"I teach suffering, its origin, cessation and path. That's all I teach"
When we delve deeper into this, we get the Four Noble Truths: the truth of suffering (Dukkha), the truth of the origin of suffering (SamudÄÂya), the truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha) and the truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga).
An ex-prince and a bhikkhu thought of all these sat under the Bodhi tree and this trail of deep thoughts led to a certain awakening. It was then and there that Siddhartha became the Buddha.
The religion saw it's early days in the kingdom of Magadha (now in present-day Bihar) and eventually spread outside the kingdom during the time of Gautama Buddha. If you follow the trail of Buddhism in India, you will find that the morthern part of the country, especially the Gangetic plain and the surrounding regions, were greatly influenced by the teachings of Lord Buddha. Uttar Pradesh happened to be one of those important places for Buddhism in the country. If you are one of those travellers interested in cultural trips, here's a circuit for you to consider:
Around 10 kilometres away from Varanasi is Sarnath, also known as the Karma Bhoomi of Buddha. Sarnath is important because this was where Buddha delivered his first sermon of Middle Path, right after attaining enlightenment. Also lies here in Sarnath, the Chaukhandi stupa that enshrines the relic of Buddha.
Jetavana in Sravasti is an important monastery as this was the place where Buddha gave most of his talks. He is also known to have spent 20 rainy seasons here in Sravasti.
This is the place where Lord Buddha gave his last sermon. Located on the eastern flanks of Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar is one of the four most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. The reclining statue at Mahaparinirvana Temple represents his Mahaparinirvana (something that occurs upon the death of the earthly body of someone who has attained nirvana); Ramabhar Stupa was where Lord Buddha was cremated.
Another important site, Kaushambi is where Lord Buddha delivered some of his most important sermons after his enlightenment.
There are a number of old monastery ruins and Buddhist monuments built during the time of Emperor Ashoka who, after the battle of Kalinga, embraced Buddhism.
Pipravaha – Kapilvastu
The erstwhile kingdom of Sakyas, the clan of Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha), Kapilvastu was where Lord Buddha spent almost 29 years of his life.
Gorakhpur city is the main terminus for the important Buddhist sites of Kushinagar, Kapilvastu and Lumbini in Nepal.