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Arrive Delhi (By: International Flight)
Arrive Delhi International airport, meet and greet by the team member at airport, board the waiting vehicle at the parking area and drive to hotel for check-in and overnight stay.
Meals: Nil. Overnight stay in Hotel at Delhi
Delhi (By: Surface)
Morning after breakfast drive to Delhi University and visit Department of Buddhist Studies for interaction with highly qualified professor of the Department
Note: We would require profile of the guests to choose the topic of discussion and arrange the talk with the professor. If there are more than 10 to 12 guests then we will need to organise a conference hall for the interaction.
After the interaction proceed for lunch at a restaurant.
Post lunch visit National Museum and Lodhi Garden – One of the most beautiful garden of India.
The National Museum in New Delhi, also known as the National Museum of India, is one of the largest museums in India. Established in 1949, it holds variety of articles ranging from pre-historic era to modern works of art. One of the original relics of Lord Buddha is stored here and is available on display.
Lodi Gardens is a city park situated in New Delhi, India. Spread over 90 acres (360,000 m2) it is one of the largest and most beautiful parks of India, it contains, Mohammed Shah's Tomb, Tomb of Sikandar Lodi, Shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad, architectural works of the 15th century by Lodis- who ruled parts of northern India and Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of modern-day Pakistan, from 1451 to 1526. The site is now protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Continue further for sightseeing of Lutyens Delhi, an area in New Delhi, India, named after the British architect Edwin Lutyens, who was responsible for much of the architectural design and building including President Estate and Parliament of India when India was part of the British Empire in the 1920s and 1930s.
Rashtra Pati Bhawan (President Estate) from Outside: The Rashtrapati Bhavan (About this sound pronunciation (help·info), "rásh-tra-pa-ti bha-van"; Presidential Residence") is the official home of the president located at the Western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, India. It may refer to only the mansion (the 340-room main building) that has the president's official residence, halls, guest rooms and offices; it may also refer to the entire 130-hectare (320 acre) President Estate that additionally includes huge presidential gardens (Mughal Gardens), large open spaces, residences of bodyguards and staff, stables, other offices and utilities within its perimeter walls. In terms of area, it is one of the largest residences of a head of state in the world.
India Gate: The India Gate, (originally called the All India War Memorial), is a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the ‘ceremonial axis’ of New Delhi, India, formerly called Kingsway. India Gate is a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War, in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen's names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate.
After sightseeing drive to restaurant for dinner and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch and dinner at restaurant in Delhi. Overnight stay in Hotel at Delhi
Delhi – Varanasi (Ref Flight: Dep 1050/Arr 1210Hrs)
Morning after relaxed breakfast at the hotel, drive to Delhi airport and board the flight to Varanasi. On arrival at Varanasi board the waiting vehicle and drive straight to the hotel for check-in followed by lunch in the Hotel.
Post lunch procced to Banaras Hindu University for an interaction with learned Yoga teacher or Priest of a very old Temple in The University Campus.
Banaras Hindu University, formerly Central Hindu College, is a public central university located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Established in 1916 by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, BHU is the largest residential university in Asia, with over 35,000 students.
The university's main campus spread over 1,300 acres (5.3 km2) was built on land donated by the Kashi Naresh, the hereditary ruler of Banaras ("Kashi" being an alternative name for Banaras or Varanasi). The Banaras Hindu University, South campus, spread over 2,700 acres (11 km2), hosts the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Agriculture Science Centre) and is located in Barkachha in Mirzapur district, about 60 km (37 mi) from Banaras.
Its colleges include engineering (IIT-BHU), management (IM-BHU, erstwhile FMS-BHU), science (I.Sc. - BHU), linguistics, journalism & mass communication, performing arts, law, agriculture (IAS-BHU), medicine/dentistry/Ayurveda/pharmacy/nursing (IMS-BHU), and Institute of Environment And Sustainable Development (IESD-BHU). Total student enrollment at the university exceeds 35000, including 700+ students from over 34 nations.
Later drive back to the Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast in Delhi Hotel, Lunch and dinner at Varanasi Hotel. Overnight stay in Hotel at Varanasi.
Varanasi By: Surface
Early morning proceed to the bank of Holy River Ganga in Varanasi which is one of the oldest living (civilisation) city in the world for Navagraha Puja (9 Planets Cosmic Prayer) as per Hindu Vedic rituals for peace and well-being of self, mankind and nature. Nava-Grahas or Nine Planets is believed to have deeper impact on human beings and Mankind.
This prayer deals with the nava-grahas or nine planets effects on mankind, to enlighten people of the world over, and help them leading a life of peace, happiness, success, and well-rounded prosperity. The prayer is more than five thousand years old ritual which has been followed continuously since ages in India.
The early mornings are known and considered as the best time for meditation as mind and soul of a person is calmer and thus a person feels very high positive energy in the atmosphere. As per hindu Vedic ritual which is considered as old as some 5000 BCE there are some protocols for performing and participating in a Yagya (fire sacrifice) or Navgraha Puja (9 Planets Cosmic prayer) as below:-
1) Take a shower to cleanse yourself. As a clean or fresh body tends to absorbs more positive energy from the environment than a dusty or unclean body apart for many other reasons.
2) Dress in lightly coloured comfortable cotton clothing as it soothes the mind more than any other material or bright and vibrant colour.
3) Walking barefoot to the prayer place as this indicates the readiness of devotion and sacrifice to achieve peace and enjoy bliss.
The nine planets of the Vedic or Hindu Astrology are collectively termed as the "Navagraha", and these are placed in the twelve houses of the Vedic Birth Chart or Horoscope. These nine planets comprising the seven visible planets and two shadowy planets of Rahu and Ketu, influence naturally the lives of people on the earth, and are considered responsible for causing all good and bad thoughts, deeds, and happenings in the lives of people worldwide. These nine planets in vedic astrology are treated as deities, with specific powers, nature, and characteristic qualities, depending on which each of these offers positive and negative influences on people.
After the prayer visit Manikarnika Ghat (River Bank) of Holy River Ganga for observing Hindu cremation process and learning about Hindu Vedic rituals of Shraddh (rituals for deceased).
Shraddh (As Per Vedic Philosophy): In India, if someone close to us dies, Hindus are supposed to sit and watch – no one leaves a dead body alone. If we keep the body for over two to three days, the hair will grow. If it was a man and he used to shave, you can see this from the facial hair. The nails will also grow. Therefore, in countries where they preserve the dead bodies for a longer time, the undertakers clip the nails and shave the beard. This is so because of the way life manifests. For the sake of understanding – there is fundamental life and physical life. Physical life energy, which is generally referred to as prana, has five basic manifestations. These are called samana, prana, udhana, apana, and vyana.
The Stages of Death
Within 21 to 24 minutes from the moment when a doctor would declare a person as dead, samana starts exiting. Samana is in charge of maintaining the temperature in the body. The first thing that happens after death is, the body starts cooling down. The traditional way of checking whether someone is dead or alive is to feel the nose – they would not check the eyeballs and other parameters. If the nose has gone cold, they concluded that he is dead.
Somewhere between 48 to 64 minutes after someone is considered as dead, prana (life) exits. Between six and twelve hours after, udhana exits. There are tantric processes through which some tantric gurus (learned) could revive the body before udhana exits i.e. just after prana (life) exits. Once udhana has exited, it is practically impossible to revive the body. Then, somewhere between eight to eighteen hours, apana exits. Subsequently, vyana, which is the preservative nature of prana, will start exiting and may continue to do so for up to 11 to 14 days if it is a normal death – that is if someone died of old age, because life became feeble. For that period of time, certain processes will continue in the body; there will still be some element of life. If someone died in an accident, when the life within was still vibrant – unless the body is totally crushed – the reverberations of this life will continue somewhere between 48 and 90 days.
During that time, there are things that Hindus believe they can do for that life. Our experience of death is that someone is gone, but the experience of that being is that he or she has exited the body. Once they have exited the body, we have no business with them anymore. We cannot recognize them anymore, and if they came back, we would be terrified. If people we love died and would pop up again, there would be terror – not love, because our relationship is with their body or with their conscious mind and emotion. Once someone dies, those two aspects are left behind.
The mind is just a bunch of information that has natural tendencies which find expression in a certain way. When someone dies, there is no more discernment, no more intellect. If you put one drop of pleasantness into their mind, this pleasantness will multiply a million fold. If you put one drop of unpleasantness, that unpleasantness will multiply a million fold. After death, discernment is completely absent, even more than in a child. Then, whatever quality you put into the mind, it will multiply a million fold. This is what is being referred to as heaven and hell. If you go into a pleasant state of existence, it is called heaven. If you go into an unpleasant state of existence, it is called hell. These are not geographical locations – these are experiential realities that a life which has become disembodied is going through.
Death Rituals as per Vedic Process: How well or how ridiculously it is done today is a different matter, but there is a whole science of what to do at different steps. One of the first things people traditionally do if someone dies is, they will tie the big toes of the dead body together. This is very important because it will tighten up the muladhara (anus) in such a way that the body cannot be invaded by that life once again. A prana (life) that has not lived with the awareness that “this body is not me” will try to enter through any orifice of the body, particularly through the muladhara. The muladhara is where life generates, and it is always the last point of warmth when the body is cooling down.
The reason why traditionally, Hindus always said that if someone dies, you must burn the body within an hour-and-a-half or a maximum of four hours is because life tries to get back. This is also important for the living. If someone very dear to you died, your mind may start playing tricks, thinking that maybe a miracle will happen, maybe God will come and bring them back. It has never happened to anyone, but still the mind plays up because of the emotions that you have for that particular person. Similarly, the life that has exited the body also believes that it can still get back into the body. There are many Hindu rituals to see that you can somehow put a drop of sweetness into such a non-discerning mind so that this sweetness will multiply many fold and they will live comfortably in a kind of self-induced heaven. That is the idea behind the rituals – if they are done properly.
It indicates a physical relationship. Hindus believe whenever they touch someone – either because of blood relationship or sexual relationships, or even if you just hold someone’s hand or exchange clothes – these two bodies will generate runanubandha, a certain commonality. When someone dies, traditionally, they are seeing how to completely obliterate (destroy) the runanubandha. The idea of putting the ashes in the Ganga or in the ocean is to disperse them as widely as possible so that you do not develop runanubandha with one who has departed. For people to continue their life, they must properly break this runanubandha. Otherwise, as it happens in modern societies, it will affect your physical and mental structure. Children up to eight years of age are immune to these things – nature has given them that protection, but adolescents will suffer immensely when they do not take care of the dead properly, because the energies of disembodied beings are always there and the first ones that they go after are adolescents because they are the most vulnerable. You see in the world today how much upheaval (disturbance) people are going through during adolescence.
One of the reasons why adolescence is more of a struggle today than it was in previous generations is that we are not properly taking care of those who have departed and these runanubandhas are all over the place. It is like loose software everywhere, and it always affects adolescent life most.
Later return to the hotel for late breakfast and relax till lunch at the hotel
Post lunch drive 13Kms/ 45Mins to Sarnath - the place where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon in 590 BC.
Chaukhandi Stupa is an important Buddhist stupa in Sarnath, located 13 kilometres from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Stupas have evolved from burial mounds and serve as a shrine for a relic of the Buddha.
Dhamek Stupa is a massive stupa located at Sarnath, 13 km away from Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Stupas originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli, in which ascetics were buried in a seated position, called chaitya.
Further drive back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in the Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at Hotel in Varanasi. Overnight stay in Hotel at Varanasi.
Varanasi – Bodhgaya By Road: 260Kms/6Hrs
Morning after breakfast in Hotel drive to Bodhgaya. Arrive and check-in at the hotel for lunch.
Post lunch visit the Holy and super spiritual place Bodh-Gaya. Visit the holy sight where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment followed by Sujata Temple. The BodhGaya site contains a descendant of the Bodhi Tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment. The spiritually important 170 feet UNESCO listed Mahabodhi Temple is one of the oldest shrines in India. Its art and architecture has been described in glowing terms by the 7th century Chinese traveler Huien Tsang. In all probability the main tower of the temple was built in the sixth century AD
The Mahabodhi Vihar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Bodh Gaya is about 96 km from Patna, Bihar state, India.
In the 6th century B.C. Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Lord Buddha) attained Supreme Enlightenment at this Holy place and became the Buddha. In commemoration thereof, Emperor Asoka set-up the Vajrasana (Diamond Throne) of polished sandstone representing the seat of Enlightenment in the 3rd century B.C. Thereafter he built a stupa in veneration of the Buddha which remained there upto the 2nd century A.D. The original structure of Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple was completed in 7th century A.D. during the reign of Gupta kings. The temple underwent several restorations, renovations and repairs in subsequent period in which the Burmese greatly contributed. In 1883, a very thorough and scientific renovation of the Temple was done under the supervision of the British Archaeologist Sir A. Cunningham and J.D.M. Beglar and the Indian Archaeologist Dr. Rajendra Lal Mitra. Again in 1956, on the occasion of 2500th Buddha Jayanti celebrations, the Govt. of India did some repair works and enlarged the premises of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara. This is the most sacred place of Buddhist Pilgrimage in the world.
The gold painted statue of Buddha in the sanctum shrine of the Temple is made of Black stone built by the Pala kings of Bengal. The Buddha is seen seated in the Bhumisparsa Mudra or the Earth touching posture.
The Mahabodhi Mahavihara has now been declared a World Heritage Property by the UNESCO on the 27th June 2002.
At BodhGaya we will organise an area for practicing some quite time and experience the super natural power of the place. Without meditating and practising the quiet time at BodhGaya the tour will be incomplete.
From here proceed to Sujata Temple.
Sujata stupa in Gaya’s Sujatagarh is where an old woman, Sujata, is believed to have offered kheer (a sweet dish prepared from rice and milk) to a frail Buddha, who got an energy boost after having it.
Later drive back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast at Hotel in Varanasi, lunch and dinner in Hotel at Bodhgaya. Overnight stay in Hotel at Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya By: Surface
Morning after shower we will leave for Mahabodhi Temple without eating or drinking (as this is believed to be the sacred way of offering prayer) where the priest of the temple will meet on arrival followed by prayer with incense sticks and flowers. Later the priest will do a special prayer of 10-15 minutes for the guest, where all will chant the auspicious Buddhist sutras at this highly positive and spiritual place.
Later drive back to the hotel for breakfast and relax till lunch. Post lunch proceed to meet the Karmapa or Rinpoche for a small interaction. As per current schedule Karmapa is scheduled to be in BodhGaya from 26 Nov, 2017 to 11 Dec, 2017 but the meeting with Karmapa is strictly subject to prior permission based on his revised schedule and availability.
Evening free to leisure time followed by dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner in hotel at Bodhgaya. Overnight stay in Hotel at Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya – Dunageshwari – Rajgir By Road: 75Kms/3Hrs
Morning after breakfast in hotel drive 20Kms/1Hr to Dunahesgwari for visiting Cave Temple.
This site is considered important as it is believed that Gautam Buddha meditated for six years at Dungeshwari before proceeding to Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Bodh Gaya, where he attained enlightenment. We will stop here for 30mins approx. for self-meditation and experience the energies around this place.
After visiting Dunageshwari temple drive further to Rajgir. Arrive and check-in at the hotel for lunch.
Post lunch visit Girddhkut (Vulture Hill). The well-known Buddhist site of Griddhakuta Hill is deservedly an attraction in Rajgir not to be missed. During the rainy season the Lord Buddha used to climb up to this mountain retreat atop the Griddhakuta Hill and deliver sermons to his disciples. Meditation and practicing quite timing for at-least half an hour must be observed at this place.
Later drive back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast in Bodhgaya Hotel, Lunch and dinner in Rajgir Hotel. Overnight stay in hotel at Rajgir.
Rajgir – Nalanda – Patna (By Road: 115Kms/4Hrs Patna – Delhi (Ref flight: Dep 1750Hrs/Arr 1940Hrs)
Morning after breakfast in the hotel drive 20Kms to Nalanda. On arrival visit The World famous Nalanda University and Xuanzang museum.
Nalanda University was one of the first universities in the world, founded in the 5th Century BC, and reported to have been visited by the Buddha during his lifetime. At its peak, in the 7th century AD, Nalanda held some 10,000 students and 2000 teachers when it was visited by the Chinese scholar Xuanzang. Historical studies indicate that the University of Nalanda was established during the reign of the Gupta emperor Kumara gupta. Both Xuanzang and Prajñavarman cite him as the founder, as does a seal discovered at the site.
The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the university in the 7th century. Xuanzang described how the regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples seemed to “soar above the mists in the sky” so that from their cells the monks “might witness the birth of the winds and clouds. Xuanzang states: “An azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with the full-blown cups of the blue lotus; the dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there, and outside groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their dense and protective shade.
At Nalanad University spend time interacting and learning more about the university and ruins of Nalanad from a senior professor and after lunch at restaurant drive approx. 95Kms to Patna.
On arrival at Patna airport board the flight to Delhi. From Delhi airport drive to restaurant from dinner and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast in hotel at Rajgir, Lunch in restaurant at Nalanda, Dinner at Restaurant in Delhi. Overnight stay in Hotel at Delhi.
Delhi – Agra(By Road: 240Kms/5Hrs)
Morning after breakfast in Hotel drive to Agra. Arrive and check-in at the hotel followed by lunch.
Post lunch visit Agra Fort, Taj Mahala and enjoy Mohabbatein Taj (Love Taj) Show.
Agra Fort: Significance: The largest of Agra’s monuments, Agra Fort was built by the greatest of the Mughals, Akbar in the 16th century AD. This magnificent red sandstone structure consists of a sprawling collection of fairytale halls, palaces, buildings and pavilions which were inhabited by the Mughal rulers, their family, courtiers and staff in the bygone era.
Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience and Jahangiri Mahal are prominent buildings in the fort. Diwan-i-Khas was home to the famous Peacock Throne and Koh-i-noor diamond.
Within the fort you will also find Nagina Masjid (Gem Mosque) built by Shah Jahan for the ladies of the court, mirrored Sheesh Mahal and Mussaman Burj, an amazing white-marble octagonal tower.
• Credentials: UNESCO Heritage
• Opening & Closing day & time: 10:00Hrs to 17:00 Hrs
• Rules: Dress Code- (No)/Camera (Allowed)/Professional Photography & Videography etc (Allowed on Extra cost )
• Language Guide: Available
Taj Mahal (CLOSED ON FRIDAY): Significance: India’s most beautiful monument, the Taj Mahal was built by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 AD in memory of his beloved and third wife Arjumand Banu Begum (better known as Mumtaz Mahal). Built of white marble this perfectly symmetrical monument is a pinnacle of the Mughal architecture and took 22 years of labour and twenty thousand workers, jewellers and masons to build.
One of the world’s most beautiful structures the Taj Mahal is so called after the title of the empress. Poetically described as “a tender elegy in marble,” it was commenced in 1631 and completed some time around 1653.
Situated 125 miles (200km) south of Delhi, Agra is an essential stop in any tour of India.
• Credentials: UNESCO Heritage
• Opening & Closing day & time: Down dusk/ Closed on Friday
• Rules: Dress Code- (No)/Camera and Video (limited Use)
• Language Guide: Available
After sightseeing spend the evening enjoying the amazing Mohabbat The Taj show that depicts the romantic love story of Emperor Shajahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal in the famous theater Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Center. You will be blown away by the creative dance and dramatic lighting with the 12’ x 12’ Taj Mahal replica as well as the lavish lifestyle of the Mughal Empire. The live show is in both Hindi and Urdu languages and interpretation.
Later drive back to hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast in Hotel at Delhi, Lunch and dinner in Hotel at Agra. Overnight stay in Hotel at Agra
Agra – Delhi(By Road: 240Kms/4Hrs)
Morning after breakfast in hotel drive to Delhi. Arrive and transfer to the restaurant for lunch.
Later proceed for shopping in Delhi followed by dinner and departure from Delhi International Airport.