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AS A PILGRIM
the places that came into existence thus, four stand out supreme.
They are: Lumbini Garden - the birth place of Buddha; Buddha Gaya -
the place of his illumination; Saranath - the place of his first
sermon and Kusinagar - the place where he breathed his last. As
these places were intimately connected with the life and activities
of the Sakya sage, they attracted people most. In consequence, they
received special attention by Asoka in regard to beautification and
maintenance. It became the life-long ambition of every devotee to
perform a journey to them during his life time. Asoka too shared
this and wished to go on a pilgrimage to these places. Forthwith, he
sent for Upagupta for guidance, living then on the Mount Urumunda in
the Nagabhatica forest, near Mathura.