Traveling is a way to discover the world, to know the history and to know who are the historical figures of each place. Today I propose to make a route through the sacred cities of Buddhism to discover the places where Buddha was left a mark .
The word Buddha means “Enlightened One”, the one whose mind has reached the awakening and can therefore be placed beyond Samsara and out of suffering. Buddha is therefore every being that reaches this state.
Siddhartha Gautama Sakiamuni, known as Buddha, was born in 566 BC, in the country of the Sikas, whose territory was south of present-day Nepal.
Siddhartha Gautama Sakiamuni was a prince, since his father was the King of all that territory, Siddhartha was the creator of this religious and spiritual path that many know and still call Buddhism.
Now, if you want to know the Sacred Cities of Buddhism and want to make a true spiritual journey , here we will show you what these magnificent cities are:
Lumbini, the town where Siddhartha Gautama was born
It is believed that the Hindu Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in a Palace in Lumbini , a town in Nepal, more than 2,500 years ago. At birth, some astrologers predicted that Buddha would devote his life to spirituality, for this reason, his father the King locked him in the palace and surrounded him with comforts and young people. In this way he could prevent Siddhartha from knowing human suffering.
When Siddhartha was 29, he left the palace. Although the King had ordered to prepare the streets for his departure, an older man crossed his path and that was how the prince first met old age, sickness and death.
In ancient times this city belonged to India , but is currently located in southern Nepal, very close to the border with India. Lumbini currently has a large enclosure of about 6 kilometers. There is the Maya Devi Temple, the temple where the stone is preserved in which Maya Devi, mother of Siddhartha Gautama, gave birth.
The pillar built by Emperor Ashoka is also preserved, which was converted to Buddhism and was fervently admired by the Buddha.
Lumbini is undoubtedly a beautiful and magical place that you should visit and know if you are interested in enjoying a true trip to Buddhism .
Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddha became enlightened
This is another of the Sacred Cities of Buddhism that you cannot miss.
After knowing the suffering, Siddhartha left the palace and began a life dedicated to spirituality. He became a follower of several religious schools, perfected his teachings. He tried to achieve enlightenment by depriving himself of any desire. He stopped eating and dedicated himself only to meditate.
One day Buddha sat under a Bohdi tree in a town called Bodh Gaya, determined not to rise until he found the truth, the answer to suffering. After 49 days of meditation and at the age of 35, he attained Enlightenment and left suffering behind, that was when he named himself Buddha.
At present, a complex called Mahabodi Temple has been built throughout the area. This complex consists of seven main temples, built in places where before reaching nirvana, Buddha was meditating. In this place, you can also find the tree where it is believed that Buddha attained enlightenment.
Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first teaching
After enlightening and reflecting on whether he should explain how he had achieved it or not, Siddhartha, now already Buddha, gave his first sermon in the city of Sarnath (next to Varanasi). In it there is a huge Stupa (Dhamek Stupa), built in the year 500 BC, to replace another that was built in the year 250 BC
As in the other cities, you can find stupas and temples of different styles built in the area. The most important is the Stupa of Dhamekh, built in the place where Buddha preached his teachings for the first time.
Sarnath is another of the main cities that you should visit on your Buddhist journey , if you are interested in the life of this wonderful man, his history, and how this religious and spiritual journey began.
A simple way to visit Sarnath and take a boat trip on the Varanasi River is to hire a local guide in Spanish. They take you and bring you from your hotel at a very good price to be a full day tour. You can hire it here .
Kushinagar, where Buddha died
The last of the Sacred Cities of Buddhism, but no less important.
At 80, Buddha announced that he would soon leave his earthly body. Shortly after he suffered food poisoning and became seriously ill, dying in a forest near Kushinagar, surrounded by his faithful followers. That was when Buddhism was born as the religion we know today.
This city is two hours by bus from Gorakhpur. Getting to Gorakhpur is easy by train. In fact, if you cross the India-Nepal land border, it is a must.
This city is the last of the Buddhist pilgrimage destinations, the city that saw Buddha die. The main attractions are the Mahaparinirvana Temple, the exact place of Buddha’s death, and the Ramabhar stupa, which was built where the Buddha’s body was burned.
As you can see the Route of the Sacred Cities of Buddhism is something you cannot miss, it is full of the wonderful story of the Master Buddha. This is the story of the Hindu Prince who created one of the most faithful religions in the world and which teaches us how to balance our body and soul, gentleness towards our brothers and giving love without expecting anything in return.
If what you want is to immerse yourself in a spiritual journey , and you want to know in depth all about this Hindu prince and the essence of the religion he has left us, his thoughts, his philosophy of life, for this is the way, not Think twice, let yourself go. Make this wonderful route that you will surely enjoy to the fullest.