BUDDHA IN INDIA
The Bodhi tree under which the Bodhisatva attained enlightenment exists even today. A large chunk of devotees pay homage to the tree. The historical place at which the Enlightenment took place became a place of pilgrimage. About 250 years after the Enlightenment, the Buddhist Emperor, Asoka visited the site. It is believed that he constructed Mahabodhi Temple , a monastery and offered a diamond throne to the shrine here.
Sarnath is one of important Buddhist site where the Buddha preached his first sermon in the Deer Park . The Dharmarajika, Chaukhandi and Dharnek stupas are eye catching monuments here. There are also the remains of a monastery, and the beautifully polished Lion Capital of Ashoka. The Buddha taught his first sermon to five ascetic monks with whom he had practiced austerities.
Kushinagar, where Shakyamuni entered mahaparinirvana is an important pilgrimage site. The breathed his last between two sala tree here in Kushinagar. The Buddha forecasted about his death from Rajgir and indicated the place for his mahaparinirvana would be Kushinagar. The Buddha did not choose big cities like Rajgir and Shravasti for his passing away. Kushinagar was his personal choice for mahaparinirvana as it was the had been Kushavati his capital in his previous life when he born as a Bodhisatva king.
The Buddha from his death bed asked his disciples if they had any remaining perplexities concerning the doctrine or the discipline. Receiving silence, he gave them the famous exhortation: "Impermanence is inherent in all things. Work out your own salvation with diligence." Then, passing through the meditative absorptions, Shakyamuni Buddha entered mahaparinirvana. The earth shook, stars shot from the heavens, the sky in the ten directions burst forth in flames and the air was filled with celestial music. The master's body was washed and robed once more, then wrapped in a thousand shrouds and placed in a precious casket and cremated after 7 days. Gods, nagas and men worshipped his body for seven days. His relic was divided into eight shares and different stupas were erected enshrining it.