)

    1. It is located in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar and only Buddhist site where Buddha never visited.
    2. It developed as learning centre for Tantrik Buddhism under the rule of King Dharmapala during 8 century BC.

    “History of Ancient India”: A Complete Study Material

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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