Diksha Bhumi In Nagpur
Deekshabhoomi (Hindi: दीक्षाभूमि) is a sacred monument of Buddhism at the place where Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with his about 380,000 followers on October 14, 1956.Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism is still a guidance for the masses in India.Deekshabhoomi is situated in Nagpur, Maharashtra, a location regarded as a pilgrimage center of Buddhism in India. Thousands of pilgrims visit Deekshabhoomi every year, especially on Ashok Vijaya Dashmi and the 14th of October. A great stupa is built at that place.
Deeksha literally means acceptance of religion.Deeksha is to Buddhism as Baptism is to Christianity.Bhoomi means land. So, literally Deekshabhoomi means the land where people get converted to Buddhism. Deekshabhoomi is one of the two places of great importance in the life of Ambedkar, another being Chaityabhoomi at Mumbai.Deekshabhoomi is famous for its architectural beauty and historical importance. It is also one of the main centers of tourism in India.
Ambedkar had already declared in 1935 that although he was born as a Hindu he would not die as one.After this declaration, he extensively studied the doctrines of all the major religions to choose Buddhism for him and his followers.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 and supported it with great efforts in its early period.A ground near Ramdaspeth area in Nagpur was selected for the ceremony. On October 14, 1956, Ambedkar and his wife Mrs.Savita Ambedkar took oath of Three Jewels and Five Precepts from Mahasthavir Chandramani. Ambedkar then gave the oath of Three Jewels, five precepts, and 22 Vows to his thousands of followers.Ambedkar died on December 6, 1956, just one and a half months after this ceremony. After his death Dr. Ambedkar Smarak Samiti 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.