Goutam Buddha Statue in Hussain Sagar Lake and The Heart of the World

Hussain Sagar Lake is a 5.7 square kilometer lake, which separates the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. A 18-meter high white granite monolithic statue of Gautama Buddha, weighing 350 tons was installed on the Gibraltar Rock in the middle of the Lake in 1992.

Gautama Buddha statue in Hussain Sagar Lake
Gautama Buddha statue in Hussain Sagar Lake.

Hussain Sagar Lake was built in 1563 by Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah. ruler of the kingdom of Golconda from 1550 to 1580. The lake was designed by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali and hence got its name. The lake gets its waters through a canal from river Musi.

UNWTO, World Tourism Organization, has declared this heritage lake as the ‘Heart of the World’ in 2012 on the occasion of the World Tourism day. UNWTO described the lake as “World’s largest heart mark, the world’s wonderful heart mark & the world’s heritage heart mark”. (Please click the link in the fist sentence of this para, to see the declaration.)

Birla Mandir at Hyderabad near Hussain Sagar Lake
Birla Mandir at Hyderabad near Hussain Sagar Lake.

The Tank Bund road along the shores of the lake is a major tourist spot with many landmarks like Birla Mandir, Lumbini Park, Sanjeevaiah Park, NTR Gardens, Tomb of Saidani Maa Sahebaa, Patton Tank (one among the war trophies of India ), etc.

World’s Tallest Monolith Statue of Gautam Buddha

World’s tallest monolith statue of Lord Buddha is inside the lake on the Hussain Sagar Island. Hussain sagar buddha statue accident, in which 10 people were killed, happened during transportation of the statue of Gautam Buddha to Gibraltar Rock in the island. The Goutam Buddha statue which fell into the lake. Bhagwan Buddha statue was salvaged after 2 years and was erected on a concrete platform measuring 15 feet in Hussain Sagar Island inside the lake. There are boat services to the the lake, to see this magnificent Statue of siddhartha buddha or Bhagwan Buddha or Lord Buddha. Boat ride takes around 15 minutes.

Yacht Club of Hyderabad

The Yacht Club is situated inside Sanjeevaiah Park, located north of the lake. The yacht club gives sailing and Kayaking training to youths. Sailing Boat and Sailing Gear of different types like Kayak, Lasers, Optimists (for children), Omegas, etc. are there in the Yacht Club of Hyderabad. The club has its own safety & rescue vessels.

How Do I Go to Hussain Sagar Lake?

The Lake is situated at the heart of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Hyderabad and Secunderabad railway stations are the nearest major railway stations to the lake. Hyderabad International airport is the nearest airport to the Lake. Ramoji Filmcity is at a distance of around 32 kilometers from this Lake.

Vaishali,World's First Republic & Archaeological Site

Vaishali, considered to be World’s First Republic and currently an Archaeological site, is situated in the district with same name, Vaishali, in Bihar state of India.

VaishaliThe relic Stupa at Vaishali, where ashes of Buddha are believed to be kept. Photo Source : Creative commons Licensed under CC BY 2.5.

In 6th century B.C., representatives were elected for the assembly in Vaishali. It is believed to be World’s first Republic. Archaeologists have unearthed a huge mound with a seating capacity of 700 people, which is believed to be World’s first legislative building. There is a Coronation tank called “Abhiskek Pushkarn”. It is believed that all elected representatives were anointed here before they swear-in as members of assembly.

Lord Gautam Buddha visited Vaishali quite frequently and lord Gautama Huddha’s last sermon was at a place called Kolhua, which is very close to Vaishali. In third century B.C., the Great Mauryan emperor Ashoka, erected an Ashoka Pillar here, to commemorate this. The second great Buddhist council was held in Vaishali, hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana (which means ‘death’) of the Gautham Buddha. Two stupas (mound-like hemispherical structure containing ashes of Gautham Buddha and his cousin and monk Ananda) were erected at Vaishali to commemorate this event. Buddha’s ashes are believed to have been kept here. A portion of Buddha’s ashes are also kept at Patna Museum.

There is a grand Buddhist monastery on the outskirts of Vaishali, where Lord Buddha often discoursed.

Lord Mahavir of Jainism was born at Kundalpur (on the outskirts of Vaishali at 4 kilometers distance) around 2550 years ago. Lord Mahavir lived here till he attained the age of 22. Thus Vaishali has emerged as a famous pilgrimage center for the Buddhists and Jains.

There is a museum at Vaishali which contains some of the archaeological remains received from Vaishali. Close to the museum is the stupa where the the stone casket relic of ashes of Gautham Buddha are believed to be kept.

Bawan Pokhar Temple is one among the different tourist sites in Vaishali, which is an old temple, built during the Pala period, on the northern banks of Bawan Pokhar.

How do I go to Vaishali?

Patna is the nearest airport to Vaishali at around 70 kilometers distance. Hajipur Railway station is the nearest one at 35 kilometers distance, while Muzaffarpur Railway station is at around 40 kilometers distance. Vaishali is connected to all these cities by roads.

Bodh Gaya, Gautama Buddha’s Enlightenment Site

Bodh Gaya, Gautama Buddha's Enlightenment SiteMahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya

Bodh Gaya, Gautama Buddha’s Enlightenment Site is at Gaya district of Bihar state, India.

Bodh Gaya is the place where, it is believed that the Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment and hence is one among the four sacred pilgrimage centers for Buddhists.

Bodhgaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.

Prince Gautama Siddhartha, 26 centuries ago, reached Phalgu near Gaya and sat under a Bodhi tree and meditated . After 3 days and 3 nights of meditation, he is said to have attained Enlightenment and the name ‘Budda’ was adopted. Decedent of the original Bodhi tree is still there at the site.

Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader for the Tibetans,  visits this place quite frequently during year ends. October to March is the main pilgrimage season.

Maha Bodhi Temple is at a distance of 110 kilometers from Patna. Emperor Ashoka, after 250 years of Buddha’s Enlightenment,  is said have visited Bodhgaya and founded this temple.

How Do I Go to Bodh Gaya, Gautama Buddha’s Enlightenment Site?

Bodh Gaya International Airport is at 13 kilometers distance.

Bodh Gaya is at 12 kilometers from Gaya city and NH 83 connects Bodh Gaya with Gaya City.

‘Gaya Junction’, at 12 kilometers distance, is the nearest railway station. Patna, the capital of Bihar state, is at a distance of 110 kilometers, which is well connected to all parts of the country by train services.

Accommodation at Bodh Gaya

If you are looking for cheap and decent accommodation at Bodh Gaya, Tara Guest House is an ideal one costing as low as Rs 800/- plus tax and Rs 900/- plus tax. Charity backpackers, Tikabigha, Bodh Gaya is another cheap option. They have rooms costing Rs 350 per day on-wards. Room rates are subject to change and please check the actual current rates, before booking.