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» Tour Program Nirwana - The Story of Gautama Buddha
Nirwana Trip - The story of Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha From Siddharth to Sakyamuni and finally to the Buddha or the Enlightened one - an incredible transformation of a prince to an enlightened teacher, who walked the earth more than 2500 years ago. Upon seeing sorrow, misery, pain and death, in the prime of his youth, prince Siddharth decided to discover their causes and means of overcoming their occurrences. Thus renouncing worldly pleasures and leaving home and family behind, he traveled from place to place until finally attaining enlightenment by fixed meditation under the Bodhi Tree.

He then preached the truth he discovered, and exhorted his disciples to follow the Eight Fold Path for the cessation of the endless cycle of birth and re - birth. This tour is an endeavor to lay open before you, the life and teachings of the Buddha and the influence of Buddhism all across Indian and beyond its frontiers. The romance and color of India greets you as you disembark from your jet in Delhi - India's splendid capital . Founded on the sights of several cities, it has been the seat of power for centuries. The very heart of the world's largest democracy. New Delhi is quite naturally the focus of all India.

Some places associated with life of Buddha are...
SARNATH - 10 Kms from the holy city of Varanasi, is the blessed locale where more than 2500 years ago Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon, after attaining Nirvana.

The five disciples who had followed him were surprised to see the mesmerizing glowing countenance of Buddha, who convinced them and delivered His first sermon before them, now termed as Dharamachakra Pravartan.

This set in motion the great Buddhist tradition of the Sangha, for popularizing the teachings of the great ascetic, world wide. Gautama Buddha with his five disciples formed the first Sangha alongwith Yasa of Varanasi and His 54 friends.

The beginning of the celebrated Mantra, " Buddham Sharanam Gachhami ", owes Its origin to Sarnath. The three Jewels " I go for refuge to the Buddha,I go for refuge to the Wheel of Law, I go to refuge to the Sangha ". first laid down here, have remained unchanged ever since. Hence rightly, every Buddhist Pilgrim after Bodhgaya, endeavors to be blessed with a visit to Sarnath in his life time.

Sarnath Dhamekh Stupa. Dhamekh Stupa bears particular significance at Sarnath as it signifies the " seat of the holy Buddha", as he proclaimed his faith. It is about 34 meters in height and including the foundations, it can be measured upto 42 meters.

Besides Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath also has the ruins of Dharmajajika stupa and that of the original Mulgandhakuti temple which according to Hieun Tsang was about61 meters high. Buddha is said to have rested and meditated here while in Sarnath.

Emperor Ashoka ( 273 - 232 B.C) , converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga war and also visited Sarnath. A smooth glistening stone pillar, called the Ashoka Pillar commemorates his visit and laid the foundation of the Buddhist Sangha here.

The Lion capital on top of this pillar is now the National Emblem of India.

BODHGAYA - reckoned as the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centre. It is the place where Lord Sakyamuni (Gautama Buddha) entered into meditation after being moved by the sufferings of mankind. magnificent Maha Bodhi Temple in Bodhgaya is an architectural amalgamation of many cultures.

The temple bears the stamp of the architecture of the Gupta Dynasty and subsequent ages. On the walls of the temple, one sees Buddha carved in different aspects, a colossal Buddha, is seen touching the ground, which has mythological significance in the Buddhist lores.

The temple carries inscriptions recording the visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar in the 7th and 10th centuries A.D. Hieun Tsang, the Chinese traveller, also visited the temple in the 7th century.

The giant Bodhi Tree ( Peepal) that we see today is believed to have grown from the original Bodhi Tree under which, sitting on the raised platform, Prince Siddharth meditated and finally attained Nirvana. Then there is Chaukramana, the Jewel walk, where it is believed that the Buddha strolled while in deep thought.

Rajgir Stupa. Finally a visit to the Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum is a must for a religious art lover as it initiates one into the age of Buddha's centred art forms. The Buddhist sculpture collection from 1st Century B.C. to 11th century A.D. is housed here at one place.

RAJGIR - meaning " the Royal Palace " is a site of great sanctity and significance for Buddhists. The Gridhakuta Hill, in Rajgir, was the seat from where Buddha delivered many of his sermons. It was here that the teachings of Buddha were recorded in writing for the first time.

An aerial ropeway takes visitors up the hill where Japanese have built a beautiful stupa. Visit the Ajatashatru's Fort. The sculpture which depicts the Parinirvana or the great cessation of Buddha is another monument of artistic and historical importance.

It shows Buddha lying on his right side with the right forearm resting under his head to commemorate the final salvation or mukti of the great founder of the Buddhist Faith.

NALANDA - Nalanda literally means the place that confers the lotus. It was one of the oldest universities of the world. It has nine million books, ten thousand students, two thousand teachers and was a centre of great learning which reached its zenith between 5th & 12th century A.D.

Both Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira visited this place, Emperor Ashoka built a Vihara, while Emperor Harshvardhan donated a 26 meter high copper image of Buddha. In 1951, An International Centre for Buddhist Studies was established in Nalanda

KESARIA -Kesaria Stupa is situated in the Champaran (east) district of Bihar. The Kesaria Stupa holds the distinction of being the largest in the world, standing at a height of 104 ft. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavated the stupa in the year 1998.

It is believed to date back to somewhere around 200 AD and 750 AD has a circumference of almost 1400 ft. The amazing stupa serves as a splendid example of Buddhist architecture and archaeological preservation.

Nalanda University Bihar The initial height of Kesaria Stupa, during the flourishing days of Buddhism in India, was approximately 150 ft. By 1934, when a massive earthquake shook India, the height of the stupa got abridged to 123 ft. After the earthquake, it further sank in the ground and got reduced to its present height. Interesting tales are attached with Kesaria. It is believed that Lord Buddha spent a night at this place before his Nirvana and gave his begging -bowl to the Lichhivis. It is further said that he even asked them to go back to Vaishali after his death.

Lichhivis are alleged to have built this stupa, as a commemoration of the end-life of Lord Buddha. A six-floors structure, Kesaria Stupa stands as a reminder to the last days of Lord Buddha and his humanitarian approach towards people, independent of caste and creed.

The excavations carried out at the site of the stupa have led to some noteworthy findings, like Islamic coins, arrow heads, copper and terracotta items, earthen lamps, decorated bricks etc. There are also a number of Lord Buddha images, in "Bhoomi Sparsh Mudra" and other sitting postures.

VAISHALI - believed to be the first republic of the world, having an elected body of representatives, holds special significance for Buddhist devotees. At Kolhua, Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon, hinting at his impending departure from the mortal world. Later Emperor Ashoka erected a huge pillar to commemorate the spot of the last sermon.

Vaishali was also the centre of second Buddhist Council congregation, held after100 years of Buddha's Parinirwana to discuss the ten points if Vinaya, the rule of conduct under dispute.

At the excavated archeological site of Raja Vishal Ka Garh is an ancient parliament house,which indicates that this republic flourished in the 6th century BC.

Vaishali is famous for Amrapali, the beautiful dancer and courtesan of Vaishali, who offered Buddha a mango orchard and impressed by his teachings became a nun in turn.

The excavations carried out in Vaishali have brought to light Buddha Stupa 1 ( 4th century B.C.) and II, built in brick with a casket containing part of the ashes of Buddha.