Edited by Piya Chakravarty; vii, 117p., Full of Col. Photos., 28x32 cm.
The pilgrims' progress has continued for centuries ever since the Buddha turned the Wheel of his Dhamma at Sarnath. For a Buddhist, a pilgrimage refers to the journey from ignorance to enlightenment, from materialism to a sense of the eternal. For the pilgrim, the ultimate goal of reaching the destination, that is the sacred place, represents 'Nirvana' or the great 'Nothingness' and becoming one with the Universe. But how does a mere ancient peepal tree or the ruins of a stone edifice bring about such deep consciousness in a man? The act of visiting sacred sites brings pilgrims into living contact with the icons and energies of Buddhism. The sacred sites themselves continually make pilgrims aware of the liberating power of the true Buddhist faith. Immense contribution has been made by personalities such as Ashoka the Great, the Buddhist King of Magadha to mark, build and preserve sacred sites for posterity. Be it Bodhgaya in India, or Kyoto, on the distant shores of Japan, the Buddhist sites touched the lives of the pilgrims profoundly. This well-researched book on the World's Buddhist Sites, endeavours to present to the reader and pilgrim alike, not only a pictorial depiction of the notable Buddhist sites of the world, but also an integrated resource for the study of the architectural diversity of Buddhist structures; all the way from Nepal and India where Buddhism was born and propagated, to the deserts of Afghanistan or the cliffs of the Shanxi province of China, all laboriously and exquisitely carved by monk artists and sculptors.