According to the ancient scriptures it was the Buddha himself who suggested that a good way for future generations to remember him, would be to visit and honor the sites associated with the key moments of his life.
The four sacred places noted by the Buddha are thus: Lumbini, the site of his birth; Bodhgaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree; Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first public sermon; and finally Kushinagar, where the Buddha passed away. Later, four additional sites, connected with special events from the Buddhas life, were added on to the list. They are: Shravasti, where the Buddha displayed the twin miracles and spent many rainy seasons at his favorite residence Jetavana Grove; Vaishali, where the Buddha gave many of his numerous discourses and where the Gift of Honey by the Monkey occurred; Rajgir, where the Buddha helped resolve the so called Quarrel at Kaushambi; and Sankasya, known as the Descent of the Gods, where the Buddha returned to the earth after having taught to the gods, including his mother, Mayadevi.
Together, these sites came to be known as the eight sacred places of Buddhism, a place of pilgrimage for millions of Buddhists through the long history of Buddhism.