Travel Services India

Erco Travels Pvt. Ltd. | Leading Travel Agent offer Tailor Made Tour Packages.


31 Comments

Sarnath-A Place of Deliverance of First Sermon by Buddha


Sarnath is a very popular place in India related to Gautama Buddha. It is located in the Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists preachers. Large numbers of tourists come here to spend a number of days in this sacred place as it is one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage centers of India. Many monasteries are there in other countries who also believes in Buddhism but none of them has an architecture of Sarnath type. One can experience an overview of Buddhist architecture from various sculptures only in Sarnath.

After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, the Buddha came to Sarnath. In the Deer Park of Sarnath, he delivered his first sermon in a religious language and set in motion the Wheel of Law or Maha-Dharmachakra Pravartan. He delivered his first sermon to his five disciples namely Kaundiya, Bashpa, Bhadrika, Mahanaman and Ashvajit. It is the place where the foundation of a new order of monks and a new order of religious doctrine i.e. Dhamma laid down. Sarnath is also a sacred place for the Jains as there is a site where death of Shreyamshanath, the 11th Tirthankar took place.

Five_disciples-Sarnath

The five disciples at Sarnath

The famous emperor Ashoka, spread the message of Buddha of love and compassion throughout his vast empire and also visited Sarnath to erect a stupa there that commemorate him as well as the Buddha. Many Buddhist structures were there in Sarnath but presently most of them are in ruins. This tranquil place attracts the calm environment lovers to come again and again and reside there for a long time. The ruined places, the museum and other temples all are there at a walking distance. Some of the places of interest are:-

Chaukhandi Stupa

Chaukhandi_Stupa-Sarnath

Chaukhandi Stupa in Sarnath

It is an important Buddhist Stupa located in Sarnath. It was built by the famous Emperor Ashoka. It is the first monument that is encountered by anyone while entering in the Sarnath. It has evolved from burial mounds and serve as a shrine for the antiquity of the Buddha. It is surrounded by an octagonal tower.

Dhamek Stupa

Dhamek_Stupa-Sarnath

Dhamek Stupa
Image by travfotos on flickr.com

Dhamek Stupa is the most remarkable structure at Sarnath. It is cylindrical in shape and 28 meters in diameter at the base and 43.6 meters in height. It was built partly of stone and partly of brick and thus create a unique example of this type of structure. Delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin are adorned on the stone facing the lower part.

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

Mulagandha_Kuti_Vihar-Sarnath

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar
Image by kaydeesquared on flickr.com

It is a modern temple and was erected by the Mahabodhi Society. Excellent frescoes by one of the foremost painters of the Japan are placed there. Rich archives of Buddhist literature are also placed there.

Sarnath Museum

Sarnath Museum

Sarnath Museum
Image by Coffee & Tea on flickr.com

Sarnath Museum is the oldest museum site of Archaeological Survey of India. It contains a rich collection of the sculptures and paintings of Buddha and Bodhisattva. The finest specimens of Buddhist art and important remains can be found by anyone in this museum. Among all the sculptures and paintings, the important ones are the statue of Buddha sitting cross-legged & meditating, Dharmrajika Stupa, Magnificent Lion Capital, India’s National Emblem, etc. It also houses the figures and sculptures from the Mauryan, the Kushana and the Gupta periods. The most important attraction of the museum is the splendid Ashokan Pillar. This Ashokan Pillar has four back-to-back lions which were earlier adopted as the National symbol of India. Below the figures of lions; horse, bull and elephant are also placed there which represents the strength of the nation.

Lion Capital of Asoka-Sarnath Museum

Lion Capital of Asoka
Image by Aeroflug on flickr.com

So, similar to Bodh Gya, Sarnath is also one of the famous sites of Gautam Buddha. Many people visit this place from across the globe. Jain people also increase the strength of the tourist by visiting the Sarnath.

Advertisements


16 Comments

First Place Visited by Buddha – Vaishali


Vaishali is a place located in Bihar, India. The name of the place is derived from the King Vaishala, a popular ruler in the ancient times. It is the first place that was visited by Siddhartha Gautama in India, after leaving home. Also, the Lord Buddha preached his last sermons over there before attaining the enlightenment. The place is jeweled with stupas, monasteries, temples, etc. and is frequently visited by number of pilgrims of Buddhists and Mahavira.

Lord Buddha

Lord Buddha

Now-a-days, Vaishali is a small village which is surrounded by banana and mango trees. But, shoveling in the area gives rise to an impressive historical past behind it. The Lord Buddha visited this place intermittently and very close to this place. The sites available there were built by Lichchvis and popular emperor Ashoka. To commemorate this place, emperor Ashoka made iron pillar there. Two stupas were erected there by Lichchvi to remember this event.

Vaishali is also popular in terms of the Jainism pilgrimage site as it is the birthplace of Mahavira. So, Jainism also has its origins in Vaishali. Lord Mahavira lived in this place till 22 years old. It shows that Vaishali is a twin blessed place as it has the remains of both Buddhism and Jainism. Pilgrims related to both the religions go there in a large number throughout the year. Some of the major destinations or places to see in Vaishali are as follows:-

Vaishali Museum

This museum encloses some of the archaeological remains of both the religions that discovered from this place. Near the museum, there is a shaded stupa which housed the casket relic with the ashes of Buddha.

Ashokan Pillar

Ashokan Pillar, Kolhua

Ashokan Pillar

The name of the pillar suggests itself that it was built by emperor Ashoka. This lion pillar is located at Kolhua. This pillar is highly polished and made of a single piece of red sandstone. It is surmounted by a bell shaped capital which is 18.3 m high. A unique figure of a lion is placed on top of the pillar. Besides the pillar, a brick stupa is located at Kolhua that commemorates the Buddha’s last sermon location.

Bawan Pokhar Temple

It is an old temple which built in the Pala period and enshrines the elegant images of several Hindu gods. It is visited by many tourists to get the blessings of lords.

Buddha Stupa- I

Buddha Stupa 1, vaishali

Buddha Stupa 1, vaishali

Buddha Stupa- I, Vaishali

Buddha Stupa- I, Vaishali

The exterior side of the stupa which is now in battered condition has a plain surface. 1/8th of the sacred ashes of the Lord Buddha enshrined there in a stone casket.

Buddha Stupa-II

Buddha Stupa-II, Vaishali

Buddha Stupa-II, Vaishali

This site has been excavated in 1958 and led to the discovery of another casket containing the ashes of the Lord Buddha.

Abhishek Pushkarn

Abhishek Pushkarn (coronation tank )

Abhishek Pushkarn (coronation tank )

This is also known as coronation tank as it contains water which is believed to be sacred in the old days. All the Vaishali’s elected representative was bathed in this tank before taking the oath. The famous Lichchavi stupa is also located near this tank. Also, on the south bank of the coronation tank, shanty stupa is located which was built by Buddha Vihar Society.

So, the place is full of sacred places and Buddhist lovers winds there perfectly. Pilgrims from different states and countries go there to take the blessings of Buddha and Mahavira.


16 Comments

Buddhism and Jainism Place – Rajgir


Rajgir is a city located in Bihar, India. It was the first capital of Magadha kingdom. This area is popular as it is one of the favorite places of Gautama Buddha. “Atanatiya” conference was also held there on the Vulture’s Peak Mountain. The name of the place come from the Rajgriha, i.e. royal house or house of the king. It is a sacred place and provides the memories of the founders of both the religions Buddhism and Jainism that means the place is associated historically with both Buddha and Mahavira.

Vulture's peak mountain, Rajgir

Vulture’s peak mountain, Rajgir

Vulture's peak mountain view, Rajgir

Vulture’s peak mountain view, Rajgir

The place where was the "Atanatiya" conference held

The place where was the “Atanatiya” conference held

This place is famous in many terms like Gautama Buddha spent several months there in meditation, preaching and in delivering sermons. Similarly, Lord Mahavira spent fourteen years of his life over there and in Nalanda. So, the place has great historical importance for Buddhists as well as Jains.  Many numbers of people belonging to Buddhism and Jainism come to this place.
The climate of the city is very cozy as the place is surrounded by seven hills namely Vaibhara, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula. Natural and cool  air can be felt by anyone. Now-a-days, it has also developed as a healthy and a winter water area due to its warm water ponds. It is said that the water has some medical significance and help in the cure of many skin diseases.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda)

Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda)

Other attractions of the region are Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), Makhdoom Kund and Monasteries. These are the worth visiting sites. Tourist attractions of this place are Bimbisar’s Jail, Ajatshatru’s fort, Venuvana Vihara, Cyclopean Wall, Jain temples, Swarna Bhandar, Amaravana Mango Garden, Griddhakuta Peak,  and Jarasandh’s Akhara. Rajgir Heritage Museum is also a great place of interest as it contains all the historical sculptures and paintings belonging to Buddhism and Jainism.

Madhubani paintings

Madhubani paintings

Madhubani paintings, handicraft materials are the most popular items that can be purchased from there to remember the trip in your whole life. The best time to travel to this place is between October and March as the weather is quite pleasant. So, visiting this place makes anyone pleasant. A large number of pilgrims go there every year to provide rituals and prayers to their Lords.


22 Comments

Bodh Gaya- An Enlightenment Place of Lord Buddha


Bodh Gaya is a religious place for pilgrims where Lord Buddha left his foot steps nearly 2500 years ago while traveling in the search of enlightenment. It is located near the river Phalgu, Bihar. People across the globe come here to visit this pilgrimage center. It is famous as this is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment on the full moon day of Wesak in 588 BC and is the most holy place on the earth for Buddhists . King Ashoka was the first to build a shrine at this sacred place.

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the four main pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three are Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sarnath. Bodh Gaya is associated with the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Gaya District of Bihar, India.  The Diamond Throne of Buddha is also located between the Bodhi tree and the rear Wall of the temple. It marks the actual seat of Enlightenment.

Bodh Gaya was the place where under a banyan tree also known as the Bodhi Tree, Gautam attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the enlightened one. The serene atmosphere of the place arouses the subconscious soul of any visitor who visits this pilgrimage site as the Lord himself had chosen it for meditation.

Major attractions of this sacred place:-

Mahabodhi Temple : – This temple is a major attraction to the Buddhists and stands near the Maha Bodhi tree under which Tathagat, or Gautam attained enlightenment. The height of this popular temple is 170 ft. In 2002, this famous temple became a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an architectural fusion of many centuries, cultures and heritages. While its architecture has an eloquent stamp of the Gupta era, it also has later age inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between 7th and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the same temple which was visited by Hieuen Tsang in the 7th century. The Shiva Lingam inside the temple was installed in the beginning of the 9th century. Pilgrims should visit the seven sacred places in the temple as they are associated with the Buddha’s stay at each place for seven days after Enlightenment.

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple, BodhGaya

Mahabodhi Tree : – The tree has been considered as sacred since Lord Buddha acquired enlightenment under it, it is probably the fifth succession of the original tree. Anyone, who likes the climate of serene atmosphere can easily understand that the place is perfect for meditation.

Mahabodhi Tree, Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Tree, Bodhgaya

Vajrasana : – It is stone platform, where Lord Buddha sat in meditation while he attained enlightenment and is known as Vajrasana. The place is restricted for any tourist activity as it is a sacred one.

Vajrasana Stone Platform, Bodhgaya

Vajrasana Stone Platform, Bodhgaya

80 Feet statue of Buddha : – This 80 Feet statue is another attraction for tourists. The statue is so high and beautiful that anyone dwell in it for some time. Established in 1989 by Daijokyo in Bodhgaya.

Buddha Statue, Bodhgaya

80 Feet Buddha Statue, Bodhgaya

At last, one can say that the Bodh Gaya is a perfect tourist as well as religious place. The placid environment of the place feels anyone that this is a perfect place for meditation as the Lord Buddha did.