Nestled amidst arrant tranquillity and serenity, Buddha Vihar is the place to be if you are someone who enjoys peace. Situated within the Gulbarga University, the monument is a significant Buddhist pilgrimage center constructed in the conventional Buddhist styles of India. The Vihar is located in Gulbarga, a city also popularly referred to as Kalaburagi. Formally inaugurated by the spiritual leader of Tibet, Dalai Lama, Buddha Vihar stands as a shrine hailing non-violence and world peace. Keep in mind that the site is closed between 12 noon and 4:00 PM every day.
Read More on Buddha Vihar
Buddha Vihar - Timings
Morning - 8 AM to Noon
Evening - 5 PM to 10 PM
About the Structure
Almost 250 tonnes of steel, 1,500 tonnes of cement, 200 cubic metres of sand and 5 lakh bricks were used by craftsmen and artisans to design this extraordinary masterpiece. Spread across 18 acres, the structure stands strong on 32,450 square feet of land with 284 blocks on 170 pillars.
The majestic domed structure may remind one of the imposing Taj Mahal. However, the difference between the two is that while the Taj Mahal is made up of white marble, the Vihar, on the other hand, is composed of RCC structure enveloped with Italian white marble chips. The sculptures and art found here resemble the architectural characteristics of Buddhist centres in Sarnath, Sanchi, Nagpur, and Ajanta closely.
History of the Buddha Vihar
Buddha Vihar features delightful artistic designs and an impeccable blend of architectural elements fused within. The construction began in 2002 and was originally perceived to be much smaller. The blueprint was however changed by the Trust to make it into a massive complex and one of the best ones in South India.
There’s a meditation centre at the basement while there are four Ashoka pillars, each one standing tall at 48 feet in the corners of the main building. These pillars symbolize the four noble truths – the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, cessation of suffering and the truth of the path which leads to the end of suffering.
Two intricately carved idols of Lord Buddha are placed in the sanctum sanctorum situated on the ground and first floors of the shrine. On the ground floor, one would also be able to find a 6-foot tall Lord Buddha idol etched from black stone and sculpted by Ashoka Gudikara.
How to Reach Buddha Vihar
The Kalaburagi Railway Station is just two kilometres from the fort.
The nearest airport is Hyderabad, nearly 235 kilometres from the Kalaburagi district. People visiting by air would have to take a bus or rent a car. The shrine is well connected with all the major National and State Highways. One can hire a cab or take a bus to Buddha Vihar once they are in Gulbarga
Other Attractions Nearby
The other attractions here at Buddha Vihar are
An open-air theatre measuring 100×100 ft that can seat 2,500 people easily
Four large arches, the Mahadwaras known as Sanchi gates
A bronze statue of Dr B. R. Ambedkar followed by eleven sculptures made of cement and demonstrating the Dhamma Kranti Yatra (1956)
A U-shaped complex which houses a library, a dormitory, study centre, dining hall, kitchen, exhibition hall, conference hall, guest room and more.
The meditation hall known as the Dhyana Mandir is one of the major attractions and draws people from far and wide. People can listen to the chanting of the mantras while meditating and looking at the blissful statue of smiling Buddha.
Another significant attraction in the complex is a gold-coated, 8.5 ft tall Buddha statue in a seated position. It is said to be the tallest statue of Buddha in South India.
The statues of Ananda and Kashyapara, the disciples of Buddha, can also be found in the complex. The walls of the hall have carvings which illustrate the Tipitaka, Buddha Charita, and the Jataka tales.
Buddha Vihara is rather isolated from the maddening crowd and offers a peaceful and solitary environment to meditate and compose your mind. The meditation hall sure stands up to its fame and is the place you want to be if you wish to calm your body and mind.