The origin of Buddhism goes back to 2500 years ago, when an Indian prince left the opulence of his royal palace in search of truth of life and ultimate salvation. He meditated, searched for the path of truth, attained nirvana and became the Buddha who later established Buddhism religion. This was the beginning of Buddhism, one of the greatest religions and philosophies of the world. Till date, the teachings of Lord Buddha have a significance that is unparalleled. Buddhism today, is also the fifth most followed religion of world.
Buddhism is a set of principles or philosophy based on the teachings of Lord Buddha, who was born in 563 BCE at Lumbini, Nepal as Siddhartha Gautam, a Shakya prince. Basically, Buddhism preaches the path of practice and spiritual development, thus, leading an insight into the truth of life. With its realistic base, Buddhism today is one of the major religions of the countries of Central Asia, Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, Korea, Japan and southeast Asia.
The main objective of Buddhism is to end the suffering of cyclic existence or 'samsara' by awakening a being to the realisation of the truth and the achievement of liberation. According to the Buddhist doctrine, there is only one way to reach the destination of reality - One should purify and train the mind and heart and act as per the laws of Karma to purify the soul.
Buddhism, which is considered today more of a religion than a thought, focuses on moral discipline or 'sila', meditation or 'samadhi' and wisdom or 'prajna' rather than that of idol-worship. According to the principles of Buddhism, any being can attain enlightenment by following certain codes and conducts such as Five Perceptions, Eightfold Path and Four Noble Truths.
India is the land where Buddhism originated. Lord Buddha was an Indian prince who abandoned all materialistic pleasures to find the real truth of life. His teachings today have immense significance. A whole lot of people wish to know not only about his life but also about the status of Buddhism in the country of its origin in past as well as present.
A number of temples and monasteries around the world are held in great reverence by Buddhist community. Some of these temples and monasteries have gained international fame while others are important for local people. Here, through this text, we wish to quickly draw your attention towards all these temples and monasteries that can be visited on a trip to the particular country. Click the link provided if you desire to know in detail about any temple and monastery.
Starting from India, the land where Buddhism originated, the famous temples and monasteries are located primarily in the state of Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh region of Jammu Kashmir. In Bihar, the Mahabodhi Temple marks the place where Lord Buddha under the Tree attained enlightenment. The temple and the tree are located in the town of Bodhgaya which also happens to house a number of monasteries constructed by monks and government of various Buddhist countries. Some worth mentioning monasteries include the Tibetan Monastery, the Thai Monastery, the Japanese Monastery, the Buddhist Monastery of Bhutan and the Chinese Temple & Monastery.
In the Ladakh region of Jammu Kashmir, monasteries can be found in great number and can be accessed by making either Leh, Kargil or Padum the base. From Leh itself, there are two well marked out routes following which tourists can visit most of the important monasteries.
From Kargil, Cave and Rangdum Monasteries can be visited. Padum makes a good base to visit Karsha, Bardan, Phuktal, Sani, Tonde, Zangla and Stongdey monastery.
Diskit and Hundur Monastery are two other monasteries which can be visited on a trip to Ladakh in Jammu Kashmir, India.
The state of Himachal Pradesh in India, too, has a number of monasteries that can be visited by tourists. Primary amongst these are the Namgyal Monastery,Kye Monastery, Dhankar Monastery, Rewalsar Monastery, Guru Ghantal Monastery, Kardang Monastery, Shashur Monastery, Tayul Gompa, Thang Yug Gompa,Kungri Gompa, Nako Monastery, Tashigang gompa, Lippa Monasetry and Tabo Monastery. Amongst these, two monasteries, Tabo and Kye, have completed thousand years of existence.
The most important monastery of Sikkim, the north-eastern state of India is the Rumtek Monastery. The monastery is the seat of the exiled Karmapa of Tibet. Apart from this, tourists on the Sikkim Buddhist temple monastery trail also pay a visit to Pemayangtse Monastery, Phensang Monastery, Phodang Monastery, Ralang Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Tashiding Monastery and Yoksum Monastery. Similarly, in Arunachal Pradesh, yet another northeastern state of India, tourists love to pay a visit to temples and monasteries. The major drawers of tourists are the Tawang Monastery, the Urgelling Monastery and the Bomdilla Monastery. The Itanagar Buddhist Temple of Arunachal Pradesh is also a prime attraction for tourist visiting the tiny state.