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BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE

 

Buddhist Holidays

Buddhist Pilgrimage Destinations

KATHMANDU – PATNA – RAJGIR – BODHGAYA – VARANASI KUSHINAGAR – GORAKPUR – LUCKNOW – DELHI

DAY 01 Arr. Kathmandu

Morning arrive Kathmandu, meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 02 Kathmandu

Morning proceed for half day city tour of Kathmandu visiting the Swaymbhunath temple and the museum. Lunch at the hotel. After lunch proceed for half day excursion tour to Bhadgaon-Newar city founded in the 9th century. Visit the ancient gateway, Durbar square and the royal residential quarter of Bhupendra Malla, famous five storied temple of Nytapole in Pagoda style and other temples. On return visit Bodhnath, the 2500 years old Buddhist stupa-holy place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Evening free for independent activities. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 03 Kathmandu / Patna

Morning proceed for half day excursion to the old Patna city, the historic Durbar Square, see the Golden Gate, the sky piercing temple of Teleju and the status of Yogendra Mall, other temples and carved balconies of wood, curio shops bazars. Return to the hotel for lunch. Thereafter transfer to the airport in time to connect flight to Patna. Arrive Patna, meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 04 Patna / Nalanda / Rajgir / Bodhgaya

Morning depart Patna for bodhgaya enroute visiting Nalanda and Rajgir.

Nalanda

Approximately 76 kms. away from Patna is the place which was blessed by the presence of Lord Buddha. A great monastic university which played a key role in developing Buddhism in India. Nalanda came into light about the 5th century and for about 700 years it attracted students from places like South East Asia, China and other places in India. Visit the ruins of the university and the museum.

Rajgir

Thereafter proceed to Rajgir, which is about 14 kms. away from Nalanda. Arrive Rajgir, the ancient royal capital of Magadha. Lord Buddha visited Rajgir after attaining ‘Enlightenment’ with a thousand monks and were offered a Veluvand (Bamboo Grove) by the Kind Bimbisara. This became Buddha’s most favourite residence. A Rajgir visit the Vulture’s peak, Japanese stupa, etc. Hot lunch served Japanese style at the hotel at Rajgir. Thereafter roceed for Bodhgaya which is about 62 kms. and takes about 3 hrs. driving time. Arrive Bodhgaya in the evening and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 05 Bodhgaya

Lord Buddha came to a village named Varvilva on the banks of Niranjana river which is now called Bodhgaya. Here he engaged in long austere practice, for the first two years Gautama ate nothing but one grain of rice a day, and for the next four years he ate nothing at all. He remained in this continuous meditation for a period of six years, later he broke his meditation realising that extreme mortification does not yield liberation. His former garments had perished, he took a yellow shroud from the corpse of the servant girl who was awaiting cremation and to help him wash it God Indra struck the earth and produced a pond. A local brahmin’s daughter Sujata, offered him a golden bowl filled with rice prepared in the essence of milk of one thousand cows. Renewed in the body and mind he sat under the BODHI tree, after the voices of the previous Buddhas resounded in the air. This is where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. Visit the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi tree to offer prayers. Also visit the Niranjana river and the other Buddhist temples. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 06 Bodhgaya/Varanasi

Morning depart Bodhgaya for Varanasi (Approx. 07 hrs. drive). Packed lunch to be carried from the hotel. Arrive Varanasi in the late afternoon, transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 07 Varanasi

Early morning proceed for boat excursion on the holy river Ganges to see the bathing ghats and cremation site, watching people worshipping and bathing at the Ghats is one of the most extraordinary experience of visit to India.

Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast proceed for half day city tour of Varanasi visiting: The Bharat Mata Temple with a big relief map of India in marble, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple and the Benaras Hindu University and the mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb built on the site of an ancient Hindu Temple. Lunch at the Hotel. After lunch proceed for half day excursion tour to Sarnath-the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermons. Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century B.C. to 12th century A.D. Visit the remains, the Stupa, Buddhist temple and the Museum.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 08 Varanasi / Kushinagar/ Gorakhpur

Morning depart Varanasi for Gorakhpur (Approx. 07 hrs. drive), packed lunch to be carried from the hotel. Enroute visit Kushinagar-the place where Buddha passed away into PARINIRVANA. The place was initially known as Kushinara and was a small insignificant town in the Malla Kingdom. However, Parinirvana of Lord Buddha made the place sacred to all Buddhist and even today its partial exploration has revealed the remains of at least ten different monasteries.

Visit the Muktabandha Stupa which according to the legend was built by the Malla dynasty to house the body relics of Buddha after cremation. Thereafter proceed for Gorakhpur about 52 Kms. Arrive Gorakhpur and transfer to thee hotel.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 09 Gorakhpur / Lumbini / Balrampur

Morning depart Gorakhpur for Balrampur, enroute visiting Lumbini, which is in Nepal. Cross the Indian Border from ‘Sanauli’. After completing the customs and immigration formalities, visit the birth place of Lord Buddha. Lumbini

During the night of his conception, queen Mayadevi dreamt of a great white elephant entering her womb. The earth trembled six times at the appointed time, queen Mayadevi was visiting Lumbina Garden, some 10 kilometers from the capital Kapilvastu. Emerging from a bath with her face to the east, she leant her right arm on a sala tree, the bodhisatva then born from her right side and immediately took 7 steps – from which lotus flowers sprang up in each of four directions. To each direction he proclaimed as with a lion’s roar "I am the first, the best of all beings, this is my last birth".

Visit the Lumbini garden and the manastery. Hot lunch served at the Lumbini Garden restaurant. Thereafter proceed for Balrampur, upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 10 Balrampur/Lucknow/Delhi

Morning depart Balrampur, enroute visiting Shravasti, the site regarded as the chief residence of the Buddhas of the world, a place where the holders of erroneous doctrine are publicly defeated. Indeed. Indeed Shankya muni spent twenty five rainy seasons and performed many a great miracles. Place was also blessed with Buddha’s visit. Thereafter proceed for Lucknow. Transfer to the airport in time to board flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi, meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel. Accommodation twin sharing American Plan basis, transfers, sightseeing tours and the services of our tour manager.

DAY 11 Delhi

Morning proceed for half day city tour of Old and New Delhi visiting: President’s house, Parliament house, India Gate built in the honour of the Indian soldiers who died in thee World War – 1, Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. Also visit Rajghat and Shantivana, the cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru respectively. Afternoon free for independent activities. Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 12 Delhi / Agra / Delhi

Morning depart Delhi for Agra which is 214 kms. away and take about 3 hrs driving time from Delhi. Enroute visit Sikandra-the mausoleum of the greatest Mughal King, Akbar, built by his queen after his death. Arrive Agra and transfer to the hotel for lunch. Thereafter proceed for half day city tour of Agra visiting the world famous Taj Mahal built by Mughal emperor Shahjehan for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Also visit the Red Fort built by Emperor Akbar containing Palaces, Moti Masjid, House of Public and Private audience. Thereafter depart Agra for Delhi, arrive Delhi and transfer to thee international airport to board flight for onward destination.

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