Buddhist Tour Packages
India being the birth place of Buddhism, tourists from all over the world, especially from the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist worlds like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Vietnam, Mongolia, Indonesia - all arrive India to make their holy pilgrimage. From Siddharta to Sakyamuni and finally to the Buddha or the enlightened one - is an incredible transformation of a prince to an enlightened teacher who walked the earth more than 2500 years ago.
The Buddhist tour is not only a source of religious attraction but also the splendor of art and architecture inherent in the Buddhist Caves of Ajanta and Ellora, Kanheri and Karli in the western India, cultural and educational aspects inherent in Bodh Gaya and Rajgir. The significant points along the Buddhist tour circuit are Vaishali, Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Shravasti, Sankashaya, Nalanda and Rajgir.
The pilgrimage starts with Patna city followed by nearby Vaishali - where the Buddha preached his last sermon. There are visits to stupas, holding urns containing ashes of Buddha and the Ashok pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka to mark places sanctified by Buddha.
This is followed by Rajgir, Gridhrakula, Sapataparni cave, the Ajatsatru Fort, Venuvana and Nalanda - the world's oldest university founded in the 5th century. There are numerous monasteries and temples with impressive Buddhist and Hindu images. And the Institute for research into Buddhism and Pali Literature housing very rare and precious manuscripts.
One then departs for Bodhgaya, the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage center- it was here that Gautama attained enlightenment and became Buddha under the "Bodhi" tree Satabodhi temple. En route you will visit the Baraliar caves with most impressive and ancient examples of rock cut caves.
From Bodhgaya, further via Varanasi to nearby Sarnath where around 530 B.C Buddha preached his 1st sermon, the principle center of Buddhism. It was here around 530 B.C that Buddha preached his 1st sermon after gaining enlightenment.
Then follows a drive to Kushinagar where Buddha was cremated with a visit to Ramabha stupa - the spot where the body of the Lord was cremated and Natha Kumarka Kot, enshrining the large recumbent figure of Buddha.
This is followed by an excursion to Lumbini, where Buddha was born. A trip into Balrampur, Sravasti and other Buddhist shrines en route and its back to Delhi.
Here are some of the salient highlights in detail :
Patna city, on the southern bank of the Ganges river, is 2500 years old! It is the gateway to Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, and Vaishali. It has a beautiful Mosque, Shershah Masjid, built in Afghani style. The Har Mandir Temple here is the second most important pilgrimage for the Sikhs after the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The Jalan Museum has a good collection of silver and jade Mughal filigree work.
Nalanda was a renowned ancient university established in the 5th century B.C. and was a live center of learning right up to the 12th century A.D! With educational, residential facilities for 10,000 students and 2000 teachers, its library once contained nine million volumes. The Nalanda Museum houses exquisite bronzes of the 9th and 10th centuries. The beautiful Thai Temple is 2 km from here.
Bodhgaya is where the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The sacred Bodhi tree was destroyed both intentionally and naturally many times yet continued to re-sprout and is visible even today. The Mahabodhi Temple was built here in the third century by Emperor Ashoka. A thriving Monastic Order continues with three monasteries.
Rajgir is where the Buddha first came to seek salvation. The Buddhist relics are a monastery, a stupa, the Japanese built World Peace Stupa with gilded images of the Buddha, Nipponzan Myohoji, a Japanese temple, and the Centaur Hokke Club.
Kushinagar is where Lord Buddha breathed his last. There is the Ramabhar stupa where the body of the Lord was cremated in 483 BC and Mahaparinirvana Temple which has a huge statue of Lord Buddha in reclining position. Mathakuar Shrine is where Lord Buddha gave his last sermon. There are many modern temples, stupas, and shrines.
Lumbini is located near the Nepal-India border, this is where
Gautam Buddha was born in 556 B.C. Many auspicious signs accompanied
His birth including sprouting of the Bodhi tree. Emperor Ashoka
constructed a stupa (sacred mound) and pillar here, now important