Buddhist Temples

 

 

Buddhism is more than two millennia old religion. This religion influenced billions of people around the world. The teachings of Buddha are the main basis of Buddhism. To promote the teachings of this religion, Buddhist Sanghas were established and many rules were introduced for the followers of this religion. Some buildings like stupa, chaitya and vihara are typically used for the propagation and practice of Buddhism. These architectures were used by the monks and other followers for prayers and as residence.

In different regions of India and the world several Buddhist architectures were made. Some architectural monuments were called as temples. Some Buddhist temples in different regions of India are as follows:

Mahabodhi Temple:

This is very famous Buddhist temple erected at Bodh Gaya in Bihar state in India. Bodh Gaya is the place where Sidhartha Gautam attained enlightenment. Beside this temple there is a peepal tree erected called Bodhi tree.This is the same tree sitting under which Siddhartha had got the enlightenment. Emperor Ashoka takes the credit for making this temple. Since its construction Mahabodhi temple suffered destruction and restoration on many occasions.

After the invasion of Muhammad Bin Qasim, many Hindu religious establishments were dismantled and Mahabodhi temple was also included in that rage. Though finally in 1880s under the guidance of Sir Alexander Cunningham, British Indian Government restored the temple. In June 2002, the Mahabodhi Temple was included as UNESCO World Heritage Site, specifically nominated for the international World heritage program.

Nalanda:

Nalanda is presently located 55 miles south east of Patna. It’s been an ancient Buddhist center for learning between 427 CE to 1197 CE. It has been called one of the first great universities in recorded history. Nalanda was also one of the firsts in residential universities. It had big dormitories and it could accommodate 10000 thousands students and 2000 teachers. It invited students from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Turkey, Persia and from other reasons around the world. This university was known to be an “architectural masterpiece” it was also marked by a lofty wall and one gate. In 1193 this university was attacked by Turkish invader Bakhtiyar Khilji who brought it to ruins. This incident is also seen as a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. Presently the plans of its revival are on with a rapid pace. Singapore, Japan and India have planned out to make a new university at that place.

Chaukhandi Stupa:

This important Buddhist stupa is located 13 kilometers from Sarnath, India. Stupas are the holy Buddhist places where the remains of Buddha or important Buddhist saints are buried. This stupa is thought to have been made at the place where Buddha had met his five disciples. It was made between 4th to 6th century CE under the rule of Guptas.

Dhamek Stupa:

This stupa is also built in Sarnath. This was constructed by emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE.This is built in the place where Budhha after getting enlightenment gave his first sermon to his disciples and set in the motion the Wheel of Dhamma (Dhammachakkapravartina).Dhamek stupa is the biggest structure in Saranath. It’s cylindrical in form, 43.6 meters high and 28 meters in diameter. It’s built solidly on bricks and stones.

Rumtek Monastery:

This Tibetan Buddhist monastery is also called Dharmachakra Centre and located in Sikkim, India. It was originally built by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in 1740. Rumtek played as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim for some time. But when the 16th Karmapa arrived in Sikkim in 1959, having fled before the Chinese occupation of Tibet, it was not kept well. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek monastery. In his opinion, the site possessed many auspicious qualities and was surrounded by the most favorable attributes. For instance, flowing channels, mountains behind, a snow range in front, and a river below. Indian government and Sikkim royal family helped a lot to make the place a permanent abode for the Karmapa in exile.

Other Important Buddhist Temples in India Are as follows:

  • Sera Jey Monastry
  • Namdroling Monastery

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