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BUDDHIST DESTINATIONS IN INDIA

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AGRA: Located about 204 km south of Delhi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Agra is one of the most famous tourist spots of the country. The city, situated on the west bank of river the Yamuna, is known world over as home to a wonder of the world, Taj Mahal.

A part of the great northern Indian plains, Agra has a tropical climate. Summers are extremely hot and the maximum temperature can be as high as 45 degree Celsius, while winters are cold and foggy. The monsoon season is marked by heavy rains and high humidity.

For most of the time Agra alternated with Delhi as the capital of the Mughal Empire. As such one finds many marvels of the Mughal architecture in and around the city, the most famous of them being the Taj Mahal. Besides the Taj, the Agra Fort (also called the Red Fort) makes an interesting sight. Other major attractions include the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, Jama Masjid, Akbar's tomb at Sikandra, Rambagh, the Mughal Garden and Dayal Bagh Temple. Besides the historical monuments, one can also explore Agra's rich heritage of handicrafts in its markets.

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The places around Agra also form interesting tourist spots. The Mathura-Vrindavan region forms an important pilgrimage place for Hindus as it is closely associated with the birth and childhood of Lord Krishna, an important deity in the Hindu religious pantheon. Fatehpur Sikri presents another marvel of the Mughal architecture and splendour. A trip to Agra remains incomplete if one doesn't visit these places of interest surrounding it.

SANKASIA: Sankasia lies in central Uttar Pradesh, 47 km from Farrukhabad. It is believed to be the place where Buddha, along with Brahma and Devraj Indra descended after giving sermons to his mother in heaven.

At the spot of descent stands a temple with a statue of the Buddha. The place is also known for a temple dedicated to Bisari Devi and an excavated Ashokan Elephant Pillar.

There is also a colossal Shiva Linga here. A large fair is held at Sankasia in the month of Shravan (July-August). The nearest airport is Agra.

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