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The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of Buddhism. Here is where the Buddha was born, where he lived and died. Here is where the first Buddhist councils were established, where the first monks practiced meditation, where the first stupas were built, where the great monasteries like Nalanda were established, where scholars from elsewhere in the Buddhist world came to learn Buddhism and so on. The earliest historical sites related to Buddhism were here too.
In this book we provide an overview of historical sites related to Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent: including India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Here too, we only mention some of the most important sites, for listing out all sites related to Buddhism is virtually impossible on account of their great number. We have also covered holy sites belonging to all the important sects of Buddhism, including Theravada and Mahayana and Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. Our preference is to focus on historically important and more famous sites.
For the purposes of this book, we leave out other important Asian Buddhist countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Japan for now. We will consider covering those sites in a separate book at a later time.
For the purpose of covering the sites, we group them based on proximity. The author has personally visited most of the sites mentioned in this book in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
The aim of this book is to provide the prospective traveler and pilgrim an overview of the sites so that they too can visit and see for themselves.