The most important places in Buddhism are located in the Indo-Gangetic Plain of southern Nepal and northern India. This is the area where Gautama Buddha was born, lived, and taught, and the main sites connected to his life are now important places of pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus. Many countries that are or were predominantly Buddhist have shrines and places which can be visited as a pilgrimage.

Pilgrims, Tsurphu Gompa, Tibet, 1993

Sites associated with Buddha's life

Four main pilgrimage sites listed by Buddha himself

Gautama Buddha himself had identified the following four sites most worthy of pilgrimage for his followers, observing that these would produce a feeling of spiritual urgency:[1]

The Eight Great Places of pilgrimage

In addition the four sites mentioned earlier (Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar), the Buddhist texts later written by Buddha's followers also mention four more sacred sites where a certain miraculous event is reported to have occurred, thus completing the list of "Attha-mahathanani" (Pali for "The Eight Great Places") in India:[2]

The Eight Great Places in Buddhism (Four Great Places are plotted in red.)

Other sites related to Buddha's travels

Main article: Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India

Tibetan pilgrim, Rewalsar Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Some other pilgrimage places in India and Nepal connected to the life of Gautama Buddha are mostly located in the Gangetic plain.

Alphabetically by states

Please help expand this incomplete list.

Chronologically by routes

In the order of places traveled by Buddha. Please help expand this incomplete list.

Other pilgrimage places by country

Other famous places for Buddhist pilgrimage in various countries include:

Elderly pilgrim, Tsurphu Gompa, Tibet, 1993

See also


  1. ^ The Buddha mentions these four pilgrimage sites in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. See, for instance, Thanissaro (1998)[1] and Vajira & Story (1998)[2].
  2. ^ See Chan for all
  3. ^ a b Dhamma patthana,
  4. ^ a b Aastha Pugdal Pagoda at Kumaspur (Kamas Nigam in Sonepat, SDBST.