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Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

"Buddham Sharanam Gachaami
Dhammam Sharanam Gachaami
Sangham Sharanam Gachaami"

In the Mahaparinirvana sutra, the Buddha tells his followers that they can attain merit and a noble rebirth by going on pilgrimage to the places where he was born (Lumbini), gained enlightenment (Bodhgaya), first taught (Sarnath), and attained Nirvana (Kushinagar). India, the country where Buddhisim originated, still has rich reminiscence of the Buddhist legacy. As part of its drive towards austerity, the only kind of art and architecture that it supported were Stupas (stone cased moulds that commemorated relics of Budha), Chaityas (prayer halls) and Viharas (cells for the monks).

Duration of the Tour: 09 Nights & 10 Days

Destinations & Tour Routing: Delhi - Vranasi - Sarnath - Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Patna - Vaishali - Kushinagar - Lumbini - Sharavasti - Lucknow - Delhi - Depart Home!!!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Delhi

Arrive at the international airport Delhi late in the evening/morning. Our representative will assist you in getting transferred to your pre booked hotel. Check in at the hotel. If time permits go for local sightseeing. Check-in at the hotel. Stay Overnight at Hotel.

Day 2: Delhi Varanasi (By train Swantrata S Exp-2562 depart at 20:40 & arrive at 08:50 hrs)

In morning after breakfast check out from hotel and get ready for the local sightseeing of the half day or full day city tour. Being the current metropolitan and the capital, Delhi is also one of the oldest inhabited cities of the world.

Basically Delhi is divided into two parts, New Delhi & Old Delhi. You will start your day by visiting Lotus Temple also known as Bahai Temple built in a shape of Lotus. Then proceed to Qutub Minar, the 72 meters high minaret. After admiring the huge minaret, go to India Gate which is also known as All India War Memorial. Then proceed to Birla Mandir and enroute see Rastrapati Bhawan, the president's house. Now proceed to Old Delhi and see the Red Fort & Jama Masjid. In the evening enjoy shopping and strolling in the famous Chandani Chowk Bazaar. Enjoy shopping and food there. In late evening transfer to transfer railway station for board a train to Varanasi. Overnight in Train.

Day 3: Arrive Varanasi - Sarnath

Arrive at Varanasi and get transferred to your pre booked hotel. Check in and get fresh. After relax ready to go for Sarnath (10 kms) to see Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath Museum, The Ashokan Pillar. Later return back Varanasi Visit Raja Ghat & Munshi Ghat where you can also attend the evening Aarti. Return to the hotel in the evening. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4: Varanasi - Bodhgaya (by road 246 kms)

In Morning after breakfast check out from hotel & drive to Bodhgaya upon arrival transfer to hotel. Bodhgaya - As the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buhddhists. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Later visit Mahabodhi Temple, Niranjana River, Sujata Village. Night stay in Bodhgaya.

Day 5: Bodhgaya - Ragjir - Nalanda - Patna

After Breakfast check out from hotel & drive to Patna enroute sightseeing of Nalanda & Rajgir. Rajgir -The picturesque Rajgir, or Rajagriha as it was known in the past (literally, the abode of kings) is surrounded by the meandering river Banganga and 5 hills. During the lifetime of the Buddha this was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous King Bimbisara. The hills and caves surrounding Rajagriha were home to spiritual teachers, ranging from the materialism of the early Charavaka school to the metaphysics of Upanishadic philosophers. Like many others in search of truth, Prince Siddhartha, after he renounced his royal heritage came to this city to seek the path of vation. Nalanda -Nalanda was the most renowned university in ancient India. It derived its name from Na-alam-da, meaning Insatiable in Giving, one of the names by which the Lord Buddha was known. Arrive Patna and transfer to hotel . Overnight stay in Patna.

Bodhgaya: According to Buddhist traditions, 500 BC Prince Gautama Siddhartha, wandering as a monk, reached the sylvan banks of Falgu River, near the city of Gaya. There he sat in meditation under a bodhi tree. After three days and three nights of meditation, Siddhartha attained enlightenment and insight, and the answers that he had sought. He then spent seven weeks at seven different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his experience. After seven weeks, he traveled to Sarnath, where he began teaching Buddhism. Disciples of Gautama Siddhartha began to visit the place where he had gained enlightenment during the full moon in the month of Vaisakh (April-May), as per the Hindu calendar. Over time, the place became known as Bodhgaya, the day of enlightenment as Buddha Purnima, and the tree as the Bodhi Tree. As the place of the Buddhas Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buddhists. Located in Bihar, 115 kms from Patna, the land is rich and fertile, dotted with green fields and watered by the river Phalgu - the same ancient Nairanjana River where the Buddha bathed after attaining enlightenment. A range of low forested hills silhouette the small hamlets flanking the glistening, sandy banks of the river. Monks and nuns rub shoulders with tourists and believers from all over the world. An all-pervading calm envelops the town, giving visitors a sense of peace.

Rajgir: The meandering river Banganga and five hills ensconce picturesque Rajgir, ancient Rajgriha (literally, the abode of kings). During the lifetime of the Buddha this was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous king Bimbisara. Like many others in search of Truth, Prince Siddhartha, after he renounced his royal heritage came to this city to seek the path of salvation. Later, he overwhelmed the citizens of Rajagriha with his serenity and grace and converted King Bimbisara of Magadha and countless others to his religion. The hills and caves surrounding Rajagriha were home to spiritual teachers, ranging from the materialism of the early Charavaka School to the metaphysics of Upanishadic philosophers. In fact the first Buddhist council after the Buddha was hosted here at the Saptaparni caves. It was Rajgir which saw Gautam Buddha spending several months meditating, and preaching at Griddhkuta, (‘Hill of the Vultures‘). He also delivered some of his famous sermons. The rich merchant community here soon became the Buddhas followers and built many structures of typical Buddhist architecture.

Nalanda: It is the most renowned university in ancient India derived its name from Na-alam-da, meaning Insatiable in Giving, one of the names by which the Lord Buddha was known. Nalanda was one of the worlds first residential universities, i.e., it had dormitories for students. In its heyday it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. The Buddha is mentioned as having several times stayed at Nalanda. When he visited Nalanda he would usually reside in Pavarikas mango grove, and while there he had discussions with Upali-Gahapati and Dighatapassi[, with Kevatta, and also several conversations with Asibandhakaputta. The Buddha visited Nalanda during his last tour through Magadha, and it was there that Sariputta uttered his "lions roar, affirming his faith in the Buddha, shortly before his death. Also, Nalanda was the residence of Sonnadinna. Mahavira is several times mentioned as staying at Nalanda, which was evidently a centre of activity of the Jains.

Day 6: Patna - Vaishali (by road 62 kms) Kushinagar (by road 169 kms)

In morning after breakfast check out from hotel & get driven to Vaishali. See Ashok pillar, Buddha stupa, temple. Later proceed for Kushinagar. Upon arrival Kushinagar check in at hotel. In Evening participate in a chanting and meditation session. (Subject to availability of appropriate teachers).

Stay overnight at hotel.

Ashokan Pillar

The Lion Pillar at Kolhua, was built by Emperor Ashoka. It is made of a highly polished single piece of red sandstone, surmounted by bell shaped capital, 18.3m. high. A life-size figure of a lion is placed on top of the pillar. The pillar is well-preserved and intact. There is a small tank here known as Ramkund. One can also find a few dilapidated stupas in Vaishali.

Kushinagar: At this location, near the Hiranyavati River, Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana (or Final Nirvana) after falling ill from eating a meal of a species of mushroom. It is said that the Buddha had three reasons for coming to Kusinárá to die:

1. Because it was the proper venue for the preaching of the Mahá-Sudassana Sutta;
2. Because Subhadda would visit him there and, after listening to his sermon, would develop meditation and become an arahant while the Buddha was still alive; and
3. Because the brahman Doha would be there, after the Buddhas death, to solve the problem of the distribution of his relics.As the scene of his death, Kusinara became one of the four holy places declared by the Buddha (in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta) to be fit places of pilgrimage for the pious, the other three being Kapilavatthu, Buddhagaya and Isipatana.

Day 7: Kushinagar - Lumbini (by road 162 kms)

In morning after breakfast check out from hotel, & go for sightseeing tour of Kushinagar visit Mahaparinirvan Temple, Rambhar Stupa, Mata Kutir Temple etc. In afternoon get driven to Lumbini. Arrive Lumbini and check in at hotel. Overnight stay at Hotel.

Lumbini- Lumbini (meaning "the lovely") is a Buddhist pilgrimage site located in Rupandehi District, Lumbini Zone of Nepal, near the Indian border. It is the place where Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who later became a Buddha (Gautama Buddha), and founded the religion of Buddhism. Gautama Buddha lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. For Buddhists, this is one of the four main pilgrimage sites based around the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Bodhgaya, and Sarnath. Lumbini is located 25 km east of the municipality of Kapilavastu, the place where the Buddha grew up and lived up to the age of 29. Kapilvastu is the name of place as well as the neighbouring district. Lumbini has various Buddhist temples including the Mayadevi temple. There is also the Puskarini pond and remains of Kapilvastu palace in Lumbini. There are other sites near Lumbini where, according to Buddhist tradition, previous Buddhas were born and achieved enlightenment and died.

Day 8: Lumbini - Sharavasti (by road 214 kms)

After breakfast check out from hotel & go for sightseeing tour of Lumbini including a visit to the birth Place of Lord Buddha. Later drive to Shravasti - the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala, has the honour for sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens. The city believed to be founded by the mythological king Sravast, has age-old stupas, majestic monasteries and several temples. Buddha is said to have performed some miracles here. In Sravasti visit Saheth - Maheth & Jetvan. Night stay in Sravasti.

Day 9: Shravasti - Lucknow (by road 165 kms) - Delhi (by train Shatabdi exp- 2003 dept 15:35 & arr 22:05 hrs)

In morning after breakfast check out from hotel & get driven to Lucknow- city of Nawabs created by Asaf Ud Daula. Upon arrival Lucknow Visit Bara Imambara built by Nawab Asaf Ud Daula, Chhota Imambara and Museum. After lunch proceed for the railway station to board Shatabadi Express for Delhi. On reaching Delhi, check in at pre booked hotel for overnight stay.

Day 10: New Delhi Fly Back to home..!!

In morning after breakfast check out from hotel & free for onward journey. Tour ends with sweet memories.

Tour ends with happy memories..!!!!

 

 
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