Salient Features of buddhist circuit special Tour
Exclusive Train for the Buddhist Circuit Tour:
Mahaparinirvan Express is an exclusive air conditioned train chugging through the Buddhist Heritage Destinations of India-Nepal. During this train tour, the passengers who have opted for Mahaparinirvan Express only are entitled to travel. The entry of other passengers is restricted in this train tour, which ensures the safety of travellers.
Security on train
Private Security Guards are deputed for each coach to constantly keep a close check and ensure safety of passengers.
Onboard Hygienic Kitchen Car Facility
During Buddhist Train Tour, the passengers are free to avail the Hygienic Kitchen Car Facility onboard. They can choose from a variety of sumptuous hot meals (Veg / Non Veg), snacks and cold drinks inside the train. Refreshments like packaged drinking water, tea and coffee are also available in ample quantity to the passengers.
On-board Hygienic Lavatories and Showers
For the convenience of the passengers, the clean and hygienic standards are maintained in the Buddhist train through well maintained lavatories and showers.
Accommodation in Comfortable Hotels of the Buddhist Circuit
Accommodation in comfortable hotels of the remote Buddhist Circuit is another highlight of Buddhist Train Tour.
All the passengers of Buddhist train are provided with the Travel Insurance Cover for the duration of this train tour.
In case of any emergency, medical support can be availed through an extensive network of Indian Railways Medical Facilities.
Buddhist Train Tour can arrange for specific tour guides of various languages for large groups, if informed in advance.
Buddhist Train passengers are requested to obtain Proper VISA to visit Lumbini (Nepal) before visiting India. However, we can provide local assistance in obtaining VISA at the time of entry in Nepal as per existing rules.
The main highlight of Buddhist Train Tour of Mahaparinirvan Express is the detailed and educational tour of Buddhist Circuit of India-Nepal with an added attraction of Taj Mahal sightseeing. Following is a brief description of the highlights of destinations covered under Buddhist Circuit Train Tour.
The ancient city of Gaya is a great cultural epicenter in Hindu beliefs. Worshipping ancestors during the fortnight period called Pitrapaksha or Shradh is a common practice at Gaya. In September, the city of Gaya becomes the place of pilgrimage revered for the festival of souls.
Gaya was named on a mythological demon Gayasur (the holy demon) who practiced austerities for thousand years in order to be the holiest of all things and that all he saw or touched would go to heaven. After every god failed to take life of the holy demon, Lord Vishnu was called upon and he released the demon from the worldly woes.
As a last boon, the demon asked that the gods should abide for all time on his body and the place would be considered the holiest pilgrimages where human can obtain salvation by offering oblation to their ancestors. His prayer was granted as a boon where his body got transformed into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of the Gaya city.
The present Gaya city is considered so holy that it can absolve the sins of all those who touched the holy landscape. The most popular temple in Gaya is Vishnupad Temple, a religious site where Lord Vishnu released Gayasura’s soul by placing his foot on the demon’s chest. The revered footprint carving of Lord Vishnu on rock basalt marks the very same act and is considered pious site of Gaya.
According the Buddhist traditions, the footstep at the Vishnupad Temple is revered by many of the faith followers. For Buddhists, Gaya is an important pilgrimage place because it features Brahmayoni hill where Buddha preached the Fire Sermon (Adittapariyaya Sutta) to one thousand former fire-worshipping ascetics. With this sermon, Lord Buddha enlightened these ascetics, making the hill famous as Gayasisa.
Bodhgaya is the epicenter of Buddhism where Prince Siddhartha as a wandering as a monk reached the isolated banks of Falgu River and attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. After three days and nights of continuous meditation, Siddhartha attained enlightenment and insight, and the answers that he had sought. His enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree is marked as a feat of human determination and will in the journey of awakening.
After enlightenment, Buddha spent seven weeks at seven different spots in the forest contemplating the ultimate knowledge. Present day Bodhgaya dwells around the Bodhi Tree under which Prince gained enlightenment and Mahabodhi Temple complex constructed by Emperor Ashoka. Niranjana River is also considered pious, as Lord Buddha after his enlightenment took bath in this sacred river.
Rajgir or the abode of kings played a great role in the life of the Buddha. Bimbisara, one of the followers of Buddha ruled Rajgir, the capital of Magadhan Empire. In search of ultimate knowledge, Prince Siddhartha renounced his royal heritage and came to Rajgir to seek the path of salvation. After enlightenment, he kept the promise with Bimbisara to visit Rajgriha and graced the city with his serenity and calm. Here, he rendered many spiritual discourses and converted King Bimbisara and many other citizens into Buddhism.
The hills and caves of Rajagriha were important Buddhist hubs where important Buddhist events took place. Gautam Buddha spent several months meditating and preaching at Griddhkuta (‘Hill of the Vultures’) at Rajgir. Bimbisara Jail where he was jailed by his son Ajatshatru is also an attraction of Rajgir. The site also witnessed some of Buddha’s important sermons. After Buddha’s Parinirvana, Rajgir’s Saptaparni Caves were chosen as the first Buddhist council. Such is the connection and link of Rajgir with Buddha that it has become a prominent Buddhist heritage site.
The ancient university of Nalanda was insatiable in imparting knowledge. During the Buddha’s times, Nalanda was one of the world’s first residential universities accommodating dormitories for students. In its heyday, the residential university accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was based on global beliefs with its students belonging to countries like Korea, Persia, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia and Turkey.
Buddha himself discoursed many times during the tour to Nalanda University. Current day ruins of Nalanda University transport a pilgrim to the timeless educational era of Buddha’s time.
Varanasi is the great spiritual center of Hindu beliefs. Situated along the western Ganges riverfronts, Varanasi or Kashi or Benaras is the city of Lord Vishwanath – Lord Shiva. One of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages, Varanasi hosts one of the prominent Jyotirlingas at Kashi Vishwanath temple. The oldest continuing city of India, life around Varanasi Ghats is full of vivid cultures and diverse traditions.
It’s an irony that Varanasi Ghats are full of life on the one hand and on the other offer perfect grounds for ultimate release of soul i.e. Moksha.
Different people come for different reasons at Varanasi. Some come to wash away their sins in the Ganges dip whereas others come to find ultimate liberation from the lifecycle by taking the last breath on this holy land. Cremation on the Ghats of Varanasi is believed to release a soul from the cycle of life and death.
Sarnath is 13 kilometres away from Varanasi and holds reverence in the Buddhist beliefs. Here, after enlightenment, Lord Buddha first taught Dharma and formed Sangha with his first five followers. He explained the middle way which avoids extremes, the Four Noble Truths, and prescribed the Eight-fold path at Sarnath only. The site is worshipped by every Buddhist follower, whose ultimate desire is to visit Sarnath once in his mortal life.
The stupas, pillar edicts and monasteries in Sarnath were constructed by Emperor Ashoka. The four lion pillar of Sarnath in the museum is an added attraction which is believed to be an inspiration behind national emblem of India.
Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh is revered for its links with Gautama Buddha’s renouncement of worldly pleasures. Here only, he gave up his princely attire at the confluence of the rivers Rapti and Rohini, near Gorakhpur, before setting out on his quest of truth in 600 BC.
Kushinagar is the site where Lord Buddha attained Parinirvana (or Final Nirvana) after falling ill from eating a mushroom meal. It is said that the Buddha had three reasons for coming to Kushinagar to die:1.
It was the proper venue for the preaching of the Maha-Sudassana Sutta 2.
Subhadda would visit him there and become the last Buddhist follower receiving initiation from Lord Buddha himself.3.
Sage Dona presence in Kushinagar and his wisdom in distributing the relics of Lord Buddha brought him at this site, making it one of the four major Buddhist pilgrimage sites including Lumbini, Bodhgaya and Sarnath.
Lumbini is one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites associated with the birth of Prince Siddhartha, the future Buddha. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who later became a Buddha (Gautama Buddha), the founder of Buddhism. Maya Devi Temple, Puskarini pond and remains of Kapilvastu palace are the highlights of Lumbini Tour.
Sravasti, the capital of Kosalas has the honour of sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in its Jetavana Gardens. The ruins of Sahet and Mahet stupas and monastic complexes form an attraction of visiting Sravasti.
Agra’s Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world and a must visit enticement to visit India. The inclusion of Taj Mahal Tour on the Buddhist Train Tour introduces a traveller with the most visited monument of India. The mausoleum of Shah Jahan’s favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, Taj Mahal epitomizes grace, peace and calm in its marble structure.