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6 Places that Celebrate Buddha Jayanti with Sheer Devotion!

While Bihar, the birthplace and the place of enlightenment for Lord Buddha celebrates Buddha Jayanti in several places, central and other north-Indian parts of India also observe it on a mass level.

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The annual celebration that is observed on the first full moon according to the Hindu calendar month of Vishakha is Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti. But do you know the significance of the day? This day commemorates the birth of Lord Gautam Buddha. The day is celebrated in various other countries as well and one of the main Buddhist festivals is in South, Southeast and Southeast Asia. It is an ode to the three major phases of Buddha's life: his birth, his attaining enlightenment, and his death, Paranirvana. 
With Gautam Buddha being celebrated in various countries like Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam, Mynmar, Singapore, Bangladesh, Tibet, Malaysia and more, the traditions and rituals to celebrate this day differ. However, some of the common rituals include bathing Buddha statues and offering flowers. Some devotees also observe Satyanarayan Vrat and perform various puja rituals on this auspicious day. Back in India, this day also accounts for people taking holy baths in Ganga ghats in various cities in the North. But do you know where is Buddha Jayanti celebrated the most in India? Well, check this out! 

1. Bodh Gaya, Bihar

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The state of Bihar is a prominent place in Gautam Buddha's life and there is a reason behind it. The documented history of ancient India suggests that the rulers and people worshipped Buddha at that time. Bodh Gaya is the place where Gautam Buddha obtained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. On this occasion, the Mahabodhi temple of Bodh Gaya sees great enthusiasm and a huge celebration is organised by the devotees. Even around the temple, the entire town is filled with processions, fair and fun where the devotees are seen celebrating the lessons by Buddha. 

2. Vaishali, Bihar

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One of the important places in Lord Buddha's life was Vaishali which is now a great Buddhist pilgrimage and also the birthplace of Lord Mahvira. According to the history of Vaishali mentioned on the official website of the place, Buddha spent a lot of time here and also preached his last sermon before his Nirvana. Buddha's relics were also buried here which attracts a lot of tourist attention to the place. Buddha Jayanti sees a great participation of locals and tourists alike at the Buddha Stupa where they go around the structure in circles considering it auspicious. 

3. Rajgir, Bihar

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Located in the Nalanda district, Rajgir would serve as the capital city for the Magadha kingdom for more than 500 years, which also includes the time of Buddha's life. Hence, the city has also been sacred to the devotees of Buddhism and Jainism. it is believed that Gautam Buddha performed miracles there, as well as preached some of his most famous sermons there. Even today, Rajgir boats of the culture and dedicate their shrines to Gautam Buddha and the city also houses one of the 80 pagodas of the world that catch the attention of tourists. Buddha Jayanti makes this place lively and bustling with crowds, devotees and people who come to Rajgir for tourism purposes during this time.

4. Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

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Commissioned by emperor Ashoka the Great and supervised by Ashoka’s wife in the 3rd century BC, the Great Sanchi Stupa signifies to honour and shelter of the relics of Buddha. You must also know that it is one of the best-preserved ancient stupas in central India. It is also one of the oldest stone structures in India and an important Buddhist monument. Today, the place will mark a host of festivities to celebrate the teachings of Lord Buddha with a huge crowd participating in it.

5. Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh

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Sarnath is considered to be one of the holiest sites for the Buddhist pilgrimage in India. Lord Buddha is believed to have delivered his first sermon here after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya. The Dhamek Stupa marks the historical moment which is also one of the most visited and revered Buddhist structures in the world. Built by the Mauryan King, Ashoka, this site celebrates Buddha Jayanti with devotion and joy.

6. Dhauligiri, Odisha 

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Another spiritually important state for Buddhism, Odisha has also attracted tourism over the sites related to Gautam Buddha. However, the Peace Pagoda or the Dhauli Giri Shanti Stupa offers a glimpse into the Buddha's life. There are reclining Buddha, an elephant procession, the bodhi tree and footprints of Buddha bearing the chakra (wheel) adorn the main stone panels. On the eve of Buddha Jayanti, the Stupa, along with the entire place lights up and celebrates the day with sheer enthusiasm!

Places celebrating Buddha Jayanti Places to celebrate Buddha Jayanti