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Mahaparinirvan Express

Mahaparinirvana Train

Mahaparinirvana Train

In the Mahaparinirvana sutra, the Buddha tells his followers that they can attain merit and a noble rebirth by going on pilgrimage to the places where he was born (Lumbini), gained enlightenment (Bodhgaya), first taught (Sarnath), and attained Nirvana (Kushinagar).

Buddhism, one of the world's great religions, traces back with the life of Siddharth when a curious wandering prince from the small Shakya Kingdom located at the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal, began his quest for the ultimate truth to solve the mystery of existence. He renounced his royal pleasures and meditated beneath the sacred Bodhi tree at Gaya for years before he attained spiritual enlightenment.

Salient Features of buddhist circuit special Tour

Exclusive Train for the Buddhist Circuit Tour : The Buddhist Circuit Special Train is an exclusive air conditioned train for Buddhist circuit destinations and does not carry passenger other than the tourist booked with us for this special tour.

Security on train

Private Security Guards in each coach for constant & close watch to ensure safety of the passengers.

On-board Hygienic Kitchen Car Facility

The passengers can choose from an assortment of sumptuous hot meals (Veg / Non Veg), snacks and cold drinks. Packaged drinking water, tea and coffee are also available to the passengers in ample quantity.

On-board Clean and Hygienic Lavatories and Showers

Convenience of the passengers, clean and hygienic lavatories and showers are provide.
Accommodation in comfortable Hotels of the Buddhist Circuit

Insurance Cover

All passengers are provided with Travel Insurance Cover for the duration of the tour.

Medical Facility

In case of any exigency, medical support can be provided through an extensive network of Indian Railways medical facilities.

Language Guide

On sufficient advance information, tour guides of various languages would be provided for sizeable groups.

Other Assistance

Tourists are requested to obtain a proper Visa for visiting Lumbini (Nepal) before arriving in India. However, we can provides assistance in obtaining Visa at the time of entry in Nepal as per extant rules.

Itinerary

Duration : 7 Nights/8 Days

Destinations : Delhi > Gaya > Bodhgaya > Nalanda > Rajgir – Varanasi > Sarnath > Gorakhpur > Kushinagar > Lumbini > Gonda > Sravasti > Agra > Delhi

  • Day
    1
    Delhi – Gaya (990 kms)

    13:00 hrs.- Assemble at the Delhi Safdurjung Railway Station. Traditional Welcome and check - in to your respective coaches.

    14:30 hrs.- Departure of the train for Gaya. Evening Tea & Dinner served on-board. Over night stay on-board.

  • Day
    2
    Gaya - Bodhgaya (16 kms)
    Mahabodhi Temple

    Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhyaga

    Arrive at Gaya Railway Station in the morning. Wash & change, followed by the breakfast on train. Disembark and assemble for boarding the coaches for sightseeing of Bodhgaya including Mahabodhi Temple & Niranjana River. Afternoon check-in and lunch at hotel .After lunch relax for some time. Sightseeing of Thai Temple, Japanese Temple and Buddha Statue.

    Evening : - Return to Hotel, dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Bodhgaya.

  • Day
    3
    Bodhgaya – Nalanda – Rajgir – Gaya – Varanasi

    05:00 hrs. - Early morning tea & breakfast followed by checkout from the Hotel. Departure for Rajgir by bus (85 Kms).

    10:30 hrs. - Arrival at Rajgir. Sightseeing at Rajgir of Bimbimsara Jail, Gridhakut hill, Venuvan.

    12:30 hrs. - Proceed to a Restaurant in Rajgir for lunch. After lunch, proceed to Nalanda for sightseeing covering ruins of world famous Nalanda University & Nalanda Museum.

    16:00 hrs. - Depart back to Gaya Railway Station.

    20:00 hrs. - Arrival at Gaya Railway Station and board the train. Dinner on-board. Departure from Gaya at 2330 hrs to Varanasi (220 kms) by train. Overnight stay on-board.

  • Day
    4
    Varanasi – Sarnath – Gorakhpur
    Sarnath

    Sarnath

    Early morning tea on-board and arrival at Varanasi. Proceed to the hotel for wash & change (room given only for wash & change) and breakfast. After breakfast, visit Sarnath (10 kms) for to see Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath Museum, The Ashokan Pillar, Mulgandha Kuti Vihar. Afternoon - Lunch at the hotel. Followed by some free time. Tourists can either opt for shopping or other activities. Evening - Visit to the river Ganges Ghat, Evening Arti. Return to the Train.

    20:00 hrs. - Arrival at the Varanasi Railway Station and board the train Dinner on board. Departure for Gorakhpur (224kms) at 23:00 hrs. Overnight stay on-board.

  • Day
    5
    Gorakhpur – Kushinagar

    Early morning tea on board. Arrive at Gorakhpur Railway Station. Proceed by coach to Hotel at Gorakhpur/Kushinagar. Arrive at the Hotel in Kushinagar and check-in. Breakfast at the Hotel. After breakfast, visit Mahaparinirvan Temple, Rambhar Stupa, Mata Kutir Temple etc. Afternoon - Lunch at the hotel. Followed by some free time. Tourists can either opt for shopping or other activities. Afternoon - Lunch at the Hotel. Evening participate in a chanting and meditation session. (Subject to availability of appropriate teachers/instructors). Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.

  • Day
    6
    Kushinagar – Lumbini – Gorakhpur
    Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini

    Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini

    05:00 hrs. : Early morning tea and breakfast at the hotel.

    06:00 hrs. - Check-out of the Hotel and proceed to Lumbini. (Nepal) by bus. Tourists must obtain the Nepal visa from their respective countries. Otherwise, lot of time required at the border to process the visa. Arrive Lumbini and proceed to a hotel / restaurant for Lunch. Visit Lumbini including Maya Devi Temple, Ashokan Pillar and Pushkarni lake.

    16:00 hrs - Departure for Gorakhpur. Arrive Gorakhpur Railway Station. Board at around 20:30 hrs and board the Train. Dinner on-board, Depart by train to Gonda at 23:30 hrs. Overnight stay on-board.

    Note : Day-5 & Day-6 program may be interchanged as per the operational feasibility. In such case, Day-5 night stay would be in Lumbini & Kushinagar visit would be on Day-6. This would be communicated to the passengers before the commencement of the trip.

  • Day
    7
    Gonda – Sravasti – Gonda – Agra

    Early morning tea on-board and arrival at Gonda Railway Station. Departure for Sravasti (65kms) by bus. Arrival at the hotel, wash & change (room given only for wash & change) and breakfast. After breakfast, visit Jetvana Vihara, Pakki Kuti & Sehat Mahet, Thai Temple. Afternoon - Lunch at the Hotel and proceed to back to Gonda railway station to board the train.

    17:00 hrs - Arrival at the Gonda Railway Station to board the Train. Depart by train to Agra (450 kms) at 18:00 hrs. Evening Tea and dinner served on-board. Overnight stay on-board.

  • Day
    8
    Agra – Delhi
    Taj Mahal

    Taj Mahal, Agra

    Early morning tea, wash & fresh and breakfast on-board. After breakfast, proceed for the sight-seeing of the World famous Taj Mahal.

    12:30 hrs. - Proceed to the Agra Railway Station. Departure by train for New Delhi (220 kms) at 14:15 hrs. Onboard lunch and evening tea. Arrival at the Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station at approximately 18:30 hrs.

    Note : All timings & details shown are for your guidance only. Actual journey time depends on the road conditions, operational factors etc.

Tariff


Prices in US$

Season 2017-18
Class of Travel Oct 2017 to Mar 2018 (per night) Full Tour
AC- First Class US$ 165 US$ 1155
AC - 2 Tier US$ 135 US$ 945
AC First Coupe US$ 165 +(US$ 150 Per Pax for Partial/Full Tour) US$ 1305

Notes :

  • First AC Coupe consist only two passengers sharing a cabin during the train journey.
  • Tour costs mentioned above are based on per person per night on twin sharing.Half fare for children between 5 and 12 years of age with bed in the same room(Age proof of children is to be furnished, which is required at the time of issuance of tickets)
  • The above rates are subject to change on the basis of currency fluctuation.
  • IRCTC would be pleased to offer you very attractive rates for Pre & Post Train Tour Arrangements such as - Airport Hotel Transfer,Hotel Accommodation in Delhi,Sightseeing in Delhi etc. Please send your such request at buddhisttrain@irctc.com
Hotel Single Occupancy :

Passenger who would like to have Single occupancy i.e. do not wish to share the room with anyone else should choose the option at the time of booking by paying additional amount of US$ 50 per night or US$ 200 for the full tour.

Notes - : Single Occupancy is not be applicable for Train journey.

Package price Includes : -

  • Journey by Exclusive Air-conditioned Train as per the Itinerary.
  • Road transport by AC coaches as per the itinerary.
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary.
  • Meals as per the itinerary.
  • English / Hindi speaking Tour Escort.
  • Entrance fees of monuments/sightseeing trips as per the itinerary.
  • Travel Insurance.

Package price does not Include : -

  • India and Nepal visa fees.
  • Items of personal nature, e.g. Laundry, Medicine, Alcoholic drinks etc.
  • Road Transfers to and from Delhi-Safdarjung Railway Station.
  • Hotel stay in Delhi before & after the trip, air ticket, visa charges etc.
  • Any other services not mentioned in Package Price Includes.
  • Fees for Still/ Flash Video camera at the monuments and other places.

Cancellation terms : -

Cancellation terms
No. of days before commencement of Trip* Total Deductions
45 Days and above (excluding departure date) 10% of the Package cost.
Within a period of 44 to 15 Days (excluding departure date) 25% of the package cost
Within a period of 14 to 7 Days (excluding of Departure Date) 50% of the package cost
Within the period of 7 Days or before the scheduled date of departure 100% of the package cost
* Excluding the day of start of journey.

Partial Tour of Buddhist Circuit Special Train : -

The Cut-off (end of IRCTC services) and Reporting Time (commencement of IRCTC services) for the tourist availing partial journey (less than 7 nights) on the Buddhist Circuit Special Train would be 1900 Hrs at Railway station / Hotel. Tourists who wish to join group before 1900 Hrs or extend the tour beyond 1900 Hrs have to pay the charges for an additional night over and above the total number of nights opted for.

Important Notes : -

  • The accommodation booked under this ticket is not transferable.
  • The voucher is to be carried by the passenger during the journey along with the above photo identity card in original and is valid, only when presented with this photo identity card. If the relevant photo identity card is not accompanied with this voucher, it will be considered as ticket-less travel and treated accordingly.
  • The exact train timings are subject to minor modifications. All the travelling passengers must reconfirm the timings with IRCTC, corporate office before the start of their journey.
  • This voucher is to be carried by the passenger during the journey along with the above photo identity card in original and is valid only when presented with this photo identity card.If the relevant photo identity card is not accompanied with this voucher, it will be considered as ticket-less travel and treated accordingly.
  • On demand from ticket checking staff the passenger should produce this voucher along with the above mentioned photo identity card.

Visa Clauses : -

  • It may be noted that due to recent change in visa rules, travelers having multiple entry Indian visa on their passport may not be allowed to re-enter India (within Two months) after their Lumbini visit (as per this program).Travelers having double entry Indian visa will only be allowed to re-enter India after their Lumbini visit.
  • Travelers are requested to recheck with Indian visa issuing authorities in their respective countries to have the appropriate visa enabling them travel to Lumbini and return to India. Travelers must present their travel itinerary to the visa issuing authorities at the time of visa application.
  • All Foreign Tourists other than Indian Passport Holders must obtain a valid Indian visa allowing them to visit Nepal (as per the tour itinerary) during the tour and come back to India to complete the tour. All foreign tourists must recheck with visa section at the Indian Embassy / Indian Consulate / Visa Processing authority in their respective countries for the appropriate visa (Double Entry or Multiple Entry) as per their travel program.
  • All Foreign Tourists other than Indian Passport Holders must have valid Nepal visa. In case foreign tourists are unable to process their Nepal visa before joining the tour, IRCTC will facilitate visa processing at the entry post. Such passengers should carry 2 passport size photographs with them.The visa fees if any will be paid by the passengers directly.
  • Indian Nationals must carry a government issued photo identity card (passport, driving license, PAN card etc.) for Nepal visit.
  • IRCTC reserves the right to refuse booking or travel of any passenger without assigning any reason.
  • No refund or adjustment will be made in the event of interruption / non-use of full or any part of the tour or tour service by a tourist on his own after the commencement of the tour or closure of a sightseeing place or monument due any unknown reasons or closure on account of the decision /order of the local municipal administration /any other government authority / unforeseen events, circumstances, situations etc.
  • In case any sightseeing being missed on account of the delay in local transportation buses / train due to the reasons beyond our control, no refund shall be made.
  • Being a group tour, passengers would be required to share the bus / buses and train accommodation with other passengers. In case any passenger / passengers wish to travel in separate bus/buses, he/she should inform IRCTC at least one month in advance. IRCTC would try to make appropriate arrangement for which passenger / passengers would be required to make additional payment. For the smooth operation of the tour, passengers would need to adhere to the instructions given by the Tour Manager from time to time.
  • As per the tour program, this tour involves few long road journeys also. Due to inadequate infrastructure (toilets etc.) en-route, passengers may get little uncomfortable. However, efforts will be made to give breaks at the appropriate places and as & when required by the tourists.
  • Train / Road journey time may exceed the expected travel time due to unforeseen circumstances such as traffic jams, break down of buses etc. This may result in late meal service, shortened / late/or no sightseeing etc.
  • Meals in hotels and on train are of pre-fixed menus and are generally decided keeping the palate of the overall tourists. Menus according to the specific preferences would not be possible.
  • As per the tour itinerary, hotel rooms at certain places are only provided for wash & change purpose. Passengers should not expect rooms to given to them for longer duration. Check-in at hotel rooms at certain places may be delayed to the due delay from hotel in providing the rooms.
  • AC First class - has cabins with 4 berths (two lower & two upper). The cabins can be locked from inside as it has a sliding door.
  • AC First class Coupe - has cabins with 2 berths (one lower & one upper). The cabins can be locked from inside as it has a sliding door.
  • AC Two Tier - has open cabins with 6 seats (Four on one side of the pathway and two on other side). Four seats cabin has two lower & two upper berths. The cabin does not have door and instead has a curtain. Two Seats (one lower & one upper) are on the other side of the pathway. These two seats also have curtains.
  • AC Two Tier - has open cabins with 4 seats on one side of the pathway. Four seats cabin has two lower & two upper berths. The cabin does not have door and instead has a curtain.
  • There is a limited storage place inside the train. The luggage can be placed under the seats / berths while on train. Hence, passengers are advised to travel with minimum luggage.
  • Passengers are required to take care of their luggage / belongings themselves. IRCTC will not be responsible for any loss or damage of any of the luggage / belongings at the Railway Stations / Train / Bus / Hotels etc.
  • It is the responsibility of the tourist to carefully read and fully understand all the terms and conditions / services to be offered / type of services to be offered etc. of this tour before making booking. In case of any doubts / clarifications, the same should be cleared with IRCTC before making the booking.
  • The journeys are well planned in advance. We reserve the right to make changes to the programme if necessary at any point of time. Should the minimum number of passengers not be met or due to certain operational reasons & conditions, we reserve the right to cancel the departure or amend the same. Most of the changes made by us would be minor, but on certain occasions there could be possibility of making significant change. A change is defined as significant if it involves change of date or destination. In such an eventuality, we would inform the passengers on the contact details given by them in their booking forms. In such cases,
    we would inform you as soon as possible and provide you following solutions :
  • Accepting the changed arrangements or transferring your tour to another available tour date.
  • Cancelling or accepting the cancellation where you will receive a refund of payment without interest remitted to us. However, there will be no refund of any service such as pre /post tour accommodation, airline tickets, visa charges etc. that have been booked by you and /or your travel agent.

Destinations

Gaya

Gaya derives its name from the mythological demon Gayasur (which literally means Gaya the holy demon), demon (asur, a Sanskrit word) and Gaya. Lord Vishnu killed Gayasur, the holy demon by using the pressure of his foot over him. This incident transformed Gayasur into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of the Gaya city. Gaya was so holy that he had the power to absolve the sins of those who touched him or looked at him; after his death many people have flocked to Gaya to perform shraddha sacrifices on his body to absolve the sins of their ancestors. The most popular temple today is Vishnupad Temple, a place along the Falgu River, marked by a footprint of Vishnu incised into a block of basalt that marks the act of Lord Vishnu subduing Gayasur by placing his foot on Gayasurs chest. Buddhist Highlights tradition regards the footstep in the Vishnupad Temple as a footstep of Buddha. For Buddhist Highlights, Gaya is an important pilgrimage place because it was at Brahmayoni hill that Buddha preached the Fire Sermon (Adittapariyaya Sutta) to one thousand former fire-worshipping ascetics, who all became enlightened while listening to this discourse. At that time, the hill was called Gayasisa.

Bodhgaya

According to Buddhist traditions, 500 BC Prince Gautama Siddhartha, wandering as a monk, reached the sylvan banks of Falgu River, near the city of Gaya. There he sat in meditation under a bodhi tree. After three days and three nights of meditation, Siddhartha attained enlightenment and insight, and the answers that he had sought. He then spent seven weeks at seven different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his experience. After seven weeks, he traveled to Sarnath, where he began teaching Buddhist Highlights.

Disciples of Gautama Siddhartha began to visit the place where he had gained enlightenment during the full moon in the month of Vaisakh (April-May), as per the Hindu calendar. Over time, the place became known asBodhgaya, the day of enlightenment as Buddha Purnima, and the tree as the Bodhi Tree.

As the place of the Buddhas Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buddhist Highlights. Located in Bihar, 115 kms from Patna, the land is rich and fertile, dotted with green fields and watered by the river Phalgu - the same ancient Nairanjana River where the Buddha bathed after attaining enlightenment. A range of low forested hills silhouette the small hamlets flanking the glistening, sandy banks of the river. Monks and nuns rub shoulders with tourists and believers from all over the world. An all-pervading calm envelops the town, giving visitors a sense of peace.

Rajgir

The meandering river Banganga and five hills ensconce picturesque Rajgir, ancient Rajgriha (literally, the abode of kings). During the lifetime of the Buddha this was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous king Bimbisara. Like many others in search of Truth, Prince Siddhartha, after he renounced his royal heritage came to this city to seek the path of salvation. Later, he overwhelmed the citizens of Rajagriha with his serenity and grace and converted King Bimbisara of Magadha and countless others to his religion. The hills and caves surrounding Rajagriha were home to spiritual teachers, ranging from the materialism of the early Charavaka School to the metaphysics of Upanishadic philosophers. In fact the first Buddhist council after the Buddha was hosted here at the Saptaparni caves. It was Rajgir which saw Gautam Buddha spending several months meditating, and preaching at Griddhkuta, ('Hill of the Vultures'). He also delivered some of his famous sermons. The rich merchant community here soon became the Buddhas followers and built many structures of typical Buddhist Highlights architecture.

Nalanda

Nalanda - the most renowned university in ancient India derived its name from Na-alam-da, meaning Insatiable in Giving, one of the names by which the Lord Buddha was known. Nalanda was one of the worlds first residential universities, i.e., it had dormitories for students. In its heyday it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

The Buddha is mentioned as having several times stayed at Nalanda. When he visited Nalanda he would usually reside in Pavarikas mango grove, and while there he had discussions with Upali-Gahapati and Dighatapassi[, with Kevatta, and also several conversations with Asibandhakaputta. The Buddha visited Nalanda during his last tour through Magadha, and it was there that Sariputta uttered his "lions roar, affirming his faith in the Buddha, shortly before his death. Also, Nalanda was the residence of Sonnadinna. Mahavira is several times mentioned as staying at Nalanda, which was evidently a centre of activity of the Jains.

Varanasi

The city of Varanasi is situated along the west bank of the Ganges in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Called Benaras by the British, Varanasi is a holy city in Hinduism, being one of the most sacred pilgrimage places for Hindus of all denominations. More than 1,000,000 pilgrims visit the city each year. The city finds mention in the great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The renowned American novelist Mark Twain once wrote, " Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together." It has the holy shrine of Lord Kashi Vishwanath (a manifestation of Lord Shiva), and also one of the twelve revered Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. According to mythology, Lord Shiva once in fact lived in Kashi ( Varanasi ). Hindus believe that bathing in Ganga remits sins and that dying in Kashi ensures release of a persons soul from the cycle of its transmigrations.

Varanasi is one of the holiest places in Buddhism too. It was believed that over twenty-five centuries ago, a sage travelled 200 kms from Bodhgaya, where he had attained Nirvana to reach the ghats of Varanasi of Kashi as it was then called. The city had seen saffron clad spiritual teachers before him, who came here, drawn by its magnetic, inexplicable spiritual power. The Sage was looking for five Hindu ascetics, old companions from whom he had parted, because they had insisted that the only path to salvation was through self-mortification. The Buddha found them at Rishipattana, the Deer park near Kashi, and gave them the gift of the spiritual knowledge which he had attained since he parted with them, and they became his first followers, and the first members of the Sangha.

Sarnath

Sarnath is located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, India . It Sarnath (also Mrigadava, Migadaya, Rishipattana, Isipatana) is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Gautama Buddha started teaching not to debate but for the advantage of and out of compassion for human beings. He explained the middle way which avoids extremes, the Four Noble Truths, and prescribed the Eight-fold path.

There are remains dating as far back as the 3rd century B.C. when Emperor Ashoka founded various institutions, stupas, monasteries and pillar edicts. The runs at Sarnath and the art collection in the Archaeological Museum are representations/ examples of the glorious past of Sarnath. Archaeological remains are open from Sunrise to Sunset.

Gorakhpur

Gorakhpur is a city in the eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, near the border with Nepal. It is the administrative headquarters of Gorakhpur District and Gorakhpur Division. Gorakhpur is famous as a religious centre: the city was home to Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh saints and is named after the medieval saint Gorakshanath. The city is also home to many historic Buddhist Highlights.

Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, renounced his princely clothing at the confluence of the rivers Rapti and Rohini, near Gorakhpur , before setting out on his quest of truth in 600 BC. The city is also associated with the travels of Lord Buddhas contemporary Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism.

Kushinagar

kushinagar - At this location, near the Hiranyavati River, Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana (or Final Nirvana) after falling ill from eating a meal of a species of mushroom. It is said that the Buddha had three reasons for coming to Kusinárá to die:

1. Because it was the proper venue for the preaching of the Mahá-Sudassana Sutta;

2. Because Subhadda would visit him there and, after listening to his sermon, would develop meditation and become an arahant while the Buddha was still alive; and

3. Because the brahman Doha would be there, after the Buddhist Highlights Tour death, to solve the problem of the distribution of his relics.As the scene of his death, Kusinara became one of the four holy places declared by the Buddha (in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta) to be fit places of pilgrimage for the pious, the other three being Kapilavatthu, Buddhagaya and Isipatana.

Schedule

Season 2017-18
Months Departure Dates
October*, 2017 21
November, 2017 25
December, 2017 9, 23
January, 2018 6, 27
February, 2018 17
March, 2018 10
All the above dates are on Saturdays.
Charter trips also available on request.

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