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Deekshabhoomi - panoramio.jpg
Deekshabhoomi Stupa
General information
TypeReligious and historical monument
Architectural styleStupa
LocationNagpur, Maharashtra, India
AddressSouth Ambazari Road,
Abhyankar Nagar,
Coordinates21°7′41″N 79°4′1″E / 21.12806°N 79.06694°E / 21.12806; 79.06694
Construction startedJuly 1978
Inaugurated18 December 2001
Design and construction
Architect(s)Sheo Dan Mal, Shashi Sharma
The Bodhi Tree at Deekshabhoomi
22 vows given by Ambedkar at Deekshabhoomi
Ambedkar and Deekshabhoomi on a 2017 postage stamp of India
Bust of Babasaheb Ambedkar at Deekshabhoomi

Deekshabhoomi is a sacred monument of Navayana Buddhism located at Nagpur city in Maharashtra state of India, where Dr. B. R. Ambedkar,[1] embraced Buddhism with approximately 600,000 of his followers mainly scheduled caste peoples on Ashoka Vijaya Dashami[2] on 14 October 1956.[3][4] Ambedkar revived Buddhism in India. Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism is deeply significant for millions of people in India.[5] According to the 2011 India census, more than 87% of the total Buddhist population in India are Ambedkarite Buddhists.[6][7][8][9]

Deekshabhoomi is in Nagpur, Maharashtra, a location regarded as a sacred place, prernabhoomi (inspiring land) of social revolution being atheist and a preparations for social actions against class conflicts, discrimination, inequality also the first pilgrimage center of Ambedkarite Buddhism in India. Millions of pilgrims visit Deekshabhoomi every year,[10] especially on Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din ie Samrat Ashoka vijaya dashmi ("Mass Conversion Ceremony Day")[11] and 14 October, the memorial day when B.R.Ambedkar embraced and converted to Buddhism here. His final religious act was to embrace Buddhism and envisioned making India The Buddhist nation a prabuddha Bharat[10] Today, the largest stupa in the world is erected in his memory at the site.[12][13]

Nagbhumi, which is ancient place region where majority peoples of clan Nagvanshi survived and strongly followed Buddhas teachings now in Maharashtra state of democratic republic nation India.

Deeksha literally means 'act of ordaining'[14] and bhoomi means the 'ground'.[15] Deekshabhoomi means the ground where people got ordained as Buddhist. This religious mass conversion at one place was the first ever of its kind in history.[1] Deekshabhoomi is one of two places of considered to be of great importance in the life of Ambedkar, the other being Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai.[16]


Ambedkar delivering speech during mass conversion in Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur, 14 October 1956.

Dr. Ambedkar had declared in 1935 that although he was born as a Hindu, he would not die as one,[17] as conversion was the solution to abandon the caste system.[18] After this declaration and having extensively and exhaustively studied the doctrines of all the major world religions, Dr. Ambedkar would choose Buddhism for himself and his followers.[18]

Buddhism was 2,550 years old in 1956, so it was a notable year of celebration for the Buddhist religious world globally and 14 October was the traditional date of conversion of Emperor Ashoka, the great Indian Buddhist Monarch and the day is celebrated as Ashok Vijaya Dashmi.[19] He selected Nagpur for his conversion ceremony, as he explained in his speech at that occasion, because Nagpur was the homeland of 'Nag' people who embraced Buddhism, supported it with great efforts in its early period, and propagated it throughout India.[20][21] Ground near the Ramdaspeth area in Nagpur was selected for the ceremony.

On 14 October 1956, Dr. Ambedkar and his wife took the oath of Three Jewels and Five Precepts from the Burmese monk Mahasthavir Chandramani from Kushinagar.[22][23] Dr. Ambedkar then gave the oath of Three Jewels, Five Precepts, and 22 Vows to his thousands of followers.[22] In this way, Nagpur became the birthplace of Neo Buddhist movement.[13]

Dr. Ambedkar died on 6 December 1956, one and a half months after the Deeksha ceremony. However, this ceremonial conversion continued after his death, converting 15-20 million by March 1959.[24] After his death the 'Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Deekshabhoomi Smarak Samiti' (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Deekshabhoomi Memorial committee) was organized for the management of Deekshabhoomi. The committee decided to build a stupa at the place as a monument of that ceremony and a mass conversion of people to Buddhism. Arya Bhadant Surai Sasai is the president of the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Deekshabhoomi Memorial committee, Nagpur.[25][26]


The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in a group photograph, during his visit to Deeksha Bhoomi, at Nagpur, in Maharashtra.



Deekshabhoomi is spread over four acres of significant land in the city.[1] The stupa was designed by architect Sheo Dan Mal.[27] In 1968, construction started with residential houses for monks, later on P/G College. Construction of the stupa started in July 1978, but it took a long time to finish.[28] The stupa was inaugurated on 18 December 2001 by the President of India K. R. Narayanan.[12]


Inner side of Deeksha Bhoomi - Bodhisattva Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar ashes urn (in glass) after cremation in front of the Buddha statue

It comprises a large two storied hemispherical buildings with gates resembling a Sanchi gate.[1] Five thousand monks can stay in each storey.[28] The design of the stupa at Deekshabhoomi is based on the architecture of the world famous stupa of Sanchi.[29] But unlike the stupa of Sanchi, Deekshabhoomi stupa is completely hollow inside.[13][30][31][32] It is the largest hollow stupa among all Buddhist stupas in the world.[13] The inner circular hall is spread across 4000 square feet[1] with granite, marble and Dholpur sandstone used in its construction.[28]

On the ground floor, there is a 211 x 211 feet large square hall. At the center of this hall, an image of Buddha is placed. This image was donated to Deekshabhoomi by Thai students studying at Nagpur University. There is a library and a photo exhibition of the events in the lives of Gautama Buddha and Ambedkar.

Above the hall, there is a hollow dome. This dome is surrounded by a veranda. On all four sides, fountains are placed. Above the dome, there is a small slab and a little decorative umbrella. The stupa has doors facing four directions. The doors open in large arcs, which are decorated with Ashok Chakras, and statues of horses, elephants, and lions.

Around the stupa, there is a garden that is maintained by the Nagpur Improvement Trust.[33] Statues of Ambedkar and images of Gautama Buddha are in front of the stupa.

Vihar and the Bodhi Tree[edit]

The Bodhi Tree at Deekshabhoomi
The Bodhi Tree at Deekshabhoomi
Buddha's statue is outside of Deeksha Bhoomi stupa

In front of the stupa, on the right hand side, there is a Buddha Vihara with a bronze image of Buddha.

Besides the Vihara, there is the Bodhi Tree: a sacred fig tree. This Bodhi Tree was planted at Deekshabhoomi from three branches of the Bodhi Tree at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan brought these branches from Sri Lanka as a memorial of Buddha's enlightenment.[34]


Deekshabhoomi in night.
Marathi Buddhists gather to Dhammachakra Pravartan Din celebration at Deekshabhoomi and a bhikkhu holds the Buddhist flag.

Deeksha Bhoomi hosts a memorial to Ambedkar and has been graded an A-class tourism and pilgrimage site by the Government of Maharashtra.[35][36][37] Deekshabhoomi is famous for its architectural beauty and historical importance. It is one of the main centers of tourism in India.[10] Every year, thousands of tourists visit Deekshabhoomi, especially on the anniversary of the conversion ceremony.[38] On Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, thousands of compact cassettes of Ambedkar, Ambedkar movement and Buddha songs are sold at Deekshabhoomi. The books of few crore rupees in different languages are sold in a single day, this makes Deekshabhoomi a unique place in the world.[39]

Foreign tourists come mainly from the Buddhist countries such as Japan and Thailand.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Philip, A. J. (13 November 2005). "Warriors of the faith". The Tribune. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  2. ^ " -". {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  3. ^ This was Ambedkar's own figure given by him in a letter to Devapriya Valishinha dated 30 October 1956. The Maha Bodhi Vol. 65, p.226, quoted in Dr. Ambedkar and Buddhism Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine by Sangharakshita.
  4. ^ Gautam, C (May 2000). "Life of Babasaheb Ambedkar". Milan House, 8 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DA: Ambedkar Memorial Trust. Retrieved 1 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (14 October 2006). "Untouchables embrace Buddha to escape oppression". The Guardian. Hyderabad. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Dalits who converted to Buddhism better off in literacy and well-being: Survey". 2 July 2017.
  7. ^ Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices, p. 400. Cambridge University Press, 2012, ISBN 978-052185-942-4
  8. ^ The New York Times guide to essential knowledge: a desk reference for the curious mind. Macmillan 2004, page 513.
  9. ^ "Dalits Are Still Converting to Buddhism, but at a Dwindling Rate". The Quint. 17 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Places to Visit". District Collector Office, Nagpur Official Website. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  11. ^ Lelyveld, Joseph (2011). Great soul Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 210. ISBN 978-0307595362. Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din.
  12. ^ a b Bhagwat, Ramu (19 December 2001). "Ambedkar memorial set up at Deekshabhoomi". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d Malik, Ashok (17 March 2002). "Celebrating a unique city". The Tribune. India. The Tribune Trust. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  14. ^ "दीक्षा or dīkṣā". SHABDKOSH™ English Hindi Dictionary. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  15. ^ The Pali Text Societies Pali-English Dictionary, Digital Dictionaries of South Asia. "Bhummi". University of Chicago. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  16. ^ Rao, Anupama (2009). The caste question: Dalits and the politics of modern India. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 184. ISBN 978-0520257610.
  17. ^ Frances, Pritchett W. "Dr. Ambedkar's Life – and beyond". Columbia University New York, NY : Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  18. ^ a b Jaffrelot, Christophe (2001). "The 'solution' of conversion". Dr Ambedkar and untouchability: analysing and fighting caste (Revised ed.). London: C. Hurst. pp. 119–142. ISBN 1850654492. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  19. ^ Queen, Christopher S (1996). "Introduction: The shape and sources of Engaged Buddhism". Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia. SUNY Press. p. 12. ISBN 1438416644.
  20. ^ Frances, Pritchett W. "Why Was Nagpur Chosen?". Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies: Columbia University New York, NY. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  21. ^ Naik, edited by Y. Sudershan Rao, G. Bhadru (2008). "Buddhism: The way to world peace in Modern Society". Buddhism and modern society. New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications. p. 57. ISBN 978-8184500592. {{cite book}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  22. ^ a b Sangharakshita (2006). "The Great Mass Conversion". Ambedkar and Buddhism (1st South Asian ed.). New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. pp. 127–138. ISBN 8120830237. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  23. ^ Bellwinkel-Schempp, Maren (2004). "Roots of Dr.Ambedkar Buddhism in Kanpur". In Beltz, Johannes; Jondhale, Surendra (eds.). Reconstructing the world : B. R. Ambedkar and Buddhism in India (PDF). New Delhi [u.a.]: Oxford University Press. pp. 221–244. ISBN 0195665295. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  24. ^ Sangharakshita (2006). "After Dr.Ambedkar". Ambedkar and Buddhism (1st South Asian ed.). New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. pp. 162–164. ISBN 8120830237.
  25. ^ [1][dead link]
  26. ^ "vidarbha beat rest of maharashtra: Vidarbha emerge champions in state-level disabled cricket tournament | Nagpur News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  27. ^ "Dr Ambedkar memorial architect Sheo Dan Mal passes away" (Web). OneIndia. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  28. ^ a b c "CEE MH E-Z Nagpur". Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Retrieved 1 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ Seneviratne, Kalinga (16 January 2009). "Hope for India's 'broken' Buddhists". Asia Times. Asia Times Online (Holdings), Ltd. Archived from the original on 4 October 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  30. ^ Lochtefeld, James G. "Sanchi Stupa--A World Heritage Site". Religion Dept., Carthage College, 2001 Alford Drive, Kenosha, WI 53140: Religion, Carthage College. Archived from the original on 24 December 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  31. ^ Behl, Benoy K. (8–21 September 2007). "Harmony set in stone". THE HINDU; Frontline. 24 (18). Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  32. ^ "World Heritage Sites - Sanchi". Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  33. ^ "Gardens". Nagpur: Nagpur Improvement Trust. Archived from the original on 24 August 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. Deeksha Bhoomi
  34. ^ Lella Karunyakara, Modernisation of Buddhism: Contribution of Ambedkar and Dalai Lama XIV, page 175, ISBN 81-212-0813-0
  35. ^ "Deekshabhoomi gets Grade A tourist spot status | Nagpur News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  36. ^ "Maha govt approves grade A status to Deekshabhoomi at Nagpur". India Today. 7 March 2016.
  37. ^ "नागपूरची दीक्षाभूमी आता 'अ' वर्ग पर्यटनस्थळ". 8 March 2016.
  38. ^ "Thousands visit Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur". The Hindu. 7 December 2006. Archived from the original (Web) on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  39. ^ "बुद्धाकडे जनता वळे, भीमा तुझ्या जन्मामुळे..." Sakal (in Marathi). Nagpur. The Sakal Group. 26 October 2012. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2013. आंबेडकरी चळवळीच्या, बुद्ध आणि भीमगीतांच्या हजारो कॅसेट्‌स एका दिवशी खरेदी होतात. पुस्तकांच्या तीनशेपेक्षा जास्त स्टॉल्सवर खरेदीसाठी झुंबड उडते. मराठीसह हिंदी, इंग्रजी भाषांतील पुस्तकांची दरवर्षीची विक्री सर्वांनाच ठाऊक आहे. परंतु, यावर्षी दक्षिणेतील तमीळ, कानडी भाषांतील पुस्तकांचे स्टॉल लावण्यात आले. याशिवाय श्रीलंकेतील सिंहली भाषेतील बुद्धाचे साहित्य यावर्षी खरेदीसाठी होते. कोट्यवधीची पुस्तकखरेदी एका दिवशी होणारे दीक्षाभूमी हे जगातील एकमेव ठिकाण आहे, हे विशेष.

External links[edit]