"Great Buddha Statue" at Bodh Gaya

Historical Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India

In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance.

Sometimes, it is a journey to a sacred place or to a shrine of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith.

Members of every major religion participate in pilgrimages. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.

Table of Contents

The major Buddhism sites of pilgrimage

Among the four major sites of pilgrimage one is in Nepal:

  • Lumbini, where Buddha was born

and the three others are in India:

  • , where Buddha attained Enlightenment
  • Benaras, where he first preached
  • Kusinagara where he achieved Parinirvana

Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India

This is a list of some important historical Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.

Bodhi Tree

The , also known as Bo, “peepal tree”, “Araḷi mara” or “arasa maram” (Tamil:அரசமரம்)(Devanagari: पीपल का पेड़), is a large and ancient sacred fig tree located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who became known as the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment or Bodhi. In religious iconography, the Bodhi Tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, which are usually prominently displayed.

Nalanda

was an ancient Mahavihara, a large and revered Buddhist monastery, in the ancient kingdom of Magadha in India. One of the most illustrious learning centres to ever exist, it was built in the 5th century by the Gupta Emperor Kumaragupta I. The site is located about 95 kilometres (59 mi) southeast of Patna near the city of Bihar Sharif, and was an important centre of learning from the fifth century CE to c. 1200 CE. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sarnath

is a place located 10 kilometres north-east of near the confluence of the Ganges and the Varuna rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.

Varanasi

Varanasi, also known as Benares, Banaras, or Kashi, is a city on the banks of the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, India, 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of the state capital, Lucknow, and 121 kilometres (75 mi) east of Allahabad. A major religious hub in India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism and Ravidassia. Varanasi lies along National Highway 2, which connects it to Kolkata, Kanpur, Agra, and Delhi, and is served by Varanasi Junction railway station and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport.

Chandavaram Buddhist site

Buddha statue, now at the Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad.

is an ancient Buddhist site in Chandavaram village in Prakasam district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

In 1985, a project called the “Buddha Poornima Project” was proposed.

Under this project, the world’s tallest standing monolith statue of Buddha was to be erected on the site. Made out of granite, the statue was carved by 200 sculptors in two years and on completion it weighed 440 tonnes with an overall height of 17 metres (56 ft).

However, the Buddha statue was transported to city of Hyderabad in 1988 instead, where it was erected in 1992 in the Hussain sagar lake and stands today.

Vikramashila

was one of the two most important centres of learning in India during the Pala Empire, along with Nalanda. Its location is now the site of Antichak village, Bhagalpur district in Bihar.

Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment under what became known as the Bodhi Tree. Since antiquity, Bodh Gaya has remained the object of pilgrimage and veneration for both Hindus and Buddhists.

Bharhut

is a village located in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, central India. It is known for its famous relics from a Buddhist stupa.

Shravasti

was a city of ancient India and one of the six largest cities in India during Gautama Buddha’s lifetime. The city was located in the fertile Gangetic plains in the present-day district of the same name, Shravasti, that belongs to Devipatan division of Uttar Pradesh near Balrampur, some 175 kilometres (109 mi) north-east of Lucknow. Earlier, it was a part of the Bahraich district, but the latter was split due to administrative reasons.

Sanchi

Stupa is a Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is located in 46 kilometres (29 mi) north-east of Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in India, and an important monument of Indian Architecture. It was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chhatri, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. The original construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant of nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her and Ashoka’s wedding. In the 1st century BCE, four elaborately carved toranas and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added. The Sanchi Stupa built during Mauryan period was made of bricks. The composite flourished until the 11th century.

Ajanta Caves

The are 30 (approximately) rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state of India. The caves include paintings and rock-cut sculptures described as among the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art, particularly expressive paintings that present emotion through gesture, pose and form.

Dhamnar Caves

The are caves located in the village of Dhamnar, located in Mandsaur district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. This rock cut site consists of 51 caves, , Chaityas, passages, and compact dwellings, carved in the 7th century CE. The site includes large statues of Gautama Buddha in sitting and Nirvana mudra.

Guntupalli Group of Buddhist Monuments

The Guntupalle or is located near Kamavarapukota, West Godavari district, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It is around 40 km away from Eluru. The rock-cut part of the site has two Buddhist caves, a chaitya hall and a large group of stupas. The chaitya hall has a rare carved stone entrance replicating wooden architecture, a simpler version of that at the Lomas Rishi Cave.

Parinirvana Stupa

is a Buddhist temple in , India which is said to be the death place of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Alexander Cunningham gains the most attention for his work in the area, because he conclusively proved that Gautama Buddha had died in the area. The present temple was built by the Indian Government in 1956 as part of the commemoration of the 2,500th year of the Mahaparinivana or 2500 BE. Inside this temple, there is Reclinging Buddha image lying on its right side with the head to the north. The statue is 6.1 m long and rests on a stone couch.

Pavurallakonda

or Pavurallabodu is the local name of a hill, popularly known as Narasimhaswamy Konda, near Bheemunipatnam about 25 km towards north of Visakhapatnam, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located at a height of about 150 meters above mean sea level.

Gaya (India)

Gaya is of historical significance and is one of the major tourist attractions of the state of Bihar. Gaya is 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of Patna, the capital city of Bihar. It is the state’s second-largest city, with a population of 470,839, and is the headquarters of Gaya district and Magadh division. The city is surrounded on three sides by small, rocky hills, with the Phalgu River on its fourth (eastern) side.

Mathura

is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Agra, and 145 kilometres (90 mi) south-east of Delhi; about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from the town of Vrindavan, and 22 kilometres (14 mi) from Govardhan. It is the administrative centre of Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. In ancient times, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes. The 2011 Census of India estimated the population of Mathura at 441,894.

Kolvi Caves

or Kholve Caves, are located at Kolvi village in the state of Rajasthan, India. They are carved out in laterite rock hill. This Buddhist site has stupas, chaityas containing figures of Buddha. An architectural style shows dominance of Hinayana sect in this region. The caves has statues of Buddha in the meditation and standing position. The stupas and colossal statues of Buddha are archaeologically significant. Around Kolva village similar caves have been discovered which proves existence of prosperous Buddhist civilization in the region.

Lenyadri

, sometimes called Ganesa Lena, Ganesh Pahar Caves, or Suleman Caves, represents a series of about 30 rock-cut Buddhist caves, located about 5km north of Junnar in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Other caves surrounding the city of Junnar are: , and .

Ratnagiri – Odisha

Ratnagiri was once the site of a mahavihara, or major Buddhist monastery, in the Brahmani and Birupa river valley in Jajpur district of Odisha, India. It is close to other Buddhist sites in the area, including Pushpagiri, Lalitagiri and Udayagiri.

Pataliputra

, adjacent to modern-day Patna, was a city in ancient India, originally built by Magadha ruler Udayin in 490 BCE as a small fort near the Ganges river.

Lalitgiri

Lalitagiri is a major Buddhist complex in the Indian state of Odisha comprising major stupas, ‘esoteric’ Buddha images, and monasteries (viharas), one of the oldest sites in the region. Together with the Ratnagiri and Udayagiri sites, Lalitagiri is part of Puspagiri University located on top of hills of the same names. The three complexes are known as the “Diamond Triangle”. Significant finds at this complex include Buddha’s relics. Tantric Buddhism was practiced at this site.

Bojjannakonda

and Lingalakonda are two Buddhist rock-cut caves on adjacent hillocks, situated near a village called Sankaram, which is a few kilometres away from Anakapalle, Vishakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The sites are believed to date between 4th and 9th Century A.D, when the 3 phases of Buddhism flourished at Sankaram. The real name of Bojjannakonda was actually Buddina Konda but the people can’t pronounce it properly by telling the name repeatedly so it was changed to Bojjannakonda

Saru Maru

Saru Maru stupa

is the archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex and Buddhist caves.

The site contains a number of stupas as well as natural caves for monks.

In the caves many Buddhist graffiti have been found (swastika, triratna, kalasa …).

In the main cave were found two inscriptions of Ashoka: a version of the Minor Rock Edict n°1, one of the Edicts of Ashoka, and another inscription mentioning the visit of Piyadasi (honorific name used by Ashoka in his inscriptions) as Maharahakumara (Prince).

Binnayaga Buddhist Caves

also known as Vinayaka or Vinayaga are located at village Binnayaga in the state of Rajasthan, India. The excavation has around 20 laterite caves facing south from east to west. This is monastic complex, the cells are smaller than Kolvi Caves cell. The stupa shaped sanctuary is the highlight of these caves. It has chaitya which bears windows. Another significant cave has two wings of an open courtyard. “It has at the back a closed lobby with vaulted ceiling and a central door flanked by a cell on either side. The moulded pedestal against the back wall is now empty.”

Udayagiri – Odisha

Udayagiri (ଉଦୟଗିରି) is the largest Buddhist complex in the Indian state of Odisha. It is composed of major stupas and monasteries (viharas). Together with the nearby complexes of and Ratnagiri, it is part of Puspagiri University. The heritage sites are also known collectively as the “Diamond Triangle” of the “Ratnagiri-Udayagiri-Lalitgiri” complex. Per epigraphical artifacts found at the site, its historical name was “Madhavapura Mahavihara.” This Buddhist complex, preceded by the Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri sites, with their monasteries, is believed to have been active between the 7th and the 12th centuries.

Pandava Caves

The are located near Kadri Manjunath temple in Mangalore, Karnataka. Historians found that the current temple was a Buddhist monastery known as Kandarika Vihara. The shrine had a standing Buddha image in it. This image was replaced by the King Kundvarma of the Alupa dynasty, who was a devotee of Shiva. However it was not the Buddha but a bodhisattva who was historically integrated with Shiva. Historians concluded that the vihara was originally a centre of the cult of the bodhisattva Manjusri. This temple was one of the famous centres of learning and pilgrimage until the 11th century AD. This particular doctrine opened the doors for Tantric religion. Both Shilinga and the bodhisattva were worshipped for many centuries until the Buddhist temple was converted to a purely Saivite temple.

Wai Caves

are 9 Buddhist Caves, situated at Lonara, 7 km north of Wai. The Chaitya hall containing a Stupa has since been converted into a Shiva temple.

Mahakali Caves

The , also Kondivite Caves, are a group of 19 rock-cut monuments built between 1st century BCE and 6th century CE.

Uparkot Caves

, also Uperkot caves, are ancient man-made caverns. The caves are a part of the situated in the eastern part of Junagadh of the Indian state of Gujarat.

Mandapeshwar Caves

The is an 8th Century rock-cut shrine dedicated to Shiva located near Mount Poinsur in Borivali, a suburb of Mumbai in Maharashtra, India. The caves were originally Buddhist viharas, before being occupied by the Brahmans.

Manmodi Caves

The Manmodi Caves are a complex of a rock-cut caves about 3 km to the south of the city of Junnar in India. Other caves surrounding the city of Junnar are: Tulja Caves, Shivneri Caves and Lenyadri caves.

Nagarjunakonda

is a historical town, now an island located near Nagarjuna Sagar in Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, near the state border with Telangana. It is 160 km west of another important historic site Amaravati Stupa.

Tulja Caves

Tulja Caves are located beyond the Shivneri hill, about 4km to the west of Junnar, India. Other caves surrounding the city of Junnar are: Manmodi Caves, Shivneri Caves and Lenyadri caves.

Nasik Caves

The , or sometimes Pandavleni Caves, are a group of 24 caves carved between the 1st century BCE and the 3nd century CE, though additional sculptures were added up to about the 6th century, reflecting changes in Buddhist devotional practices mainly. Buddhist sculptures are a significant group of early examples of Indian rock-cut architecture initially representing the Hinayana tradition. Most of the caves are viharas except for Cave 18 which is a chaitya of the 1st century BCE. The style of some of the elaborate pillars or columns, for example in caves 3 and 10, is an important example of the development of the form. The location of the caves is a holy Buddhist site and is located about 8 km south of the center of Nashik, Maharashtra, India, as well as some of the inscriptions of cave 3 and 10 contain one of the earliest known Sanskrit inscriptions about charities towards Hindu Brahmanas at the Prabhasa. Cave 11 has some Jain sculptures which includes 22nd Jain Tirthanakra Neminatha, Yakshi Ambika and Indra. These sculptures are of late Jaina workmanship.

Nasik inscription of Ushavadata

The is an inscription made in the Nasik Caves by Ushavadata, a viceroy of the Western Satraps ruler Nahapana, in the years circa 120 CE. It is the earliest known instance of the usage of Sanskrit, although a rather hybrid form, in western India.

Nenavali Caves

, also Khadsamble Caves, are located at Sudhagad at Raigad, India. This is group of 37 Buddhist caves about 35 km from Pali, carved in first century B.C.

Topra Kalan

1800 years separate these two inscriptions: Brahmi script of the 3rd century BCE (Edict of Ashoka),

Topra, combined name for the larger and adjacent smaller Topra Khurd, is a Mauryan Empire-era village in Yamunanagar district of Harayana state in India.

It is the original home of Delhi-Topra pillar one of many pillars of Ashoka, that was moved from Topra to Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi in 1356 CE.

The original inscription on the Delhi-Topra Ashokan obelisk is primarily in Brahmi script, but the language was Prakrit, with some Pali and Sanskrit added later.

Panhalakaji Caves

are situated in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra state, about 160km south of Mumbai. This cave complex has around 30 Buddhist Caves. The Hinayana sect began carving caves in 3rd century AD, beginning with the stupa in the current Cave 5. The caves have inscriptions in Brahmi and Devanagari script. In the 10-11th century AD another Buddhist group, a Vajrayana sect, established cave 10 with their deities Akshobhya and Mahachandaroshana; and strengthened their practice in that region. Shiva and Ganpatya worshiping started at the site during Silahara rule.

Shirwal Caves

are a group of 15 Buddhist caves located in a small village called Shriwal, 48 km south of Pune, India.

Thanale Caves

or Nadsur Caves is a group of 23 Buddhist Caves located 72km to the southeast of Mumbai, in western Maharashtra, India, at Thanale Village, Taluka Sudhagad in Raigad, 18 km from Pali.

Patan caves

The Patan Buddhist caves are recently discovered rock-cut caves, near Patan, Maharashtra, in the district of Satara. Eleven caves were discovered all together, spread in four different areas of Patan, in Tamkane, Yerphal, Yeradvadi and Digevadi.

Talaja Caves

The are located in Bhavnagar district of the Indian state of Gujarat at Talaja. The rock cuts are carved out into deserted conical rocks. The rock cut group include 30 caves among which about 15 are water tanks. The cave has unique architecture known as Ebhal Mandapa. The halls are plain. “On the facade there are chaitya windows with a broad bank below them.” The chaitya and cells were carved during Buddhism influence in 2nd century BC. During the Kshatrapas’ regime in 2nd-3rd century AD Jainism emblems were carved on the cells and the halls.

Sugh Ancient Mound

, also known as the Ancient Site of Sugh, is located in the village of Amadalpur Dayalgarh, in the Yamunanagar district of Haryana, India. Suryamandir-Tirth in Amadalpur is nearby. Buddhist stupa here is identified with the Srughna.

Pohale Caves

, also Pohala Caves or Pawala Caves, are a group of Buddhist caves located in Kolhapur District, Maharashtra, India, after 15km northeast of Kolhapur.

Pushpagiri Vihara

Pushpagiri was an ancient Buddhist mahavihara located atop Langudi Hills in Jajpur district of Odisha, India. The complex contains ruins of stupas, rock-cut sculptures and other artifacts.

Rajgir

is an ancient city and a notified area in Nalanda district in the Indian state of Bihar. The city of Rajgir was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. The city finds mention in India’s greatest literary epic, the Mahabharata, through its king Jarasandha. Its date of origin is unknown, although ceramics dating to about 1000 BC have been found in the city. The famous 2,500-year old Cyclopean Wall is located in the city. This area is also notable in Jainism and Buddhism. It was the birthplace of the 20th Jain Tirthankar Munisuvrata, and closely associated with the arihant Mahavira and Gautama Buddha. Both Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha taught their beliefs in Rajgir during the 6th and 5th century BC. The ancient Nalanda university was located in the vicinity of Rajgir, and the contemporary Nalanda University named after it was founded in 2010 at Rajgir. It was also through Rajgir that the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka travelled to Bodh Gaya around 250 BC, when placing the diamond throne (Vajrasana) at the great temple where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

Sana Caves

There are two sets of Buddhist caves in two different places taking the name of Shana caves.

Kushinagar

Kushinagar is a pilgrimage town in the Kushinagar district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Saptaparni Cave

Saptparni Cave, also referred to as Sapta parni guha (Saraiki) or sattapaṇṇi guhā (Pali), literally Seven-leaves-cave, is a Buddhist cave site about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) southwest from Rajgir, Bihar, India. It is embedded in a hill. The is important in the Buddhist tradition, because many believe it to be the site in which Buddha spent some time before his death, and where the first Buddhist council was held after Buddha died (paranirvana). It is here that a council of few hundred monks decided to appoint Ananda, Buddha’s cousin, and Upali, who had accompanied the Buddha when he gave sermons in north India, to compose Buddha’s teachings for the future generations. This was of special importance because the Buddha never wrote down his teachings. After the meeting in Saptaparni Cave, Ananda created an oral tradition of Buddha’s teaching from his memory, prefacing it with “Thus have I heard on one occasion”. Upali is credited with reciting the Vinaya (discipline), or “rules for the Bhikshus”. This tradition is found in Vinaya Pitaka II.284 through II.287 and Digha Nikaya II.154.

Shivneri Caves

The Shivneri Caves are artificial caves dug for Buddhist monks circa the 1st century CE. These are now famous tourist attractions located on Shivneri Hill, about 2 km Southwest of Junnar, India. Other caves around the city of Junnar are: Manmodi Caves, Lenyadri, and the Tulja Caves.

Yerphal Caves

, also Yerphale Caves, are a small group of Buddhist caves located near Umbraj, Maharashtra, India. The caves were only discovered recently, in 1979. It is located not far from the .

Kuda Caves

are located in the small village of Kuda, on the eastern side of the north shore of Murud-Janjira in south Konkan, India. These fifteen Buddhist caves are small, simple, and were excavated in first century BCE.

Kumashpur

, also spelled Kumaspur and Kumaspura, is a village within Municipal Corporation of Sonipat in Sonipat district of Haryana. It is 11 km from Sonipat Junction railway station, 45 km from Maharana Pratap Inter State Bus Terminus at Kashmiri Gate, Delhi, and 190 km from Chandigarh on NH1 Grand Trunk Road.

Bhaja Caves

or Bhaje caves is a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the 2nd century BC located in Pune district, near Lonavala, Maharashtra. The caves are 400 feet above the village of Bhaja, on an important ancient trade route running from the Arabian Sea eastward into the Deccan Plateau. The inscriptions and the cave temple are protected as a Monument of National Importance, by the Archaeological Survey of India per Notification No. 2407-A. It belongs to the Hinayana Buddhism sect in Maharashtra. The caves have a number of stupas, one of their significant features. The most prominent excavation is its chaitya, a good example of the early development of this form from wooden architecture, with a vaulted horseshoe ceiling. Its vihara has a pillared verandah in front and is adorned with unique reliefs. These caves are notable for their indications of the awareness of wooden architecture. The carvings prove that tabla – a percussion instrument – was used in India for at least 2300 years, disproving the centuries-held belief that the tabla was introduced to India by outsiders or from Turko-Arab. The carving shows a woman playing tabla and another woman, performing dance.

Bodh Stupa

The is situated near the Fine Arts Department in the north-east region of Kurukshetra University, in Haryana, 160 km from Delhi, India.

Chaneti Buddhist Stupa

is a 3rd century BC monument protected by the Government of India. The stupa is located in the Yamunanagar district of Haryana, three kilometers east of Jagadhri, and about three kilometers northwest of the archaeological site Sugh. The stupa has been referred by traveller Hiuen Tsang.

Bedse Caves

are a group of Buddhist rock-cut monuments situated in Maval taluka, Pune District, Maharashtra, India. The history of the caves can be traced back to the Satavahana period in the 1st century BCE. They are some 9 km from the Bhaja Caves. Other caves in the area are , Patan Buddhist Cave and Nasik Caves.

Deekshabhoomi

is a sacred monument of Navayana Buddhism located at Nagpur city in Maharashtra state of India, where B. R. Ambedkar, embraced Buddhism with approximately 600,000 of his followers mainly scheduled caste peoples on Ashoka Vijaya Dashami on 14 October 1956. Ambedkar revived Buddhism in India. Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism is deeply significant for millions of people in India. According to the 2011 India census, more than 87% of the total Buddhist population in India are Ambedkarite Buddhists.

Dhank Caves

The are located near Dhank village near Upleta, Rajkot district, Gujarat, India. They were chiseled out of a calcareous sandstone outcropping during the regime of the Western Satraps. The caves are influenced by Buddhist and Jain cultures. The Buddhist cave include figures of Bodhisattva and the Jain cave includes figures of Adinath, Shantinath and Pārśva. These are considered to be the earliest Jain sculptures in Kathiawad.

Ellora Caves

is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world, featuring Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments, and artwork, dating from the 600–1000 CE period. Cave 16, in particular, features the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailasha temple, a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Shiva. The Kailasha temple excavation also features sculptures depicting the gods, goddesses and mythologies found in Vaishnavism, Shaktism as well as relief panels summarizing the two major Hindu Epics.

Bava Pyara Caves

are an example of ancient man-made caverns. The caves are a part of the Junagadh Buddhist Cave Groups situated in the eastern part of Junagadh of the Indian state of Gujarat. Bava Pyara caves contains artworks of both Buddhism and Jainism.

Erravaram Caves

are located on the left bank of Yeleru river, at a distance of 45 km from Rajahmundry on Vishakhapatnam route. The caves are located on Dhanla–dibba hillock. The excavations revealed historic remains dated back to 100 A.D. This site flourished from 1st century B.C. to 2nd century A.D.

Gandharpale Caves

, also called Mahad caves or Pandava Leni, is group of 30 Buddhist caves, 105 km south of Mumbai on Mumbai-Goa Highway near Mahad. The caves are located near the NH-17 and well connected by road.

Barabar Caves

The Barabar Hill Caves are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India, dating from the Maurya Empire, some with Ashokan inscriptions, located in the Makhdumpur region of Jehanabad district, Bihar, India, 24 km (15 mi) north of Gaya.

Bagh Caves

The are a group of nine rock-cut monuments, situated among the southern slopes of the Vindhyas in Bagh town of Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh state in central India. These monuments are located at a distance of 97 km from Dhar town. These are renowned for mural paintings by master painters of ancient India. The use of the word “cave” is a bit of a misnomer, since these are not natural, but instead examples of Indian rock-cut architecture.

Ghatotkacha Caves

The Ghatotkach Caves are located 18 km to the west of Ajantha, near Jinjala village, India. The caves include three Buddhist caves, one is a chaitya and two are viharas. The caves were excavated in the 6th century AD, and were influenced by Mahayana Buddhism.

Ghorawadi Caves

The , also known as Ghorawdeshwar caves or Shelarwadi caves, are around 25 km northwest of Pune, India, were originally Buddhist caves, and now contain carvings and statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities.

Assandh

is a city and a municipal committee in Karnal district in the state of Haryana, India. Assandh is 45 km south-west of Karnal.

Bhattiprolu

is a village in Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the headquarters of Bhattiprolu mandal in Tenali revenue division. The Buddhist stupa in the village is one of the centrally protected monuments of national importance. One of the earliest evidence of Brahmi script in South India comes from Bhattiprolu. The script was written on an urn containing Buddha’s relics. The script has been named Bhattiprolu script

Ambivali Caves

The , or Ambivali Leni are a group of Buddhist caves, located near Neral, Raigad district, Maharashtra, 8km southeast of Kalyan. The caves are cut in the low hill located on the concave portion of a river. They consist in 12 viharas celles with verandah and several water cisterns. There is one inscription in Brahmi script on a verandah pillar.

Karla Caves

The Karla Caves, Karli Caves, Karle Caves or Karla Cells, are a complex of ancient Buddhist Indian rock-cut caves at Karli near Lonavala, Maharashtra. It is just 10.9 Kilometers away from Lonavala. Other caves in the area are Bhaja Caves, Patan Buddhist Cave, Bedse Caves and Nasik Caves. The shrines were developed over the period – from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE. The oldest of the cave shrines is believed to date back to 160 BCE, having arisen near a major ancient trade route, running eastward from the Arabian Sea into the Deccan.

Kondana Caves

The are located in the small village of Kondana, 33 km north of Lonavala and 16 km northwest of Karla Caves. This cave group has 16 Buddhist caves. The caves were excavated in first century B.C. The construction on wooden pattern is notable. One can reach the cave by descending from Rajmachi village.

Khed Caves

, also Bouddh Caves, are a series of ancient Buddhist caves in the city of Khed, Maharashtra, India.

Khapra Kodiya Caves

The are part of the Junagadh Buddhist Cave Group. They are the oldest of the caves in the group. The caves, on the basis of scribbles and short cursive letters on the wall, are dated to 3rd-4th century BCE during the Emperor Ashoka’s rule and are the plainest of all the caves in the groups. These caves are also known as Khangar Mahal. They were carved in rock during the reign of Emperor Ashoka and are considered the earliest monastic settlement in the area. These caves are along the edge of the ancient Sudarshan Lake and a little outside Uparkot fort, to the north.

Khambhalida Caves

, or Rajkot Caves, are three Buddhist caves located near Gondal in Rajkot district, Gujarat, India.

Kesaria stupa

Kesariya Stupa is a Buddhist stupa in Kesariya, located at a distance of 110 kilometres (68 mi) from Patna, in the Champaran (east) district of Bihar, India. The first construction of the Stupa is dated to the 3rd century BCE. Kesariya Stupa has a circumference of almost 400 feet (120 m) and raises to a height of about 104 feet (32 m).

Kesaria

Kesariya is a town in the district of East Champaran, in the Indian state of Bihar. It is the site of a stupa built by the Mauryan king Ashoka.

Karad Caves

The Karad Caves form a group of 66 Buddhist caves located south west of Karad, near the village Jakhinwadi overlooking the Koyna River. They are composed of:Agashiv Caves 17.2352778°N 74.1522222°E Bhairav Caves 17.239268°N 74.148289°E Dongrai Caves 17.2551854°N 74.1634643°E)

Hathiagor Buddhist Caves

are located at village Pagaria in the state of Rajasthan, India. The caves are located on hiil called Hathiagor-ki-Pahadi. The group has five caves measuring 5 m x 5 m x 7 m. A stupa is located closer to the caves.

Kadia Dungar Caves

are located at Kadia Dungar near Zazpor village of Zagadiya Taluka of in Bharuch district of the Indian state of Gujarat. The group has seven caves carved out in 1st and 2nd century AD on the mountain. The group includes sculpture of monolithic lion pillars. An architecture of cave shows vihara style construction. The site has brick stupa at the foot of a mountain. The caves were carved out in 1st or 2nd century AD. influenced by Buddhist architecture.

Junagadh Buddhist Cave Groups

Junagadh Buddhist Cave Groups are located in Junagadh district of the Indian state of Gujarat. The so-called “Buddhist Caves” are not actually caves, but three separate sites of rooms carved out of stone to be used as monks’ quarters. These caves were carved from Emperor Ashoka’s period up to 1st-4th century AD.

Jogeshwari Caves

The are some of the earliest Buddhist cave temples sculptures located in the Mumbai suburb of Jogeshwari, India. The caves date back to 520 to 550 CE. These caves belongs to the last stage of the Mahayana Buddhist architecture, which was later taken over by the Hindus. According to historian and scholar Walter Spink, Jogeshwari is the earliest major cave temple in India and “the largest”.

Jetavana

was one of the most famous of the Buddhist monasteries or viharas in India. It was the second vihara donated to Gautama Buddha after the Venuvana in Rajgir. The monastery was given to him by his chief male lay disciple, Anathapindika.

Bakraur

, sometimes called Bakrour, is a village located slightly east of Bodh Gaya in the state of Bihar, India. It lies directly across the Phalgu River from the town of Bodh Gaya, where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

Vinukonda

is a town in Palnadu district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a municipality and the headquarters of Vinukonda mandal and administered under Narasaraopet revenue division.

Vaishali (ancient city)

Vaishali or Vesali was a city in present-day Bihar, India, and is now an archaeological site. It is a part of the Tirhut Division.

Amaravathi – Palnadu district

Amaravathi is a village on the banks of the Krishna River, in the Palnadu district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the headquarters of Amaravathi mandal, and forms part of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region with its headquarters at new Amaravati 35 km (22 mi) east, whose name is also borrowed from that of the older Amaravathi.

Vijayawada

is the second largest city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and is a part of the state’s Capital Region. It is the administrative headquarters of the NTR district. It comprises NTR and part of Krishna district. Vijayawada lies on the banks of Krishna river surrounded by the hills of Eastern Ghats, known as Indrakeeladri Hills. It geographically lies on the center spot of Andhra Pradesh. The city has been described as the commercial, political, cultural and educational capital of Andhra Pradesh, second largest city in Andhra Pradesh and is one of the fastest growing urban areas in India.

Rajgir hills

The , also known as “Rajghara” hills, lie near the city of Rajgir in central regions of the Indian state of Bihar. It is surrounded by five hills named Ratnagiri, Vipalachal, Vaibhagiri, Songiri and Udaygiri. It is an important Buddhist, Hindu and Jain pilgrimage site.

Dantapuram

a small village in Srikakulam district. It is a site of great religious and historical significance. Known as Buddhas Tooth at Dantapura, the capital of the Kalingas. While ancient Dantapuram sank into oblivion, Kandy receives tens of thousands of visitors every month. Historians believe it to be the capital of Kalinga Kingdom. Emperor Asoka fought Kalinga War in 261 BC.

Sankissa

was an ancient city in India. The city came into prominence at the time of Gautama Buddha. According to a Buddhist source, it was thirty leagues from Savatthi. After the Gautama Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana king Ashoka developed this place and installed one of his famous Pillars of Ashoka in the city, from which the elephant capital survives. He also built a stupa and a temple commemorating the visit of the Buddha. This temple exists even today and the ruins of the stupa are also present as a temple of Vishari Devi. It is said that the name Visahari Devi is given to the mother of the Buddha.

Gangtok

is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It also is the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town’s population of 100,000 are from different ethnicities such as Bhutia, Lepchas and Nepalis. Within the higher peaks of the Himalaya and with a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry.

Agroha Mound

Agroha, locally known as Ther, is an archaeological site located in Agroha, in the Hisar district of India.

Ghantasala – Krishna district

Ghantasala is a village in Krishna district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is 21 km west of Machilipatnam and 11 km east of Krishna River. The largest city of this district, Vijaywada, is around 60 km away. It is a rare and reputed center for Buddhist sculptures.

Pithapuram

is a town and a municipality in the Kakinada district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The town also forms a part of Godavari Urban Development Authority. The town is home to one of the eighteen Maha Sakthi Peethas, which are significant shrines and pilgrimage destinations in Shaktism.

Piprahwa

is a village near Birdpur in Siddharthnagar district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Kalanamak rice, a scented and spicy variety of rice is grown in this area. It lies in the heart of the historical Buddha’s homeland and is 12 miles from the world heritage site of Lumbini that is believed to be the place of Gautama Buddha’s birth.

Griddharaj Parvat

is a hill of religious, archeological and ecological importance.

Pāvā

Pava is a city in ancient India, at the time of Gautama Buddha. It was a city of the Mallas which the Buddha visited during his last journey, going there from Bhogagama and staying at Cunda’s mango grove. Pava is located about 15 kilometres east of Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Jivakarama vihara

The , also Jivaka Amravana vihara, Jivakamravana, Jivakamrabana or Jivakavanarama, is an ancient Buddhist monastery, or vihara, established at the time of the Buddha.

Kosambi

(Pali) or Kaushambi (Sanskrit) was an important city in ancient India. It was the capital of the Vatsa kingdom, one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. It was located on the Yamuna River about 56 kilometres (35 mi) southwest of its confluence with the Ganges at Prayaga.

Adi Badri – Haryana

Adi Badri, also Sri Sarasvati Udgam Tirath, is a tourist site of archaeological, religious and ecological signifiance in a forest area in the foothills of the Sivalik Hills in Bhabar area, situated in northern part of Yamunanagar district, of the north Indian state of Haryana. There are remains of many Buddhist stupas and monasteries, which are about 1500–2000 years old, and there is also a group of Hindu temples from the 9th century. Based on the multiple archaeological excavations undertaken here, archaeologists have sent the proposal to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to include this site in the list of protected heritage site. Several popular annual festivals are held here, including the five day long National Saraswati Festival in January, Adi Badri Akha Teej Mela in Vaisakh around April–May, week-long Adi Badri-Kapal Mochan Kartik Purnima religious mela around November.

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