Chandrapur, a small town in Maharashtra, India, is best remembered as the place where Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a leading social reformer, laid the foundations of the Modern Buddhist Movement.
On 14th October, 1956, Dr. Ambedkar along with his family and thousands of followers, converted to Buddhism. This was a pivotal moment in Indian history, as it signalled the revival of Buddhism in India after centuries of dormancy.
It is also the place where India’s long oppressed Dalits and other underprivileged people took their first step against centuries of oppression under the prevailing caste system.
The word Deeksha means ‘act of ordaining’, while Bhoomi means ‘land’, thus signifying Deeksha Bhoomi as the land where Buddhism was ordained.
Today, the Deeksha Bhoomi premises are home to the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar College of Arts, Commerce and Science. A branch from the sacred Bodhi Tree at Gaya has also been planted in the campus.
Every year on 15 and 16thof October, the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, a two day event commemorating the mass conversion is held in Chandrapurwhich has made it a centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world.