Asia is synonymous with spiritualism and Buddha is the first thing that comes to our mind when talking about spirituality. Buddhists all over the world throng the various pilgrimage sites that are characteristic of the Asian landscape. Buddhist pilgrim destinations are also popular among those who love the distinctive architecture depicted by the pagodas, monasteries and retreats. So, here is a list of the top 5 Buddhist destinations in Asia.
Bodhgaya is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Hence this place is the most revered among the followers of Buddhism. It is said that it was here that Lord Buddha sat under a peepul tree and meditated to find solutions to mankind’s’ misery. The Maha Bodhi temple is the temple constructed here for visitors to come, pray and pay their respects to the great soul. Being one of the oldest brick buildings in this part of India, the temple has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
Temples of Bangkok, Thailand
Apart from being a tourist destination for its beaches and night life, Bangkok has a spiritual tourist following too. The city is studded with a number of temples and monasteries with the Wat Trimitr being the most famous one. This temple is 900 years old and has a solid gold Buddha statue installed in its sanctum. The biggest and probably the oldest one is however the Wat Po temple. This has a gigantic reclining Buddha to its credit. Another beautiful Buddha temple in Bangkok is Wat Benjamaborpitr, which has a Buddha Statue carved in white marble. All these are a must visit because of the Buddhist chants and the tranquility they impart that leave you completely unwound.
Mount Koya, Japan
Buddhism is the most popular religion of Japan and hence Japan has many Buddhist monasteries. Mount Koya is a holy mountain and is the centre for Shingon Buddhism followers. It was built as a tribute to its founder Kobo Daishi, the founder of the sect. Also known as Koya-San, this monastery welcomes visitors and hence has accommodation available on the mountain. The tourists are encouraged to join the meditation sessions conducted in the morning and evening. Tourists can approach the temple by train from mainland Osaka that happens to be the nearest city in the vicinity of the temple.
Lhama Tibetan Temple, China
This Buddhist temple is the largest in Beijing. It is the centre for the Chinese New Year celebrations every year. Buddhists from various parts of China come here on this day, to pray for prosperity. This is closely associated with Tibetan culture and is a peaceful temple to visit. The temple was originally meant as a palace but later converted to house the temple.
Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, situated 200 miles from Kathmandu. It is the most sacred of all pilgrim areas for the Buddhists. The MayaDevi Temple that is located here is a dedication to the mother of the Lord. There is also a sacred stone in this place that marks the spot where Buddha was born.