Himalayan Religion - India Vacation Packages
Explore the vibrant Himalayan religion in your exclusive Himalaya trip. Buddhism is the dominating Himalayan religion, which is being followed for long by the local people.
Buddhism has an ancient hostory that goes back to
2,500 years. During all this time, Buddhism has grown from a small religious
fraternity in northern India into a movement that is spread over the globe
today. The remarkable vitality and adaptability of Buddhism has transformed
the civilizations of India, South East Asia, Tibet, China, Korea and Japan.
Buddhism has slowly started making its presence felt in the exclusive
European, Australian and the American cultures. Buddhism takes a very
straightforward look at our human conditions.
The historical origin of Buddhism starts with Siddhartha Gautam who was
born into a princely family in 566 B.C. He eventually renounced his life of
privilege, left his wife & son and became an ascetic. After years of
struggle, the auspicious moment in his life came, when he sat under a tree
and evolved to the meaning of life. The Buddhist philosophy emigrated from
India to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), China, Japan, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and,
ultimately, the Western World.
Buddhism is divided into two different sects that are the Hinayana and the
Mahayana. While the Hinayanis look after their own nirvana, or
enlightenment, the Mahayanis believe in nirvana of all living creatures to
be their aim and objective. The four holy sites as places of pilgrimage for
Buddhists are Lumbini, where the Buddha was born, Bodh Gaya, where the
Buddha was enlightened under the Bodhi tree; Sarnath, where the Buddha gave
his first teaching of the Dharma and Kusinagara, where the Buddha passed
away. The core of Buddhism lies in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. Bodh Gaya was thought
to be the very center of the universe. The viharas are worth visiting for
their splendid decor and distinctive architecture.
Tibet emerged as an important center of Buddhism in the northern Himalayas.
The major influence of Tibet on Ladakh's religious culture is evident from
the fact that Ladakh is part of the great Tibetan plateau and cut off from
India by the formidable barrier of the great Himalayan ranges. The
population of central and eastern Ladakh displays predominantly Tibetan
racial features and the Ladakhi language is a dialect of Tibetan. The
Vajrayana sect of Mahayana Buddhism is the dominant form of the religion in
Ladakh with a mixture of the animistic Bon faith and ancient Hindu
practices. The central and east Ladakh are mainly Buddhist areas while west
Ladakh mainly comprises of shia muslims.
The most attractive feature of the landscape of Ladakh are the Buddhist
gompas. These aesthetically pleasing and architecturally interesting gompas
provide the focus for the faith of the highly religious Buddhist people.
They are the places of worship, isolated meditation and religious
instructions for the young. Beautiful paintings of the Buddha, Boddhisatvas,
Dishapals, Dharmchakras and Mandals adorn the walls and the inner chambers
of these exclusive gompas.