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The Four Most Important Pilgrimages Linked to Buddha

When it comes to making a Buddhist pilgrimage, worshippers cast their attention to significant sites that are linked to important occurrences in the life of Buddha. Gautama Buddha mentioned four sites that he felt were most central to his followers if they wished to make a pilgrimage. They include his birthplace, the site where he attained Enlightenment, where he first preached, and the place where he achieved Parinirvana.  

To a Buddhist, four central sites make the most significant destinations for a journey into enlightened spirituality. They include Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kusinara. An explanation of each place is given below:

Lumbini , The name of this important Buddhist pilgrimage site translates into ‘the lovely,’ which is located in the Kapilavastu district of Nepal , situated near the Indian border. This is the site where it said that Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhhartha Gautama, who later became the great Buddha , the man responsible for the Buddhist religion. Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas, Lumbini serves as the location where the Buddha lived until he turned 29 years old. The site is located in the municipality of Kapilavastu, where a handful of temples (including Mayadevi temple) are found.

Bodh Gaya , Also known as Bodhgaya, this city is found in the Gaya district of the Indian state of Bihar. It is here that the Buddha attained nirvana (better known as Enlightenment). Throughout history, the site has been referred to by many different names, including Bodhimanda (translates into the ground around the Bodhi-tree), Uruvela, Sambodhi, Vajrasana and Mahabodhi. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the name Bodh Gaya came into use. In the past, the main monastery of Bodhgaya was called the Bodhimanda-vihara, but has since been given the name of the Mahabodhi Temple. Just like Lumbini, the Mahabodhi Temple has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sarnath , Known in the past as Isipathana, this site is the location where the Buddha delivered his first teaching. It has also been called other names, such as Mrigadava, Migadaya, and Rishipattana. Today, the site is a deer park that holds the history of the Buddha’s first teaching of the Dharma. The site also serves as the location where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna , a man that became known as one of the most significant out of the five initial disciples of the Buddha that traveled about India spreading the dharma.

Kusinara , Today, this significant site associated with the Buddha is now known as Kusingagar, India, which is where he attained mahaparinirvana, which means that it is the place where the Buddha died. This town is found in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where many pilgrims make the journey to the site that the Buddha chose to die. His reasons for gravitating to this destination included that it seemed like an appropriate place for the preaching of the Maha-Sudassana Sutta and that it would be easy for the distribution of his relics to take place.