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The Ghats The Temples Other Universities Excursions

Excursions around Varanasi

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ll  Buddhist Circuit  ll

Lumbini (303 km)

According to legend, Mahamaya, the mother of Buddha was going from' Kapilavastu to her parents' place to give birth to her first child. When she reached Lumbini garden Buddha was born. The emperor Ashoka had marked the place with a pillar.

Bodh Gaya (240 km)

This is the place of Buddha's,enlightenment. The Maha Bodhi temple complex, which houses the Bodhi Tree, under which Buddha became 'Buddha', is 12 km to the south of the present day city of Gaya. The shrine is a typical and the only surviving example of Mahayani architecture. The shrine is a square pyramidal tower, with an impressive image of 'Preaching Buddha'.


This town is situated north of Varanasi, near Lumbini. It has been identified recently through excavations, as the capital of the Sakya clan and the seat of Suddhodhana's capital which now is in Nepal. This is the place where Buddha spent his childhood.


The ancient city, ascribed to the Pandava brothers; it is believed that Arjun's grandson King Parikshit lived here. A large number of architectural and sculptural remains of the ancient forts, terra-cotta figurines and relics, are spread round the city, testifying to the city's antiquity and high aesthetic and technical attainment of the people. Buddha visited this place in the 6th and 9th year, after he attained enlightenment. Gradually, Kaushambi became a great centre of Buddhism. Later on, Viharas and Monasteries were built.

Kushinagar (248 km)

This is the place where Buddha breathed his last. This event created a new architectural form in India - the 'Stupa', that is the entombment of the relics of the Buddha or his leading disciples. This 'stupa' can be taken as the earliest form of mausoleum in India. Fa Hien, Hiuen Tsang and I. Tesing have written about this during their respective periods. Sir Alexander Cunningham, the famous archaeologist, systematically excavated and exposed the remains of Kushinagar.

Gorakhpur (195 km)

This is the first city of India for foreigners entering India from Nepal by road via Pokkara. It serves as transit station for incoming and outgoing trains to Lumbini or Kushinagar. The city is situated on the left bank of the confluence of river Rapti and Rohini, and was known as Ramgram in ancient times. The temple here is quite famous.