New Year’s Buddhist pilgrimage is a unique and indispensable cultural feature for the spiritual life of Asian people. Asia owns many ancient temples and pagodas associated with historical relics. Those places are interesting destinations that attract tourists from all over the world. Spring travel to discover one of the famous pilgrimage temples below will make your soul pure and bring joy in the new year.
1. Four Sacred Sites, India
Four Sacred Sites – four sacred Buddhist relics including Lumbini (where the Buddha was born), Bodh Gaya (where the Buddha attained enlightenment), Sarnath (where Buddha preached the Dharma), Kushinagar (where Buddha passed away), all associated with the life of the Buddha’s propaganda in India. Every year, millions of monks and nuns, Buddhists, followers all over the world come to worship and enlighten, to add faith in the three treasures and energy to love …
Located at the base of the Himalayas, Lumbini, about 25km east of the city of Kapilavastu, is the sacred pilgrimage ground of Buddhism. Here Queen Mayadevi gave birth to the Buddha Shakyamuni, who brought compassion to all.
Lumbini has become a prime mecca for Buddhists. The most prominent feature of Lumbini is the 2.56 km2 large sacred garden with important relics such as Puskarni Lake, Mayadevi Temple and especially the stone pillar of King Ashoka.
Bodhgaya is considered the first Buddhist relic, as well as the largest Buddhist center in India and where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Every year, Buddhists in India and around the world come here to admire the bodhi tree where the Buddha meditated for 49 days, especially on the traditional Buddhist holidays.
In 2002, the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. Mahabodhi temple is a sacred place, built in a quadrilateral 52m high. The main hall with the majestic gilded Buddha image becomes even more sacred in the beliefs of millions of Buddhist followers who worship, offer flowers, pray …
Sarnath is considered a holy land of Buddhism and is one of the indispensable pilgrimage places when coming to Varanasi city, Uttar Pradesh state, India. Sarnath, also known as the Deer Park, where the Buddha preached the natural law of all things to five ascetic monks during the first lecture.
Pilgrims visiting and admiring the Sarnath Garden will not be able to miss the outstanding destinations of this place. In particular, pilgrims can visit the Ganges River in the early morning, which is considered the sacred stream of breast milk. Visitors can walk along the banks of the Ganges river by boat and watch the sunrise, watch the cremation ground and the bathing ritual.
From Varanasi, pilgrims will move forward to Kushinagar, a village of India. This is where the old Buddha entered nirvana. Along the way, visitors can also visit places like the Mahaparinirvana Temple, where the 6m-long Buddha statue is located in the posture of nirvana and the Ramabhar tower, where the cremation of the Buddha is held.
2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The land of mysterious ancient temples is a great destination for Buddhists, or those who love to explore the history and natural landscape. The ancient relics that make all humanity respect such as populations of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Silver pagoda, Wat Phnom pagoda … will be the ideal stopover in the spring pilgrimage trip with family.
Coming to Cambodia without visiting Angkor Wat – one of the 7 wonders of the world recognized by UNESCO will be a major shortcoming because this wonder has become the pride of the “land of the pagoda”.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. The temple complex is located in Siem Riep province and 320km north of Phnom Penh capital. Angkor Wat shows the culmination of Khmer architecture with oval towers and meticulously carved walls depicting the spiritual life of the ancient Khmer. The temple is the pride of the Cambodian people and is used as a symbol on the national flag of this country.
3. Shwedagon Pagoda complex, Myanmar
Myanmar has long been a familiar pilgrimage destination for Buddhists around the world. The most prominent place is the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. In splendid gold and decorated with diamonds and gems, Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is one of the most beautiful and sacred Buddhist constructions in Myanmar.
With the age of 2500 years, this is the holiest Buddhist place in Myanmar. The pagoda holds four treasures for Buddhists: Buddha’s cue stick Luu-ton, the water filter of the Buddha, the piece of Buddha’s lettuce, and 8 hairs of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Shwedagon is not an ordinary single temple but it is a temple complex consisting of 1,000 pagodas surrounding the central tower pagoda, of which 72 temples are built of stone. Spread over an area of 50,000 m2, Shwedagon Pagoda was built on the sacred hill of Singuttara, with the highest tower up to 99m. The entire temple area has gilded Buddhist towers with sophisticated architecture, but the giant main tower is still the center of attention of all devotees and visitors. The top of the tower is encrusted with 5448 diamonds and 2317 rubies, the top is a 76 carat diamond (15g). From anywhere in the city, pilgrims can see this impressive construction
4. Daigo-ji Pagoda– Kyoto, Japan
Japan possesses many ancient Buddhist architectural works, hundreds or thousands of years old. Therefore, these temples have witnessed many ups and downs and prosperity of the country throughout its history.
Daigo-ji Temple is located in Fushimi-ku, one of the 11 districts of the ancient capital of Kyoto. This temple has a long history of development, has an ancient, gentle beauty and was recognized by UNESCO as a “World Cultural Heritage” in 1994.
In Daigo-ji temple there are many national treasures and important cultural assets. The architectures recognized as the national treasure are “Seiryu Guhaiden”, “Yakushi-do” Medicine Master of Kamidaigo; Golden Tang “Kon-do”, Library “Omote-shoin” of the Three Jewels “Sanpo-in”; Wooden statues of the Medicine Buddha Tathagata with 2 small Buddha statues on either side,…
Daigo-ji is surrounded by forests of more than 300 hectares with many large and perennial trees. Therefore, during every seasons of the year, this place is always filled with beautiful natural scenery and it is also the place where the festival celebrates the beauty of cherry blossoms – Japanese cultural beauty.
5. Yakcheonsa Pagoda , South Korea
As a country with a long cultural history, Korea also has many famous sacred temples. Among the most mentioned temples, Yakcheonsa Pagoda is located at 1165 Taepo Dong Street, Jeju Island, Korea. Every year, the temple attracts many tourists from all over the world. With an extremely unique and beautiful aesthetic architecture, Yakcheonsa is honored to be on the list of the most stately and modern Buddhist temples in Asia.
Entering the main temple of the pagoda, visitors will admire more than 18,000 beautiful gilded Buddha statues, 500 statues of A Arhat are carved in wood very elaborate and meticulously. In the temple grounds, there is a very clean stream, beautiful white water blows away water bubbles. Those who visit the temple drink this cool water for good luck. Many people even say that water is very good for heath.