Sankashya

Of the eight places of pilgrimage the most obscure of them is Sankashya(also called Sankassa, Sankissa and Sankasya). It is now identified as Sankissa Basantapura on the bank of the Ikkhumati River in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh. It is said that Buddha went up to Tushita heaven from Shravasthi during his forty first year and taught the Abhidharma(Buddhist doctrines) to his mother Maya Devi who had died seven days after Buddha’s birth and was reborn as a male God in Tusitha heaven. Tushita heaven is the place where all Bodhisattvas, divine beings and devas are said to live before they reach full enlightenment in their next life. It is said that when he descended back to Earth the Gods accompanied him and his close disciples went to welcome him as he descended in glory and splendour. At this site a bathing house and Stupa were built to mark this heavenly event. Emperor Ashoka is said to have built a temple over the site where a flight of stairs is said to have appeared when Buddha came down from heaven. Behind this temple he is said to have erected a great pillar surmounted by an elephant capital.

Excavations

Not much of the ancient glory of the place remains today. A large mound topped by the crumbling ruins of a shrine stands within a deserted fenced area with a small image of the Buddha. Beneath a stone canopy the elephant capital of Ashoka’s pillar has been remounted on a ten foot high pillar. This is the only place of pilgrimage where there is no monastery, temple or a single monk studying. Hsuan Tsang and Fa Hien in their records state that there was an excellently ornamented monastery with many fine images and many monks lived there pursuing their studies. Hsuan Tsang referred to the place as Kapittha in his travelogue.

Monasteries and Temples

There are various Buddhist monasteries and temples like the Myanmar Buddhist temple, Thai Buddhist temple, Japan Buddhist monastery and Sri Lanka Buddhist Monastery.

How to reach

Air : The Kanpur airport is nearest to Sankashya, from which trains and buses run regularly.

Rail : The nearest railhead is Pakhna, at a distance of 12 Km.

Road : Sankashya is connected to the major cities of the state by good motorable roads.

Accommodation

The Landmark hotel is a fine hotel at Kanpur.

Address-10, The Mall, Kanpur, 208001 India

Conclusion

Sankashya is one of the holy places in Buddhism and inspite of there being few attractions the holiness and sanctity of the place as mentioned in legends draws devout Buddhists who visit these places of pilgrimage to help their faith and devotion in their quest for truth and spiritual enlightenment.

References

(Others): 
1.   Wikipedia.com
2.   Buddhanet.net
3.   Lamayeshe.com
4.   Buddhist-pilgrimage.com
5.   Tourismguildagra.com
6.   buddhismnow.com

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