Sankasya (Buddhist Pilgrimages )
About Sankasya was a city that had existed in ancient India for a number of years before becoming the prominent and eventful place it is remembered as today. The primary importance held by the site is that of being the place where the Buddha supposedly returned to Earth from the heaven of 33 gods.
Geographical Information In the present day context, the site that used to be referred to as Sankasya is called Sankissa Basantpura, in the Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Hindi and English are the most popular languages of this region, and the ideal time to visit would be between October and March, the weather being the most complimentary to outdoor exploration during this time.
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Buddhism in Sankasya
According to Buddhist legend, after the Buddha performed his greatest miracles at Sravasti, he went on to preach the Abhidhamma Pitaka to his mother and 33 gods in Tavatimsa, and it was at Sankasya that he descended from this heaven accompanied by the gods and Brahma. As the legend goes, there appeared three ladders, one on the right made of gold for the gods, one in the middle, made of jewels, meant for the Buddha, and one on the left, made of silver, for the Maha Brahma. It is widely believed that the temple found at the site today is the precise spot where the Buddha’s right foot touched mortal ground after coming back from the heavens. Furthermore, as part of the legend, the city gates of Sankasya is an “unchangeable” spot in the world all the Buddhas must descend to the mortal world after preaching the Abhidhamma at this precise spot.
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Tourist Attraction in Sankasya:
Although there are few sites still preserved well enough to qualify as significant remains of past glory, the pillar installed here by Ashoka to mark the site of the Buddha’s decent can still be found here, an elephant mounted on top of it, although the centuries have not been very kind to it. Other places of interest are a Hindu temple that appears to have been built on the ruins of a stupa, and a Buddhist school established by Sri Lankan monks in the 1960s.
Places of interest near Sankasya:
Sravasti: located roughly 300 km away from Sankasya, this is where the Buddha spent 25 years of his life, and delivered more than 850 suttas.
Kaushambi: this is where the Buddha spent the sixth and ninth year of his life after his enlightenment. Ashoka went on to build one of his many famous pillars here too. It is roughly 330 km away from
How to reach Sankasya
Airways - the closest airport is at Agra, at a distance of approximately 150 km.
Railways -the nearest station is Pakhna, which is approximately 15 km from Sankasya and well connected to it by road.
Roadways - Sankasya is about 46 km away from Fatehgarh, and 50 km from Kannauj, the more populous of the neighboring towns. Roadways are connected well for inter as well as intra state travel.