Buddhist Pilgrimage to India & Nepal 2018
Thank you for your interest to join our Charity Tour to Buddhist Pilgrimage sites. Due to Ven. Thupten Donyo's new assignment by Gyuto Monastery, he is unable to lead the tours this year. Therefore, Sonam Choekyi will lead the Charity Tours for the Foundation this year. Sonam is a Travel Consultant at Third Eye Travel and we have been working with Sonam for international air tickets and tour reservations for our previous tours for many years.
Please note: during the tour we will be staying in 2 to 4 star hotels that are often fully booked during pilgrimage season between November - February. Our hotel names are listed in the itinerary below. While in Nepal, we will NOT be visiting Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, but will visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha which is located just near the border area inside Nepal. We will be flying two times, at the beginning and end of the tour, and traveling by charter bus the rest of the tour.
Joining the pilgrimage will not only benefit to develop your spiritual path, but also help in raising some funds for Delek Children's Education.
A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place as an act of devotion and faith. Many enlightened beings have advised to visit the place where the Buddha was born, the place where the Buddha attained Enlightenment, the place where he preached the first teaching, and where he passed away into Mahaparinirvana.
During the pilgrimage, we will visit the major holy sites of Buddha such as: Lumbini - birthplace of Buddha, Kushinagar - where Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana, Rajgir - where Buddha gave teachings on the Heart Sutra, Nalanda - Ruins of the Ancient Buddhist University, Varanasi - where Buddha preached his first discourse, and finally Bodh Gaya - where Buddha attained enlightenment. Please see below for the complete list of sites and the corresponding itinerary.
NOTE: Pilgrimage costs are based on a typical group size of at least 10 participants. Should this tour be under-subscribed, a surcharge of $200 per person will apply. A minimum of 10 participants are necessary to operate this charity tour.
Please note this is a private tour which we are organizing through our local agent in India. Third Eye Travel is not organizing the tour. If you need any information regarding the tour or for your international flights, please contact Sonam at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her directly at 650-799-4261.
Tour Cost: $2,800.00 per person without international air fare and it includes 12 days of lodging, meals and local transportation. All prices are based on shared rooms, twin beds. If you would like a single room, there will be an additional $800 per person.
During the trip you will be sharing rooms that have twin beds. Therefore, we advise you to encourage your family and/or friends to join the pilgrimage so you can share a room with your family or friends. We will make the greatest effort to make you as comfortable as possible.
Please click this link to print the registration form:
Registration is open now.
To register for the pilgrimage, please mail us a $500 check payable to Delek Children's Foundation along with complete registration form and a photocopy of your passport for hotel reservation to: 5600 Sutter Ave. Richmond, CA 94804. The registration deadline is July 31st 2018. Then full payment of the trip must be made by August 31st 2018. Once we receive your registration, we'll send you a confirmation. However, without the deposit, your registration will not be confirmed. Your deposit will be part of the tour payment.
If anyone wishes to join the pilgrimage from other states or other countries, they are welcome to do so. However, registration is still required and all participants must arrive in Delhi as per tour schedule.
For your international tickets, we recommend you to discuss with Sonam and she will give you suggestion as per group schedule. If you fly with different airlines, please make sure to contact Sonam before purchasing the tickets. You must arrive in New Delhi on the same day according to the group schedule. If you arrive in Delhi one day before or after the group, all the additional expenses will not be included in the package.
India and Nepal Visas : Please apply for your Indian visa before you book your airline ticket unless you already obtained your Indian visa previously. Visa for Nepal can be obtained upon arrival at the border. The cost for Nepalese visa is $25 for minimum 15 days. Please make sure to bring extra passport photos for the Nepalese visa.
October 28th - November 8th 2018
Saturday, October 27th: Depart from SFO/USA:( with Singapore Airline)
Depart SFO at 01:15 AM on Singapore Airline
Sunday, Oct 28th : Delhi Arrival at late night
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the hotel. (Royal Plaza Hotel)
Monday, October-29: Delhi sight seeing
After breakfast or lunch, sight seeing of Delhi. (Royal Plaza Hotel)
Tuesday, October 30 -: Delhi – Gorakhpur + Gorakhpur – Lumbini
After breakfast, depart to Delhi International Airport to board flight to Gorakhpur. After arriving in Gorakhpur, drive straight to Lumbini. Check-in hotel on arrival. (Overnight at Hotel Yeti in Lumbini)
Wednesday, October 31-: Lumbini + Lumbini – Sravasti
After early breakfast, visit the holy site where Lord Buddha was born. After lunch, depart to Sravasti. Check-in hotel on arrival and overnight at hotel in Sravasti. (Hotel Lotus Nikko at Sravasti)
Thursday, November 1st -: Sravasti + Sravasti – Kushinagar
After breakfast, visit Jetvana Garden, Petalled Lotus and Ashok Pillar. After lunch, depart to Kushinagar. Check-in hotel on arrival and overnight at hotel in Kushinagar. (Hotel Lotus Nikko in Kushinagar)
Friday, November-02: Kushinagar + Kushinagar – Vaishali
After breakfast, visit Mahaparinirvana Temple, Ramabhar Stupa – Cremation Site of Lord Buddha. After lunch, depart to Vaishali. Check-in hotel on arrival. (Hotel Vaishali Residence at Vaishali)
Saturday, November -03: Vaishali + Vaishali – Bodhgaya
After breakfast, visit the holy sites at Vaishali where Lord Buddha has delivered his last sermon. Visit a huge Pillar erected by Emperor Asoka to commemorate the spot of the last Sermon. Vaishali is also known for Amrapali- a beautiful dancer who offered Lord Buddha a mango orchard and later became Nun. After lunch, depart to Bodh Gaya. Check-in hotel on arrival. In the evening, if time permits, we will visit the Mahabodhi Temple. Bodh Gaya is one of the important holy sites in Buddhism. (Kirti Guest House in Bodh Gaya)
Sunday, November -04: Bodh Gaya
After early breakfast, visit Mahakala Cave. After lunch, visit Giant Buddha Statue and other Buddhist Temples around Bodh Gaya. After the day tour, you are free to visit the Mahabodhi Temple where the Bodhi Tree is located, under which Prince Siddhartha meditated and finally obtained NIRVANA – The Enlightenment. (Kirti Guest House in Bodh Gaya)
Monday, November -05: Bodh Gaya (Rajgir + Nalanda)
After breakfast, excursion trip to Nalanda and Rajgir. Nalanda is a Site of Buddhist University of great repute which came up much after Lord Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana. Visit the ruins of the University and the museum. Then proceed to RAJGIR where LORD BUDDHA has delivered many of His Sermons. It is the place where the Teachings of Lord Buddha were recorded in writing for the first time. Visit Vulture’s Peak, Japanese Peace Pagoda. Thereafter return back to Bodh Gaya. (Kirti Guest House in Bodh Gaya)
Tuesday, November -06: Bodh Gaya – Varanasi + Varanasi
After early breakfast, depart to Varanasi. Check-in hotel on arrival. After lunch, excursion trip to Sarnath to visit Dharmek Stupa in Deer Park, Sarnath Museum, Sri Lanka Temple and Tibetan Monastery. (Hotel Hindustan International in Varanasi)
Wednesday, November -07: Varanasi – Delhi
Early morning visit to River Ganges to witness the Sunrise, Bathing Ghats and Cremation Sites by riding boat. After breakfast, free for independent activities. After lunch, departure transfer to Varanasi airport to board flight to Delhi. Arrive at Delhi airport and then transfer to hotel. Check-in hotel on arrival and overnight at Hotel in Delhi. (Royal Plaza Hotel in Delhi)
Thursday, November -08: Delhi Depart
After late breakfast, check-out from the hotel and visit National Museum to see the relics of Buddha. Thereafter drive to Majnu-ka-Tilla, Tibetan colony for lunch. After late lunch, take rest at the Tibetan colony till departure transfer to international airport to board return flight home.
|Total Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour||$2800.00 per person|
The above cost includes:
- 12 days lodging in twin bed, shared rooms in 2*-4* hotels.
- All meals included for the duration of the tour.
- Overland transportation as per the tour itinerary.
- Flight from Delhi to Gorakphur
- Return from Varanasi to Delhi.
- English Speaking Tour Escort throughout the tour.
- Entrance fees to sites mentioned in the tour itinerary.
Cost does not include:
- International Air tickets and visa fees
- Transportation for arrival/departure transfer from/to airport for those arriving and departing separately
- All personal expenses such as DRINKS, LAUNDRY, MEDICAL, etc.
- Insurance of any kind
- Excess baggage fees
- Any incidental charges such as flight delay/cancellation incurred due to unforeseen happenings.
- Bank charges for fund transfer.
- Cost which are not included above in “Cost Includes”
TOUR PREPARATION :
All participants are advised to check with their health insurance carrier regarding coverage abroad as well as their medical professionals for any precautionary medical treatments for travel to India and Nepal. Emergency medical facilities may not be readily available at all times in India and Nepal. Also, please make sure that you are in good health in order to travel with the group and free to walk about an hour each day.
Below is a list to help you organize everything you'll need prior to travel:
- It's advisable to travel as light as possible. Domestic flights allow only one piece of 15 kgs/33 lbs checked bag and 7 kgs/15 lbs for hand carry.
- Please reconfirm your international flight details beforehand.
- Be sure to arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to departure.
- Valid passport of minimum six months with multiple entry Indian Visa.
- Extra digital copy of passport and passport photos
- Cash : you may need approximately $1000 - $3000 for personal needs and shopping. Please check with tour guide before exchanging your money.
- Do not bring traveler's checks
- Money, passport and tickets need to be protected at all times and carried along with you throughout the entire trip.
- Do not leave your bags unattended and do not trust strangers while traveling. There are lot of scammers.
- Travel Insurance is recommended.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :
- November is good weather in India and Nepal but may get little cold in the morning and evening, so we recommend some warm clothes just in case.
- Comfortable shoes for walking
- A small, light blanket can be very useful on the bus.
- Modest clothes - skin exposure and figure hugging clothes are not commonly worn in India and Nepal and may bring a lot of unwanted and annoying attention.
- If you are taking any electrical items, you will need 220 volt (NOT 110 volt) and the correct adapter plug for India.
- Hat and sunglasses- sun can be quite strong even in winter.
- Tylenol, cough drops, bandages and so on for basic first aid/medical needs.
RECOMMENDED ( OPTIONAL)
- A small hot water bottle
- Some large ziplock bags for wet or dirty clothes
- Padlock(s) - mainly for luggage
- Wet wipes or wet towels, very useful in India
- Dried fruits & nuts/snacks for yourself on the bus
- Some candies for kids in the rural areas
If you have any questions about the pilgrimage, please contact Sonam directly at (650)-799-4261 or email at email@example.com.