Buddhist Circuit Of UP Gears Up For Grand Celebration of Buddha Purnima on May 23

New Delhi, 23 May: Buddha Purnima is a festival celebrated by Buddhists all over the world signifying the Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha. Uttar Pradesh has strong ties with Buddhism and the festival is celebrated here by the people with reverence. There are 6 places that form the buddhist circuit of UP namely- Kapilvastu, Shravasti, Sankisa, Kaushambi, Sarnath and Kushinagar.

In Kapilvastu, located in Siddharthnagar district, Siddhartha Gautama spent his first 29 years and then renounced his royal life to seek the truth. Shravasti is where Buddha spent 25 rainy seasons in Jetavana. In Sankisa, Lord Buddha descended from Devaloka to Earth . Kaushambi where Buddha visited in the sixth and ninth years of enlightenment. Varanasi’s Sarnath is where he delivered his first sermon, the ‘Four Noble Truths’, offering timeless solutions to contemporary issues. Kushinagar marks the site of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana.

Along with these places, Ramgram Stupa, in Maharajganj district, is believed to have housed Buddha’s relics, and Devdaha is recognized as the maternal home of Queen Mayadevi, Prajapati Gautami, and Princess Yashodhara.

These sites, each with their unique historical and cultural significance, will host a series of events including seminars, cultural programs, religious processions (Shobha Yatra) and many more on 23 May, ‘The Buddha Purnima’. The programs will be organized by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department and the International Buddhist Research Centre.

The International Buddhist Research Centre located in Lucknow is also organizing a program on the occasion of Buddha Purnima with the theme of ‘Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites in the State: Historical and Cultural Significance’. Principal Secretary of Tourism and Culture, Mukesh Kumar Meshram, will be the chief guest of the program.

A panel discussion featuring distinguished speakers such as Ven. Dr. Julampitiye Punyasara Mahasthavira from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Professor Uma Shankar Vyas from Nav Nalanda University, Bihar, and Professor Ram Nakshatra Prasad will highlight the historical and cultural importance of the Buddhist sites. Additionally, essay and painting competitions themed ‘Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites: Sarnath’ will encourage participants to display and depict the history and culture of Sarnath.

The Buddhist Circuit attracts a significant number of tourists and the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department is taking initiatives to enhance facilities at these sites. Efforts are underway to develop infrastructure and amenities in Sarnath, Sankisa, Kushinagar, and other key locations to accommodate and enrich the visitor experience.