Buddhism is an ancient religion that began in India around 500 B.C. Buddhists believe a Hindu prince named Siddhartha Gautama became
the Buddha after meditating
under a bodhi (fig) tree for several years. This helped him attain the state of nirvana.
He then began to teach others. Buddhism continued to spread after his death, eventually reaching China, Japan, Korea, and parts of Southeast Asia.
Monks, artists, and others living in these areas created a variety of Buddhist art and structures, such as the stupa.