India is ‘The Land of Buddha’. We have a rich ancient Buddhist Heritage with several important sites associated with the life of Lord Buddha. The Indian Buddhist heritage is of great interest to followers of Buddhism all over the world. It has remained a vital force, an inspiration, and a guide to India’s great traditions and customs.
Buddhism originated in ancient India more than 2500 years ago and spread through much of Asia. With close to 500 million followers, Buddhists represent 7% of the world’s total population. The holy sites follow Buddha’s life cycle with the most important ones being Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini (Nepal), Bodh Gaya where he attained enlightenment, Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon and founded Sangha after enlightenment is known as Dharmachakrapravartana Sutta, Kushinagar which Buddha chose for his final departure or Mahaparinirvana, Nalanda which was one of the world’s first residential universities and an epicenter for learning, Rajgir where Buddha spent several months meditating and preaching at Gridhra Kuta (Hill of the Vultures), Sravasti where he taught many of his Suttas (sermons), and Vaishali where Buddha delivered his last sermon, to name a few.