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Four Sacred Sites Associated with Lord Buddha Life

Package price per person sharing twin

Product Code : AGORA140

Four sacred sites associated with Lord Buddha Life, that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence. LUMBINI ‘Here the Tathagata [the one who has gone beyond all transitory phenomena] was born.’ BODHGAYA ‘Here the Tathagata became fully enlightened.’ SARNATH ‘Here the Tathagata set in motion the wheel of the dhamma.’ KUSHINAGAR ‘Here the Tathagata passed away into the state of nirvana in which no element of clinging remains!’ And the monk, the nun, the layman or laywoman who has faith should visit these places. And whoever, should die on such a pilgrimage with his heart established in faith, at the breaking up of the body after death will be reborn in a realm of heavenly happiness.

 

Day 01; Arrive Bodhgaya (Flight)

On arrival at Gaya airport assistance and transfer to hotel. Later sightseeing, overnight at hotel.

Bodhgaya, the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site, is where Siddhartha Gautama attained full enlightenment after sitting and meditating under the Bodhi tree (ficus religiosa) for 49 days. The primary points of homage here are the Bodhi tree (the current tree is a descendant of the original tree); the Vajrasana, or “diamond seat,” under the tree; and the Mahabodhi Temple, whose 52-meter spire rises up to the skies. The diamond seat, the oldest monument at Bodhgaya, is believed to have been erected by Ashoka to mark the spot where the Buddha gained ultimate liberation. The Mahabodhi Temple Compound includes a number of other shrines where the Buddha spent seven weeks immediately following his experience of nirvana.

Bodhgaya, now a World Heritage Site and a thriving tourist center, draws devotees from all over the world, who meditate, chant, offer flowers and incense, do prostrations, and engage in their respective rituals with great devotion and concentration. For many, sitting in meditation under the Bodhi tree, where the Buddha himself sat, is a profound spiritual experience.

 

Day 02; Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Patna (180km/ 4hr approx)

Breakfast at hotel. Morning to visit Mahabodhi Temple. Afternoon drive to Patna via visiting Rajgir 400m high Vishwa Shanti Stupa & Nalanda a hot seat of knowledge and learning established in the 5th century. 

Rajgir - was the largest city in Majjhimadesa during the Buddha’s time. Among the many notable places in the area are the tranquil Vulture’s Peak (Gijjhakuta), where the Buddha meditated, and the Sattapanni Cave, where the First Council was organized after the Buddha’s passing.

Nalanda - the Buddha spent time in Nalanda, and his two chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana, also came from its vicinity. Later, the acclaimed Buddhist monastic university thrived here until its destruction by invaders at the end of the 12th century. Today there is a new Nava Nalanda university as well as a beautiful memorial honoring the 7th-century Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang), whose work was indispensable for preserving India’s Buddhist heritage.

After sightseeing continue drive to Patna check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 03; Patna - Vaishali - Kesariya - Kushinagar (260kms/ 6 - 7hrs approx)

Breakfast at hotel, drive to Kushinagar enroute visit Vaishali a city of great importance in Buddhist history. Among other significant events, the Buddha admitted women into the monastic order at the Kutagarasala Vihara and delivered the famous Jewel Discourse (Ratana Sutta) to purge the city when faced with a devastating drought, famine, and plague.

Continue driver and visit Kesariya Stupa - Initially constructed as a mud stupa, it gained its present structure in the Maurya, Sunga and Kushana period. The stupa dates between 200 AD and 750 AD and may have been associated with the 4th-century ruler, Raja Chakravarti. Kesariya Stupa is 104 feet high. Huien Tsang mentions having seen the grand Stupa in Kia-shi-po-lo (Kesariya) but it was deserted and overgrown. The Kesariya stupa was discovered in 1958 during an excavation. 

On arrival check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax and visit the Mahapari-nirvaana Temple.

 

Day 04; Kushinagar - Lumbini (160kms/ 4hrs approx)

Breakfast at hotel morning to visit Mahapari-nirvaana Temple.

The Buddha passed away at the age of 80 in Kushinagar. The important sites in Kushinagar are the Mahapari-nirvaana Temple, home to a superb 1,500-year-old red sandstone statue of the reclining Buddha, and the imposing Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which was built over the spot where the Buddha is said to have passed away under twin sal trees. The Buddha’s last words at Kushinagar were these: “All compounded things are subject to decay: strive with diligence” (Vaya dhamma sankhara; appamadena sampadetha). Pilgrims to Kushinagar walk in silence around the massive reclining statue of the Buddha to pay homage to the truth of anicca (impermanence) and cultivate a deep sense of gratitude for the Buddha and his teaching. 

After sightseeing drive to Lumbini check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 05; Lumbini

Breakfast at hotel full day to explore Lumbini.

Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, in present-day southern Nepal. What is considered the exact location of the birth is identified by a stone slab in the inner sanctum of the Maya Devi Temple, named after Siddhartha’s mother. Above the stone slab is a damaged sculpture of Queen Maya Devi holding the branch of a sala tree after giving birth to Prince Siddhartha, who stands erect on a lotus pedestal. The oldest monument at Lumbini is the Ashoka Pillar, which marks it as the birthplace of the Buddha. A little south of the pillar is the spring-fed rectangular Puskarni pond, where Maya Devi is believed to have bathed before giving birth. The Sacred Garden, developed in recent years, lies beyond the Maya Devi compound and hosts some 40 monasteries from Asian Buddhist nations. At the end of a beautiful canal- and tree-lined avenue is the majestic World Peace Pagoda (Vishwa Shanti Stupa), built by the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order. Today, the Lumbini Sacred Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of world peace.

Kapilavastu - in Nepal where Prince Siddhartha spent the first 29 years of his life. However, some archaeologists believe that Piprahwa, in India’s Uttar Pradesh, ten miles south of the Nepali border, is the true location of Kapilavastu.

 

Day 06; Lumbini - Shravasti (160kms/ 3hrs approx)

Breakfast at hotel drive to Sravasti check in at hotel. Afternoon sightseeing, overnight at hotel.

Shravasti - The Buddha spent 25 rain retreats at Shravasti (Pali, Savatthi). Three-fourths of the Buddha’s discourses, including the well-known Lovingkindness Discourse (Karaniya Metta Sutta), were given at Jetavana Vihara here, donated by the Buddha’s great lay disciple Anathapindika.

The ruins at Saheth and Maheth are believed to be the site of ancient Shravasti. Maheth was the city-proper while the Jetavana monastery was at Saheth. Of the ancient Shravasti, the city walls are still standing. Within these, the remains of 3 ancient buildings can be visited: Angulimala's stupa, Anathapindika's stupa, and an old temple dedicated to a Jain Tirthankara. Outside of Shravasti is located the stupa where the Twin Miracle (Pali:Yamaka-pātihāriya) took place. The site of Jetavana monastery is the main pilgrim destination, with meditation and chanting mainly done at the Gandhakuti (Buddha's hut) and the Anandabodhi tree. Buddhist monasteries from the following countries have been constructed at Shravasti: Thailand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Tibet, and China.

 

Day 07; Shravasti – Varanasi (315kms/ 6hrs approx)

Breakfast at hotel, drive to Varanasi check in at hotel. Evening walking tour of Ghats’s temples & mosque on ghats. Also attend Holy Ganga Aarti, a magical aarti performed at Dasashwamedh Ghat at sunset. Halt your boat right at the steps for the best view. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 08; Varanasi 

Breakfast at hotels full day to explore Sarnath & Varanasi.

Sarnath - here the Buddha delivered his first discourse, the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta (Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion), which explains the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path. It was also in Sarnath that the Buddha appointed his first group of disciples (sangha) to propagate his new teaching. Among the most notable monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamek Stupa, originally built by Ashoka, and the Ashoka Pillar, whose inscription points out the necessity of unity within the sangha. The ruins of various stupas and monasteries at Sarnath bear witness to of the monastic tradition that flourished here for over 1,500 years; among the new temples is the Mulaghandhakuti Vihara, built in 1922 by Anagarika Dharmapala. Today, hundreds of pilgrims visit the Vihara every evening to chant the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta, acknowledging with their voices the wisdom and compassion that began to emanate from Sarnath with the Buddha’s first sermon.

City tour of Varanasi visit World famous Benaras Hindu University, The Ramnagar Fort Palace & Many Temples. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 09; Varanasi – Departure (Flight)

Early morning boat ride and Ghat visit along the Ganges and catch the scene of devotees bathing and praying in the sacred water. 

Breakfast at hotel.

As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.

Garland welcome and assistance on arrival at airport

8-nights / 9-days accommodation in offered hotels or similar (standard room)

Daily breakfast at hotel in each package price

Deluxe Air-conditioned chauffeur driven private vehicle as per tour program.

1 Time Monuments entrances of sightseeing places mentioned in the itinerary (almost all places of tourist interest are included in our itinerary)

Cycle rickshaw ride in Varanasi

Bottled drinking water in vehicle

Sunrise and sunset Boat ride on holy River Ganges in Varanasi

Government licensed English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city).

Applicable GST (government taxes).

Any flight ticket

Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned

Camera charges at monuments

Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.

Or anything not mentioned in inclusions.

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