In the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal lies Lumbini, the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who was later to become the Buddha. Queen Maya Devi of the Sakya clan was on her way to her parental home when she gave birth to the prince under a tree.

Places of interest:
Ashoka Pillar
Temple of Maya Devi
Tank in which it is said the Prince was bathed
Sacred garden
Library and research centre


At Kapilavastu stood the palace of Sidhartha's father, King Suddhodhana

Places of interest:
Remains of the township and monasteries
Stupa where relics of the Buddha were found


Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya is where Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha as he sat in meditation on the diamond seat under the Bodhi (Ficus Religiosa) tree.

Places of interest:
Bodhi Tree
Mahabodhi Temple
Temples of many Buddhist countries
Cave in Dungasiri mountains where the ascetic monk Gautama practised severe austerities
Uruvela village, where the young Sujata gave the monk Gautama rice cooked in milk to end his period of austerities.


It was in the Deer Park at Sarnath that the Buddha gave his first significant sermons on the Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to his five fellow seekers who became the first monks of the order.

Places of interest:
The Deer park
The Dhamekh Stupa
The famous Teaching Buddha statue of the 5th century BC
The Ashoka Pillar and Lion Capital
Remains of monasteries from the 3rd century BC
A fine archaelogical museum


The "City of Light" as it is known, is probably oneof the most important towns for Hindu pilgrims who come to the bathing ghats at the banks of the Ganges.




The state capital of Magadha at the time of the Buddha, Rajgir was where the Mauryan King, Bimbisara, was converted to Buddhism. The Buddha was especially fond of the beautiful Gridhakuta (Vulture Peak) for his meditations at sunset.

Places of interest:
Gridhakuta hill
Venuvana, a bamboo grove given to the Buddha by King Bimbisara, and the first Buddhist monastery

Satadhara (seven hot springs), where it is said the Buddha came to relieve his arthiritic pain

Jivaka's mango grove (Jivaka was the Buddha's physician)

Jail where King Bimbisara was imprisoned Thich Nhat Hanh sitting in a cave in Rajgir






Sravasti was the ancient capital of the Koshala Kingdom, where the Buddhaspent 24 rain retreats, taught meditation on the full awareness of breathing and converted the dreaded murderer, Angulimala. The peaceful Jetavana park was presented to the Buddha by the merchant Anathapindika, who purchased it by covering its grounds with gold coins.

Places of interest:

Jetavana park
Ruins of Kosambakuti and Gandhakuti where the Buddha stayed
Angulimala stupa
Old Bodhi tree where Anathapindika planted a sapling
Remains of monasteries and recent excavations


The monastic university of Nalanda was the foremost centre of learning from the 5th to the 12th century AD for metaphysics, logic, medicine, grammar and Buddhist scriptures and practice. Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese chronicler, spent many years here both as a student and as a teache


The Buddha died in a Saal forest in Kushinagar and attained mahaparinirvana at the age of 80.

Places of interest:
Nirvana Stupa built over the spot where the Buddha died
Makutabandhana Stupa, commemorating the Buddha's cremation
Large stone statue of reclining Buddha at the Nirvana Temple



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