10 Best Buddhist Temples in India You Must Visit On Your Buddhist Tour
Buddhism is a thriving religion in India that is gaining popularity among the youth due to its teachings based on truth, non-violence, and detachment from material pleasures. India, being the birthplace of the Buddhist religion, has several notable pilgrimage sites that are standing examples of the rich history of the Buddhist religion. The religion has its roots in Bodh Gaya, where Lord Buddha attained spiritual enlightenment. He later traveled to other places to give discourses on the religion.
After his death, his follower took on the responsibility of spreading Buddhism and commissioned the construction of temples at various points to mark the significance of the place in the Buddhist religion. Today, India is home to several Buddhist temples which attract a great number of tourists and pilgrims with their impressive architecture and tranquil surroundings. Here are some famous Buddhist temples of India you should visit in your Buddhist Tour Package.
TOP 10 BUDDHIST TEMPLES IN INDIA
- Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya
Mahabodhi temple in Bihar is the most venerable site for Buddhists as Lord Buddha achieved spiritual enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree located within the temple. This was the first temple built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B. C. The temple was rebuilt in the 5th century from bricks. The 180 feet high pyramid structure of the main temple has several motifs engraved on its surface which gives it a distinct appearance. The temple houses a statue of Lord Buddha made from yellow sandstone placed inside a glass box. The sacred Bodhi tree is located next to the temple and is surrounded by stone fencing.
- Sarnath Temple, Varanasi
Sarnath temple in Varanasi is a sought after pilgrimage destination for Buddhist spiritual seekers. It was at this place that Lord Buddha gave his first spiritual discourse as an enlightened master. The temple, built by Emperor Asoka, features the Great Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, Dharmarajika stupa, Mulagandha Kuti Vihar and other archaeological wonders. All these structures bear testimony to the significance this place served in Buddhist religion during its heyday.
- Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar
One of the holiest shrines of Buddhist in India, Mahaparinirvana temple in Kushinagar is famous for the six meters long idol of Sleeping Buddha lying inside the building. The idol signifies the highest state of salvation achieved by Lord Buddha when he left for his heavenly abode. Built from red sandstone, the statue rests on a huge platform made from brick with four stone pillars at its corners which symbolizes the posture of Lord Buddha at the time of his death. The temple is a single story building, constructed by a follower of Lord Buddha, Swami Haribala which attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.
- Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh
Sanchi stupa is one of the oldest stone structures in India which represents Buddhist art and architecture. The structure has a large hemispherical dome which houses several relics of Lord Buddha. The stupa features four intricately carved gateways facing four different directions. Sanchi stupa was constructed under the supervision of wife and daughter of Emperor Ashoka. The magnificent architecture of the building as garnered itself as a UNESCO world heritage site. Today, the place draws thousands of visitors both from India and abroad.
- Ramabhar Stupa, Kushinagar
Ramabhar Stupa is situated 1.5 km away from Mahaparinirvana temple and is a renowned destination for Buddhist pilgrims as it marks the site where Lord Buddha was cremated. The structure was constructed by Malla kings during the lifetime of Lord Buddha which represents the refined artistic sense of the kings in that era. The stupa is a round structure built from bricks mounted on a circular base and has a water body lying next to it. The building stands on a pastoral area growing wheat, paddy, and sugarcane in its fields.
- Wat Thai Temple
Wat Thai Temple in Kushinagar is another eminent site for Buddhists, built by the disciples of Lord Buddha who came to India from Thailand. The temple is located in a lush forest area surrounded by trees and shrubs. The architecture of the Wat Thai temple is a blend of Thai and Buddhist architectures. The scenic surroundings of this temple make it a popular destination for those who wish to seek tranquility amidst nature. The temple location is ideal for meditation and houses a prayer hall.
- Red Maitreya Temple, Leh
Housed in Thiksey Monastery in Leh, Red Maitreya Temple draws attention from Buddhist seekers for the clay statue of Lord Buddha. The 49 ft. the tall statue is painted in golden color and is deemed great importance by Buddhist monks. The ornate walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful paintings which signify exceptional attributes of Buddhist art and craft. The serene location of this temple situated amidst the mountains of Leh in Himachal Pradesh is another reason that makes it a popular pilgrimage spot.
Read Also: Best Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh Tour
- Shanti Stupa, Ladakh
Shanti Stupa in Ladakh is another architectural marvel located in an enchanting place surrounded by the pristine mountains of Ladakh. The stupa is a white colored spherical structure with a dome which resembles a pearl on the night of full moon. The structure was built as an embodiment of peace by Japanese Buddhists. The building is decorated with gilt panels which give a glimpse of the life of Lord Buddha. The temple looks most beautiful in the evenings when rays of setting sun fall on the stupa.
- Golden Pagoda, Namsai
This Burmese style Buddhist temple in Namsai district in Arunachal Pradesh is located on the foothills of Eastern Himalayas. The temple complex is spread over an area of 20 hectares and has 12 domes in the Pagoda. Also known as Kong Mu Kham, this temple was built in 2010 and serves as a venue for Kathina festival which is celebrated in the month of November. Loi Krathong, a ceremony in which lamps are floated in a pond nearby is the most beautiful sight you observe at the end of the festival.
- Theravada Buddhist Temple
This temple located in Itanagar serves great significance in Buddhist religion and is hailed as a perfect destination for those inclined towards nature. The abundant greenery abounding in the vicinity of the temple is great for meditation. The neatly laid out structure of this temple will take your breath away with its indescribable beauty. Theravada is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage destination in an Eastern part of India.
Our Best Buddhist Tour are:
- Buddhist Dharma Tour
- Buddhist Trail Tour
- Buddha and Beyond Tour
- North East India Buddhist Tour
- Buddhist India Ladakh Tour
- Buddhist India Nepal Tour
- Grand India Buddhist Tour
- Buddhist India Tour
- Buddha Enlightenment Tour
- Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour
- On Footsteps of Buddha Tour