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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 29, 2019
Headline for 5 Most famous Buddhist temples in India – Remnants of Buddhist heritage
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5 Most famous Buddhist temples in India – Remnants of Buddhist heritage

India is said to be the birthplace of Buddhism. With temples and UNESCO sites, the country is visited by pilgrims in thousands, and those who plan to visit India must consider visiting these temples.

1

Mahabodhi Temple

Located in Bodh Gaya – in the same city area as Oaks Bodhgaya – Mahabodhi temple marks the location where Buddha attained enlightenment. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, this house of religion is revered by Buddhists from all over the world. The temple is visited regularly by both Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. There's also a Bodhi tree which is believed to be a descendant of the tree under which Buddha reached enlightenment. If you are planning to look in on this holy site, you can easily find a modern Bodhgaya hotel for your accommodation.

2

Wat Thai Temple

The most ideal site for those who want to meditate, Wat Thai temple is known for its serene, tranquil atmosphere. Located in Kushinagar, the temple also embodies a prayer hall for those who wish to sit for a while in contemplation. The architectural charm of the temple is one of the many attributes that dazzles pilgrims in combination with the surrounding lush greenery.

3

Mahaparinirvana Temple

One of the holiest Buddhist shrines in the whole world, Mahaparinirvana temple is visited by both pilgrims as well as tourists who want to admire its architectural splendour. The temple is known for its reclining Buddha statue which is six feet long. The reclining Buddha statue holds significant importance in Buddhist culture; it demonstrates the moment when Buddha finally attained peace by exiting the material world for good – it is believed that his entire existence – body and soul – came to an end. The temple was built by the Buddhist follower Swami Haribala.

4

Sanchi Stupa

This is said to be one of the oldest stone structures in India. It houses artwork that represents Buddhism. Even if you don't hold religion in the highest esteem, Sanchi Stupa is a must-visit if you are touring India. The massive dome houses relics of Buddha, and it has four gateways with intricate carvings. The temple has fascinating history behind its construction – it was built with the sponsorship of Emperor Ashoka's wife and his daughter. The brilliant architecture can render anyone speechless. This religious site is also a UNESCO world heritage site and is located in Madhya Pradesh. The architectural brilliance and the alluring history of the site make it a must-visit.

5

Golden Pagoda of Namsai

Golden Pagoda is located in Arunachal Pradesh at the foothills of Eastern Himalayas. The pagoda embodies twelve domes, and it stretches over twenty hectares. The best time to visit the site is November which is the festival month – the ceremonious Kathina festival is celebrated in November which is held in the temple grounds. Golden Pagoda is quite the new addition to India's Buddhist dominion; the temple was built in 2010, and it is said that the cost was more than USD 400,000.

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