Buddhist Temple Trip
during the sixth century BC a solitary, wandering ascetic sat to meditate
beneath a shady tree, resolving not to rise until he had attained the ultimate
knowledge of spiritual enlightenment. Thus began Buddhism, one of the world's
great religions and pilgrimage traditions. There are between four and sixteen
principal Buddhist pilgrimage sites, with the most important located primarily
in the Ganges Valley of India.
The most important place of Buddhist pilgrimage is Lumbini, located near
the Nepal-India border. This is where Gautam Buddha was born to a royal family
in 556 B.C.E. Many auspicious signs accompanied the Buddha's birth, including
the sprouting of the bodhi tree. The great Buddhist ruler Ashoka visited the
site two centuries later, constructing a stupa (mound, usually of earth) and
pillar in recognition. Although largely destroyed now, these remain important
marks of the Buddha's birthplace.
The Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of 29 in the city of Bodhgaya
in India. After settling under a tree, the Buddha made the resolve not to
move until he had achieved enlightenment. After three days and nights of profound
meditation this goal was realised. The bodhi tree under which the Buddha sat
has been destroyed both intentionally and naturall,y many times since this
time of enlightenment. It has continued to resprout and is visible today.
The Mahabodhi Temple marks Bodhgaya. The origins of the Temple are unclear.
Some claim the Temple could have been built as early as the third century
by Ashoka, others claim the Temple was built between the fifth and seventh
centuries. A thriving Monastic Order continues in the area today, with three
monasteries catering for locals and foreigners alike.
Sarnath in the Ganges Valley of India, the Buddha proclaimed the law of faith.
It was here that he taught the keys aspects of Buddhism: the four noble truths,
the eightfold path and the middle way philosophy. The Buddha encouraged followers
to avoid extremes of austerity or pleasure. The remains of monasteries dating
from the third century B.C.E. to the first century C.E. indicate a thriving
Another of the most commonly visited places of Buddhist pilgrimage is Shravasti.
It is here that the Buddha is said to have performed great miracles. One story
tells of how on throwing down the seed of a mango, a great mango tree instantly
arose. Another story tells of how the Buddha stood in the air, the lower part
of his body engulfed in flames, with five hundred jets of water streaming
from the top of his body.
In Sankashaya the Buddha descended from the Tushita Heaven. It is said that
during the forty-first year of the Buddha's life, he went to the Tushita Heaven
to teach Dharma to his mother, who had died shortly after the Buddha's death.
Ashoka later built a Temple on the site. Today, little of the site's glory
remains. This is the only important place of Buddhist pilgrimage where no
temples, or monasteries exist today.
Nalanda is important both because it was blessed with the presence of the
Buddha, and because of the famous monastic university developed there. This
university also named Nalanda (meaning 'insatiable in giving') played a central
role in the development of Buddhism in India.
Rajgir is another place in the Ganges Valley where the Buddha walked and
preached. Perhaps the most important event of the Buddha's visits to Rajgir
was the conversion of two future disciples, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana. While
Sariputra was credited with greater intelligence, Maudgalyayana wielded a
greater power for miracles.
Other commemorative monuments to the spread in Buddhism in India include
Sanchi, Bharhut, Amaravati, and Nagarjunakonda where great Buddhist stupas
and Buddhist university sites remain. India also boosts the famous Buddhist
Cave Temples, Ajanta, Ellora, Kanheri and Karli located in western India.
The places of birth and enlightenment are perhaps the two most important sites
of pilgrimage for Buddhists in the world today. These are accompanied by a
number of other sites marking the spread of Buddhism throughout the Indian
Tour Programme :
11 Nights / 12 Days
Kathmandu - Lumbini(Nepal) - Sravasti - Kushinagar -
Varanasi(Sarnath) - Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Patna(Vaishali) - Kolkata
01 : Arrival Kathmandu
On arrival at Kathmandu airport greeting and assistance by our company,s representative,
transfer and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2 Kathmandu
After breakfast at the hotel, full day guided city tour including Patan, Swambhunath,
Bhadgaon and Bodhnath. Over night stay at the hotel.
Day 3 Kathmandu Lumbani
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Lumbini. Lunch en route. On arrival
check-in at hotel. Visit the site where Buddha was born. Dinner and overnigjht
Day 4 Lumbani Sravasti
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Sravasti, where Buddha spent 24 rainy seasons.
Lunch, dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 5 Sravasti Kushinagar
After breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Kushinagar. Visit the site of Lord Buddha's
cremation and visit the Mahaparinirvana temple. Lunch, Dinner and overnight
stay at hotel.
Day 6 Kushinagar - Sarnath Varanasi
After breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Varanasi visiting Sarnath en route. Lunch
at Sarnath. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 7 Varanasi
Early morning boat excursion on the river Ganges. Breakfast at the hotel. Guided
city tour of Varanasi. Lunch, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 8 Varanasi Bodhgaya
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Bodhgaya. Check-in and lunch at the hotel.
Afternoon, visit the Mahabodhi temple where Buddha attained enlightenment. Dinner
& overnight stay.
Day 9 Bodhgaya
After breakfast full day for Prayers & meditation in Bodhgaya. Lunch &
Dinner at hotel.Over night stay at the hotel.
Day 10 Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda Patna
After breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Patna visiting Rajgir and Nalanda enroute.
Lunch at Rajgir. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 11 Patna - Kolkata Delhi
Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to Vaishali. Lunch at the hotel. Transfer
to the airport to board flight for Kolkata/Delhi. On arrival Meeting and greeting
by company,s representative, transfer to International airport for onward journey.
Buddhist Temple Trip, Reservation Form