One of the most widespread religions in the world, Buddhism arose way back during 5th century B.C.E. The religion is based on the teachings of Sidhhartha Gautama, who was considered Buddha- the awakened one. Buddhism developed long back in the Kingdom of Magadha and soon it started spreading around.
Initially, Buddhism was counted among the small sects of India. Later, when King Ashoka of Magadha converted to Buddhism, it developed throughout. He took the responsibility to spread Buddhism all over India. Buddhism grew rapidly under the rule of King Ashoka. Soon, Buddhist community was split into two different branches: the Mahasamghika and the Sthaviravada. These two branches were further divided into various sub-sections. Today, two major branches of Buddhism exist in the world, which is Theravada in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, and the Mahayana which is popular all throughout the Himalayas and East Asia.
The teachings of Buddha are of immense significance. Buddhism has widely spread in every nook and corner of India. Different regions of the country have adopted the beliefs and practices of Buddhism. Some of the Buddhist monasteries, caves, monuments and festivals are popular attractions here.