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Home > Explore by Theme > Buddhist Circuit > Buddhist Sites in Jammu & Kashmir
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Buddhist Sites in Jammu & Kashmir
  Parihaspora Budhistic Site
Parihaspora is situated on the karewa land 24 kms away from Srinagar on right side of Srinagar-Baramulla road. During first period of Dogra rule it used to be called pargana “Paraspur”. The ruins of Parihaspur Budhist site are presently spread over three karewa, namely: kane shahs (main stone structure), Govrardhan & Budh karewa. This areas was developed and inhabited by famous King Lalitadita (695-731 AD) and later made it capital of Kashmir. Parihapora is presently known are kane shahr (city of stones). The ancient ruins are seen at four places namely: Dewar Yekhmanpur, Govardhan karewa (Wudur), Teirgam & Budh karewa. It is observed by the archaeologists that this karewa land carries religious structures and palaces mainly. At the time when Parishapur would bloom as city, River Jhelum (Vitasta) and River Sindh would meet at Naid Khai area and beyond Nigli Nallah would join to flow down in the Wular Lake (the largest lake of Asia). Within the limits of this ancient city, the prominent structures which the King raised include: Govardhan, Mukta Keshav, Parhas Keshav, Mahavrah, Raj Vihar etc. The King has also constructed a Fort of iron brick in the city; however, the remains of this Fort are not seen. In this city Turkish Minister of the King named Chuknan had constructed a Stupa, remains of which are still available.
The devastation of this monumental glorious city has been due to several wars between the kings and the last destruction of the city has been ascribed to Sultan Sikander (1379-1413 AD) though till the era of Sangram Raj (1003-28 AD) the structure of the Palaces and Temples has been largely in existence. Some historians say that during Kushan era (79-15 BC) Royal Bodh Vihar was constructed here and 3rd Budh Conference of Kashmir is believed to have been held here (79 BC) as evident from the inscriptions of certain stones discovered.
  Harwan Buddhist Ruins
Harwan Buddhist Ruins date back to 300 AD, as recorded in the chronicles, and is situated in North-West of Kashmir from eastern side of Shalimar Mughal Garden. The ruins are famous for Kushan period civilization. These ruins were discovered after excavation in the first quarter of 20th Century, i.e. between 1919-1929 AD, by the Archaeological Department. The position of the excavated site reveals that the settlement structures in steps. These ruins are not only unique in India but whole of the World where the habitat and living conditions of Kushan period people are seen. Henrich, an European writer, has stated that Nag Arjun the Buddhist was born in the era of Kanshik who had stationed at Harwan and was all powerful.
The ancient name of Harwan was Shadarahadwan meaning woods of six saints. On the tiles discovered from the site the remnants of early civilization are evident. Properly shaped and backed tiles depict the images of such people which look similar to the people of Yarkand or Kashgar and some people are seen wearing Turkish caps and trousers. Two springs are seen closeby which would have been used for drinking water purpose. The artefacts discovered, tiles & stones etc., have been kept in the Ram Nagar Palaces Museum (Udampur-Jammu) by the Archaeological Survey of India.
  Shey Palace & Monastery
King Deldan Namgial (1620-1640) built Shey Palace in the beginning of the 17th century AD. The main image in the monastery is the 3 storey statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, made of copper gilt, which was made by King Deldan Namgial in the memory of his father Singay Namgial. The statue is the only one of its kind in the region.
  Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey Monastery Thiksey Gonpa, 20 kms from Leh is the most beautiful of all monasteries in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukpa order. Sherab Zangpo of stood first build the Gonpa of stakmo. Later the nephew of Sherab Zangpo, Spon Paldan Sherab founded the Thiksey Gonpa on a hill tope to north of Indus river in 1430 AD. There are sacred shrines and many precious objects to be seen. There are eighty monks residing in the Gonpa.
  Hemis Monastery
Hemis Monastery 45 kms from Leh on the west bank of the Indus the monastery belongs to Drugpa Order built on a green hillside surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. It is the biggest and wealthiest monastery in Ladakh and is a must for visitor. The monastery was founded by the 1st incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso in 1630 AD, who was invited to Ladakh by the king Singay Namgyal and was offered a religious estate throughout the region.
  Chemday Monastery
Chemday monastery is situated 40 kms east of Leh, the monastery is located on the mountain side and was founded 365 years ago by Lama Tagsang Raschen with the Dharma Raja Singey Namgial acting as patron. There is a sacred image of Padmaasambhava to be seen. It is one storey in height. There are furthermore many shrines.
  Takthok Monastery
The monastery of Takthok is situated in the village Sakti at a distance of 50 kms from Leh. Before the monastery was founded there was a meditation cave of a Mahasiddha called Kunga Phuntsog. Since the roof and walls of the monastery are all made of rock it was given that name Takthok (rock-roof).
  Spithub (Spituk) Monastery
8 Kms from Leh the monastery standing on a conical hill with 3 chapels was founded in the 11th century by Od-Ide the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od. When Rinchen Zangpo, the translator came to that place, he said that an exemplary religious community would arise there and so that monastery was called Spithub (Exemplary). That time it belonged to the Kadampa School. Then during the life time of Dharmaraja takspa Bum-Lde Lama Lhawang Lotus restored the monastery and the stainless ordcer of Tsongkhapa was introduced and it has remained intact as such up till date. The Principal statue is that of the lord Buddha. Within this statue there is a sacred statue image of Amitayus about a finger length in height, presented to Takspa Bum-Lde by the great Tsongkhapa.
  Likir Monastery
Likir lies at distance of 62 kms west of Leh. During the time of Lhachen Gyalpo, the fifth king of Ladakh, a religious estate, and the land on which to build the monastery, was offered to Lama Duwang Chosje, a great champion of meditation. The Lama blessed the site and in 1065 the monastery was built. The monastery was encircled by the bodies of the great serpent spirits, the Naga-rajas (Nanda & Taksako) and so its name became widely renowned as Likir (The Naga encircled).
  Alchi Monastery
Although there are many temples, caves and stupas built in Ladakh by Rinchen Zangpo, famously called Translator, Alchi Choskor is largest and most famous of all of them. Alchi is situated a distance of 67 kms west of Leh, founded by Rinchen Zangpo, in 1000 AD. The main image is that of Vairocana but there can also be seen the five Buddha Families together with their attendant deities. The paintings are not like the Tibetan Style but rather they are according to the Indian tradition. In order to build these temples, Rinchen Zangpo, the translator is said to have brought various biographers with him from Kashmir.
  Lamayuru Monastery
Lamayuru Monastery is situated 125 kms west of Leh. In the 11th century the Mahasiddha Naropa came to this place and the cave where he resided and meditated is still to be seen today. Then Rinchen Zangpo, the translator came to build many temples and stupas and so the teaching of the Kadampa School came to flourish greatly there. There after for many years the monastery was administered by the Zhwa-mar-pa (Red Hats), after which the Dharmaraja Jamyang Namgial offered it to Chosje Danma, when he had invited him to Ladakh.
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