If during your stay in India you go to Calcutta don’t miss the Indian Museum which is a veritable treasure house of Indian Buddhist art. All the surviving parts of the great Bharhut stupa, Asoka’s magnificent lion capital from Rampur, most of the statues found at Kurkihar, Buddhist sculptures from Mathura, Sarnath, Ratnagiri in Orissa, Gandhara and Java are just some of the many exhibits worth seeing.

On the right side of the veranda facing the main entrance is the large stone box found in the stupa at Kapilavatthu (Piprahwa) and which contained the Sakyans’ share of the Buddha’s relics. Being India of course, this important artefact has no sign saying what it is and visitors often use it as a bench. Upstairs is also an excellent collection of Tibetan art but it is cunningly hidden and takes a while to find. The museum is on the corner of Chowringee and Sudda Street and is open from 10 am to 4 pm and closed on Monday.

Depiction of the Parinibbana.