| Contact
     
     
     
Home Quick Links Explore States Explore Themes Exclusive Services Maps of India Responsible Tourism Package Tours Accommodation
 
Home > Explore by Theme > Buddhist Circuit > Buddhist Sites in Bihar
 
 
 
 
  Explore by Theme >>> Buddhist Circuit
 
Buddhist Sites in Bihar
  Vaishali
 
Lord Buddha visited Vaishali frequently and at Kolhua, close by, preached his last sermon. To commemorate the event, Emperor Ashoka, in the third century B.C. erected one of his famous lion pillars here. A hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha - Vaishali hosted the second great Buddhist council. Two stupas were erected to commemorate this event.
   
 
Vaishali museum houses some of the archaeological remains discovered here. Facing the museum is the Abhishek Pushkarni which was holy to Lichchhavis. On one side of the lake is newly built Vishwa Shanti Stupa, a sixth in the series to be erected in India. Close to the museum is the shaded stupa which is supposed to have housed the casket relic with the ashes of Buddha.
   
 
Further north at Lauria Areraj, 31 Kms from Motihari, lies one of the Ashokan Columns with six of his edicts. The column is devoid of its capital. Another Ashokan column along with the lion capital can be visited at Nandangarh, 23 kms from Bettiah. These pillars possibly mark the course of the ancient Royal highway from Patliputra to Nepal valley. Few kilometers from the monolith at Nandangarh is the mighty brick stupa which is believed to have stored the casket relic containing the ashes of Buddha. At Nandangarh one can also see a dozen vedic mounds that contain the remains of ruling clans of pre-Buddhists times.
   
  What to See
 
Ashokan Pillar: Emperor Ashoka built the Lion Pillar at Kolhua. It is made of a highly polished single piece of red sandstone, surmounted by a bell shaped capital, 18.3 m high. A life-size figure of a lion is placed on top of the pillar. There is a small tank here known as Ramkund. This pillar beside a brick stupa at Kolhua commemorates Buddha's last sermon.
   
 
Budha Stupa-I: The exterior of this stupa which is now in a dilapidated condition has a plain surface. One eighth of the sacred ashes of the lord Buddha were enshrined here in a stone casket.
   
 
Budha Stupa-II: Excavation at this site in 1958 led to the discovery of another casket containing the ashes of the Lord Buddha.
   
 

Abhiskek Pushkarn (Coronation tank): It contains water that was believed to be sacred in the old days. All of Vaishali's elected representative were anointed here before their swearing in. The Lichchavi stupa was located near here. The stone casket of the sacred ashes of Lord Buddha were enshrined here in Vaishali.

   
  How to Reach
  Air: The nearest airport is Patna (70 Kms).
  Rail: Hajipur on the north eastern railway station (35 Kms) from Muzaffarpur Railway station (40 Kms).
  Road: Vaishali is well connected by road to Patna (56 Kms), Muzaffarpur (36 Kms) and Hazipur (35 Kms).
   
  Where to Stay
  Tourist Bungalow: Ambapali Vihar, Vaishali-844128. Ph.: 0622-285425.
   
  Rajgir
 
Rajgir just 15 kms from Nalanda is located in the complex of temples and monasteries. It is one of the most important tourist places in India. Being located in a valley, Rajgir is a very scenic place. This place has been associated with Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Buddha not only spent many years in Rajgir but also delivered sermons here and proselytized emperor Bimbisar at the Griddhakoota hill. The Jivekarmavan monastery was the favorite residence for Buddha. The teachings of Buddha was penned down at Rajgir and it was also the venue for the first Buddhist Council. Today Rajgir has come up as one of the most important pilgrimage for the Buddhist.
   
  What to See
 
Jivakameavan Gardens: Seat of the Royal Physician's dispensary where Lord Buddha was once brought to have wound dressed by Jivaka, the royal physician during the reign of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara.
   
 
Shanti Stupa: The Vishwa Shanti Stup is located on a 400 meter high hill. The stupa is built in marble and on the four corners of the stupa are four glimmering statues of Buddha. To reach the top of this hill one has to come through the “Ropeways”. This place is also called the GriddhKoot.
   
 
Venu Vana: Site of the monastery Venuvana Vihar built by king Bimbisara for Lord Buddha to reside. This was the king's first offering to Lord Buddha.
   
  Karanda Tank: It is the tank in which Buddha used to bathe.
   
 
Sonbhandar Caves: Two rather strange cave chambers were hollowed out of a single massive rock. One of the chambers I believed to have been the guard room, the rear wall has two straight vertical lines and one horizontal line cut into the rock; the doorway is supposed to lead to king Bimbisara Treasury. Inscriptions in the Sankhlipi or shell script, etched into wall and so far undeciphered, are believed to give the clue to open the doorway. The treasure, according to folklore, is still intact. The second chambers bears a few traces of seated and standing etched into the outer wall.
   
 
Bimbisar jail: Ajatashatru, imprisoned King Bimbisara here. The captive king chose this site for his incarceration. From this spot he could see Lord Buddha climbing up to his mountain retreat atop the Griddhakuta hill. There is a clear view of the Japanese Pagoda. The stupa of peace was built on the top of the hill.
   
 
Gridhakuta: This was the place where the lord Buddha set in a motion his second wheel of law an for three months even during the rainy season, preached many inspiring sermons to his disciples. The Buddha Sangha of Japan have constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), at the top of the hill in commemoration. A bridle path leads to up to the hill but it is much more fun to take the Aerial Chair lift which operates every day except Thursday. One way ride takes 7.5 minutes and the view is splendid over the hills of Rajgir.
   
  How to Reach
 
Air: The nearest airport is at Patna 101 kms. Indian Airlines connect Patna to Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Ranchi and Lucknow.
 
Rail: Though Rajgir itself has a railway station yet the nearest convenient railhead is at Gaya 78 kms.
 

Road: Rajgir is connected by road to Patna - 110 kms, Nalanda - 12 kms, Gaya - 78 kms, Pawapuri - 38 kms, Bihar Sharif - 25 kms etc. Regular buses are available from all the above said points to Rajgir.

   
  Where to Stay
 
There are a number of moderately priced hotels in the town. Tourist can stay at any of three Tourist Bungalows - Ajatshatru Vihar, Gautam Vihar and Tathagat Vihar maintained by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation.
   
  Bodhgaya
 
Bodhgaya is one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center in the world. It was here under a banyan tree, the Bodhi Tree, Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha,the Enlightened One. There is a magnificent Mahabodhi temple and the Tree from the original sapling still stands in the temple premises. The temple is an architectural amalgamation of many centuries, cultures and heritages. While its architecture has a distinct stamp of the Gupta era, it has later ages inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between 7th and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the same temple Hieuen Tsang visited in 7th century.
   
  What to See
 
Mahabodhi Temple: The temple stands in the east to the Bodhi Tree. Its architectural effect is superb. Its basement is 48 square feet and it rises in the form of a slender Pyramid till it reaches its neck, which is cylindrical in shape. The total height of the temple is 170 ft. and on the top of the temple are Chatras which symbolize sovereignty of religion. Four towers on its corners rise gracefully giving the holy structure a poise balance. This sacred edifice is like a grand banner unfurled by time to proclaim to the world the pious efforts of the Buddha to solve the knots of human miseries, to ascend above worldly problems and to attain transcendental peace through wisdom, good conduct and disciplined life.
   
 
Inside the temple, in the main sanctum, there is a colossal image of the Buddha in sitting posture touching the earth by his right hand. In this posture the Buddha accomplished the supreme enlightenment. The statue is of black stone but it has been guilder by the devotees. The entire courtyard of the temple is studded with large number of votive stupas. These stupas are of all sizes built during the past 2500 years ago. Most of them are extremely elegant in structural beauty. The ancient railings, which surround the temple, are of the first century BC and are among the very interesting monuments of the century.
   
 
Animesh Lochan Chaitya: It is believed that the Buddha spent one week here looking towards the great Bodhi tree out of gratitude, without twinkling his eyes.
   
 
Bodhi Tree: The present Bodhi Tree is probably the fifth succession of the original tree under which the Buddha had attained enlightenment. Vajrasana, the seat of stability, is a stone platform on which the Buddha is supposed to have sat in meditation gazing east, under the Bodhi tree.
   
 
Chankramana: This marks the sacred spot of the Buddha's meditative perambulations during the third week after pious enlightenment. It is believed that wherever the Buddha put his feet lotus sprang up.
   
 
Ratnagarh: The Buddha spent one week here, where it is believed that five colors came out of his body.
   
 
Other Treasures of Bodhgaya: 80 ft Statue of the Buddha, Lotus Tank, Buddha Kund, Rajayatana, Brahm Yoni, Chinese Temple & Monastery, Burmese Temple, Buddhist Monastery of Bhutan, International Buddhist House & Japanese Temple, Thai Temple & Monastery, Tibetan Monastery, Archaeological Museum. Sujata village (2 kms), Dungeshwari Hill (Prag bodhi) (22 kms by road), Maitraya Project (3 kms).
   
  How to Reach
 
Air: The nearest airport is at Gaya 7 Kms and Patna 135 kms. Indian Airlines and Sahara Airlines connect Patna to Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow and various other cities.
 
Rail: The nearest railway station is Gaya (17 km).
 
Road: Bodhgaya is well connected by road to Gaya (17 km), Nalanda (101 km), Rajgir (78 km), Patna (135 km), Varanasi (252 km), Calcutta (495 km).
   
  Where to Stay
 
Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation runs three hotels - Siddhartha Vihar, Buddha Vihar and Sujata Vihar and has a Tourist Information Centre in its sprawling tourist complex campus. There is Hotel Bodhgaya Ashok run by Indian Tourism development Corporation and there are several other private hotels in the town.
   
  Nalanda
 
Nalanda, founded in the 5th century AD, is famous as the ancient seat of learning. The ruins of the world's most ancient university lies here which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous center of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th-12th centuries. Hieun Tsang stayed here in the 7th century AD and left detailed description of the excellence of education system and purity of monastic life practiced here. He also gave a vivid account of both the ambiance and architecture of this unique university of ancient times. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. Recent excavations have unearthed elaborate structures here. An International Center for Buddhist Studies was established here in 1951. To be visited are Nalanda museum & Nava Nalanda Mahavihar in addition to the great ruins.
   
  What to See
 
Nalanda University Ruins Archaeological Complex: The total area of the excavation is about 14 hectares. All the edifices are of the red brick and the gardens are beautiful. The buildings are divided by a central walk way that goes south to north. The monasteries or "Viharas" are east of this central alley and the temple or "Chaiyas" to the west. The Vihara-1 is perhaps the most interesting with its cells on two floors built around a central courtyard where steps lead up to what must have been a dais for the professors to address their students. A small chapel still retains a half broken statue of the Lord Buddha.
   
 
The enormous pyramidal mass of the Temple no.3 is impressive and from its top commands a splendid view of the entire area. It is surrounded by smaller stupas, many of which studded with small and big statues of the Lord Buddha in various poses or "Mudras".
   
 
Nalanda Archaeological Museum: Opposite the entrance to the ruins of the university and houses, there is a small but beautiful collection of Buddhist and Hindu bronzes and a number of undamaged statues of the Lord Buddha that were found in the area. Two enormous terra-cotta jars of the first century stand intact behind the museum in a shaded enclosure. The collection includes copper plates and stone inscriptions, coins, pottery and samples of burnt rice (12th century AD) found among the ruins here.
   
 
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara: Nava Nalanda Mahavihara is devoted to study and research of Pali Literature and Buddhism. This is a new institute, where students from foreign countries also study.
   
 
Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall: A new construction in memory of the great Chinese traveler, Hieun Tsang.
   
  How to Reach
 
Air: The nearest airport is at Patna 89 km. Indian Airlines connect Patna to Calcutta, Ranchi, Bombay, Delhi and Lucknow.
 
Rail: Though Rajgir (12 km) is the nearest railway station to Nalanda yet the nearest convenient rail head is at Gaya 95 km.
 
Road: Nalanda is connected by good road with Rajgir 12 km, Bodh Gaya 110 km, Gaya 95 km, Patna 90 km, Pawapuri 26 km, Bihar Sharif 13 km etc.
   
  Where to Stay
 
Tourists prefer to stay at Rajgir (15 km from Nalanda). There are a number of moderately priced hotels available at Rajgir. Tourists can stay at any of the three Tourists Bungalows of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation, Tathagat Vihar, Ajatshatru Vihar and Gautam Vihar.
   
  Kesaria
 
This Stupa is in fact one of the many memorable stupa remarkable event in the life of Buddha. Kesaria has a lofty brick mound capped by a solid brick tower of considerable size, which it self is the remain of a Buddhist Stupa. The mound is a ruin with a diameter of 68 feet at its base and a total height of 5½ ft. originally it was crowned by a pinnacle which must have stood 80 or 90 ft above the ground. General Cunningham dated this monument to AD 200 to 700, and held that it was built upon the ruins of a much older and larger Stupa. It is the highest Stupa found in the country with a height of about 104” from the base.
   
 
 
|  All Rights Reserved © indiatourismecatalog.com  |