Gautama Buddha is said to have identified four sites most worthy of pilgrimage for his followers, saying that they would produce a feeling of spiritual urgency. These are:
1. Lumbini: birthplace (in Nepal)
2. Bodh Gaya: the place of his Enlightenment (in the current Mahabodhi Temple).
3. Sarnath: (formally Isipathana) where he delivered his first teaching.
4. Kusinara: (now Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India) where he died.
Other famous places for Buddhist pilgrimage in various countries include:
Afghanistan: the Bamiyan Buddhas.
Cambodia: Angkor Thom, Silver Pagoda.
China: Yungang Grottoes, Longmen Grottoes. The Four Sacred Mountains namely Wǔtái Shān(五台山), Éméi Shān(峨嵋山), Jiǔhuá Shān(九华山), Pǔtuó Shān(普陀山), Potala Palace, Mount Kailash, Lake Nam-tso.
Elderly pilgrim, Tsurphu Gompa, Tibet, 1993India: Sanchi, Ellora, Ajanta.
Indonesia: Borobudur, Mendut, Sewu.
Japan: Kyoto, Nara, Shikoku Pilgrimage, Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage
Laos: Luang Prabang.
Myanmar: Bagan, Sagaing Hill, Mandalay Hill, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda.
Nepal: Boudnanath Stupa, Swayambhunath, Kapilavastu.
Sri Lanka: Anuradhapura (the Atamasthana or ‘eight places’), Mihintale, Polonnaruwa, the Temple of the Tooth (Kandy), Sri Pada.
South Korea: Bulguksa, Three Jewel Temples
Thailand: Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Doi Suthep, Phra Pathom Chedi, Phra Buddha Chinnarat.
United States of America: City of Ten Thousand Buddhas – Largest Monastery-Nunnery in USA in terms of numbers of ordained monastic Bhikshus and Bhikshunis. First full ordination on American soil.