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Buddha – Following The Trails Around Bombay

Buddha – The trails around Bombay, The Indian state of Maharashtra has a rich Buddhist tradition, and is an excellent – though still barely known – destination for travelers seeking spiritual enlightenment. Pahari Dhamma Giri meditation center in the small Maharashtrian town of Igatpuri, at the end of the rainy season.

Giant rain drops fall on the banana leaves with strong rains, just a day with alcoholic perfumes strangely blooming flowers and waterfalls drown like distant hills like the tinsel lanes. At 4 o’clock in the morning, when the waking bells ring every morning, the tall trees smell like earth and mist surrounds elegant Burmese-style pagodas and gazabos, showing their statues of mythical lions and other statues As if they have just emerged another world.

It is a magical scene, which only matches the intensity of meditation. Those who come for 10-day courses (and I did some) spend long hours in the depths of their minds, employing meditation techniques originally taught by the Buddha, tinkering, observing, and reprinting. It is a rigorous process, invoking monastic rules – no matter, no full meals after noon, meditating 10 hours a day – which has given the courses the nickname “Meditation Marine”. But the results are so positive and so intense that the courses have grown in popularity purely by word of mouth, and travelers are increasingly fitting them into their routes to India.

There can be a more magical place than the experience of Dhamma Giri, just three hours east of Mumbai (formerly called Bombay). The city, still known to travelers for its excellent restaurants, architecture and shopping compared to its Buddhist history, is still there. Jumping point for other high-life visitors: Dharma (teachings of Buddha).

People in search of enlightenment in India usually visit Dharamshala ashrams and budget-friendly guesthouses in the north of the country or Bodhgaya in the east, or the “Buddhist Circuit” – the area around Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha used to live and Was taught. But the western state of Maharashtra also has a rich Buddhist tradition that dates back almost as Buddha and is an excellent – though still barely known – destination for travelers seeking spiritual enlightenment.

The reason for Maharashtra’s good deeds is that Mumbai has been an important port for millennia, and the Buddha’s teachings often traveled along trade routes. Around the second century BCE, when the teaching reached the area and monastic communities emerged, a vast network of rock cave dwellings – mostly monks sleeping and meditating – were carved along the avenues. This construction continued for a thousand years, and it is believed that there are about 1,200 caves in the area, many of which can be easily seen from Mumbai today.

The caves of Ajanta and Ellora are about seven hours north-east of the city, with some of the most beautiful art and architecture of Buddhism. The 30 caves of Ajanta were carved in several centuries, in the second century BCE, and have stunning ornate murals depicting the life and earlier life of the Buddha. Unlike other caves whose paintings have faded or been lost over time, Ajanta was abandoned and uprooted for several hundred years, helping to preserve them.

The 34 caves at Ellora, built in the later stages of Buddhism between the 5th and 7th centuries, are a marvelous area of ​​Buddhists, as well as Hindu and Jain sculpture: 5 meter tall stone Buddha domed teach the religion at the center of meditation. Hall; Other giant Buddhas are absorbed in meditation sitting in caves, majestic chic-bats against the scorching sun outside; And the Hindu gods are seen jumping from the rock walls as the Hindus dance.

As old as Ajanta but simpler – and, some would say, more sophisticated – the design features the Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa caves – 30 in total – located two hours south-east of Mumbai near the tranquil hill station of Lonavala. The earlier caves here are minimal, elegant and well-organized – perfect for the rainy season. Animated Hindu deities and Mahayana Buddhist figures, wearing all manner of stone decoration, were added later, mostly in the 5th to 10th centuries.

Monastic cave life can also be seen within Mumbai. 109 Kanheri Caves, a part of a monastic complex spanning nearly 1,000 years, are located right on the northern edge of Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park. And Elephanta Island, home to a mix of Hindu and Buddhist caves, is an easy day trip for visitors, just a short ferry ride from the famous Gateway of India monument on the city’s southeastern coast.

The teachings of the Buddha gradually disappeared from India between the 8th and 12th centuries, but have been revived in recent years. BR Ambedkar, a Maharashtrian lawyer, human rights activist and author of the Indian Constitution (you can see where he studied and practiced law in the city center) was also a Dalit – the lowest caste in Hinduism – who practiced Buddhism. Discriminated against the Moral platform.
He inspired millions of Indians, especially Maharashtrians, to convert to Buddhism in the 1950s, and today you can see Buddhist villages and temples across the state built in his honor. The largest Ambedkar stupa is in Nagpur city of far north-eastern Maharashtra, but in the Dadar neighborhood of Mumbai, Dr. The Ambedkar Memorial is the Chaityabhoomi Memorial, where regular ceremonies are held in his honor. Major conversions attended by major and sometimes thousands in October and December are definitely worth a visit.

Maharashtrians, already familiar with the teaching of the Buddha through Ambedkar, were particularly receptive to meditation courses, which became popular in India in the 1950s, SN Goenka, an Indian who grew up and learned meditation in Burma . Today there are 13 retreat centers across the state – including Dhamma Giri and an authority in Mumbai, the Dhamma Patlana Vipassana Center – which are open to international visitors as well as locals.

The center of Mumbai is located in the shadow of the memorial Vipassana Global Pagoda on Gorai Island, a short ferry ride from Mumbai’s Borivali neighborhood. In keeping with Burma’s famous Shvedagon Pagoda, the 96-meter-high golden pagoda rises like a mirage. Built in 2008 to showcase the Buddha’s teaching, the pagoda is the largest unsupported dome structure in the world, joined together using an ancient technique of interlocking blocks. It has a museum and Caverns Meditation Hall to seat 8,000 people.

Panicked at the base of the Pagoda Tower, as if they were in the stupa 2,000 years ago, there are pearl-made relics of the Buddha – their presence is considered conducive to meditation. So you can take a meditation course beneath the relics of the Buddha and reflect the imperfection, as people have done in Maharashtra, perhaps even at that exact place, for centuries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Trails Around Bombay

Q. Which place is famous for Buddhist caves in Maharashtra?

A – Ajanta caves are about 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments, dating from the second century BCE to about 480 BCE in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India.

Q. How many Buddhist caves are there in Maharashtra?

A – Located at the western end of Mumbai, these 19 rock-cut caves are dedicated to Buddhism. Unlike other monuments in India, the caves are very clean and immaculate.

Q. How many caves are there in Maharashtra?

A – The total number of caves is twelve; Of which cave numbers 3 and 7 are the most attractive. Caves 1 to 5 are in the western group and caves 6 to 10 are in the eastern group. Elephanta caves are in the magnificent Elephanta island, which is 11 km from Mumbai.

Q. How many Buddhist caves are there in India?

A – Around 1200 cave temples are still in existence, most of which are Buddhist.

Q. Which is the oldest cave in India?

A – The Barabar hill caves are notable for being the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India. They mostly date back to the Mauryan dynasty and Emperor Ashoka’s time in the third century BC.

Q. Who found Ellora caves?

A – Its construction 757-783 AD. During this period, it was performed by Krishna I, who was the uncle of Dantidurga. The Hindu caves built in the Kalachuri period from 6th to 8th century were built in two phases. 14, 15, 16 caves were built in the Rashtrakuta period.

Q. Who built the Carla Caves?

A – This great Chaitya cave, the largest in South Asia, was built between 50–70 CE, and 120 CE, during the reign of the Western satrap ruler Nahapan, who recorded the dedication of the cave in an inscription.

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