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Retracing Buddha’s path

Find yourself on the way to enlightenment and serenity as you travel down the lane through which Lord Buddha gained Nirvana. As you travel through these places you get a sense of the eternal bliss, the nirvana. As you follow the trails of Lord Buddha, who was born in a royal family as Prince Siddhartha Gautam, you learn that every place of Buddhist pilgrimage has its own significance. These pilgrimages give you knowledge on the various stages of Lord Buddha’s life after he attained Nirvana. As Lord Buddha travelled through these places, he spread the enlightenment and the foundations of the Buddhists traditions.

 

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Begin your journey in Lumbini (Nepal), the birthplace of Lord Buddha. It is here that Lord Buddha posed several questions to his existence, the meaning of his life and the quest for the truth. Get a sense of his existence by visiting the Maya Devi Temple, which marks the spot where the Queen gave birth to Lord Buddha whilst holding the trunk of the Sal tree. Also explore Puskarini pond, the remains of Kapilvastu Palace, Several monastaries, ancient stupas and sacred gardens dotted around the temple.
  • Visit Kushinagar's monasteries and see the shrine marking the spot of attaining Nirvana. En route visit ancient ruins of Nalanda university. Move on to Rajgir, the famous site where Buddha delivered many sermons. Dominating Rajgir is the Japanese built ‘Vishwa Shanti Stupa’ with its four gilded statues of the Buddha, on the Ratnagiri Hill. Also visit the cave on Gridhakuta Hill and the residence of Lord Buddha - Venuvan Vehara
  • Get enlightened in Bodhgaya, the place most revered of all Buddhist sacred places. Visit Bodhi Tree, Mahabodhi Stupa, Buddha Statue, and Archaeological Museum. Also visit the Chinese Temple, Niranjana River and the Sujata Temple.
  • Get a glimpse of the ruins at Sarnath, where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon by visiting spiritual sites such Dhamek Stupa, Mulagandhkuti Vihara, Asoka Pillar and the Museum.
  • Explore Sanchi, another UNESCO world heritage site and a home to several Buddhist monuments dating back from third century BC to twelfth century AD.
  • Visit the prehistoric Buddhist caves in Ajanta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best museums of ancient pictorial art. The rock cut carvings were made by Buddhist monks in second century BC.
  • Set out on an excursion to Ellora, also a world heritage site and home to monumental caves architecture. There are 34 caves, of which 12 caves are Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 are Jain caves.

DID YOU KNOW

  • It is rude to touch, sit near, or climb on a Buddha statue or the raised platform. Get permission before taking photographs and never do so during worship. When exiting, back away from the Buddha before turning your back.
    The best time to visit a Buddhist temple is early in the morning (just after sunrise) when the temperature is still cool and the monks are returning from their alms procession.
  • The monks that you see sweeping the temple stairs may be less concerned about dirt and more interested in removing the insects so that no one accidentally steps on one!
  • Buddhists believe there are many Buddhas, in the past, the future, and currently on earth: a Buddha is one who has awakened to a realistic view of the world and one's position in it.
  • Buddhism word is derived from Hindi word Budhi , which means WISDOM. In that sense Buddha means wise man.
  • Although Buddhism originated in India, but now there are almost no followers. It is more widely spread in Thailand, Japan, China .
    Buddhism is the it is the fourth largest religion in the world.
    The "Smiling Buddha" in Chinese restaurants is not a statue of the Buddha, rather it is Hotei a Budai from Chinese folklore
  • There are 40 times more Buddhists in the world than Jews
  • Rajgir was the capital of the Magadh Empire in the 5th century BC, and was ruled by King Bimbisara who later became a devotee of the Buddha.
  • It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage since the Buddha spent 12 years meditating and preaching here. Also the first Buddhist council after the Buddha attained Nirvana was held at Rajgir. The incident where Lord Buddha subdued a wild elephant, also adds to the importance of the place.
  • Dominating Rajgir is the Japanese built ‘Vishwa Shanti Stupa’ with its four gilded statues of the Buddha, on the Ratnagiri Hill. Adjoining is the Griddhakutta Hill or ‘the Vulture's Peak’. It is a site much venerated by the Buddhists as this was the favorite retreat of the Buddha.
  • Nalanda was once the most prestigious centre of learning in Asia. It was founded in the 5th century AD and had over 5000 international students and teachers along with a library which had over nine million manuscripts. It is here that the great Chinese scholar-monk, Hiuen Tsang came to study in the 7th century AD.
  • Built on a hallowed site where the Buddha often stayed, Nalanda flourished until 1199 AD when it was destroyed by the Muslim invaders. The evocative ruins of monasteries and temples still convey a vivid impression of the serene and orderly life of contemplation and learning that prevailed at Nalanda.

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