Delek Children's Foundation

2023 CHARITY TOUR : BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE TO INDIA & NEPAL

We are excited to announce our charity tour for the year 2023. So this year, we will leading Buddhist Pilgrimage tour to Nepal and India . This is one of our popular trips and we aim to run this tour every few years.

The dates are not confirmed yet but we plan to lead this tour in November 2023. So, please save the event in your calendar for your favorite tour with Ven. Donyo. Once the tour ends, Ven. Donyo will organize a Vision Health camp for the locals. If you have enough time, you are also welcome to join us during our health camp.

Please look out for our newsletter as well as we will make the announcement once dates and itinerary are confirmed. Below is a tentative itinerary for the trip.

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.

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. If you need any information regarding the tour  please contact us at office@delekcf.org.

Tour Cost: $TBA per person without international air fare and it includes 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 $TBA per person.

Lodging:
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:

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. 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.

Important:
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 Kathmandu on the same day according to the group schedule. If you arrive in Kathmandu 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 in advance from the Nepalese Consulate or upon arrival at Kathmandu airport. The cost for Nepalese visa is $30 for minimum 15 days. Please make sure to bring extra passport photos for the Nepalese visa.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from SFO/USA:( TBA)

Depart SFO

Day 2 : Transit

Transit in Doha or Istanbul

Day 3 :   Kathmandu Arrival

Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day free.

Day 4 : Kathmandu Sight Seeing

Pilgrimage to local sites in and around Kathmandu & Patan

Day 5 : Patan & Pharping pilgrimage

Pilgrimage to local sites in and around Patan & Pharping Pilgrimage

Day 6 : Travel to Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

On arrival at Bhairahawa airport, the group will then be driven to Hotel.

After lunch, sightseeing of Lumbini visiting the birth place of Lord Buddha. There is a Pillar near the Maya Devi Temple built by king Ashoka in the year 259BC to commemorate the spot of the holy birth place. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Lumbini.

Day 7 :Lumbini – Sravasti (190 kms / 4 hrs)

After early breakfast, drive to Sravasti which will take approximately 4-5 hours depending on traffic conditions. Check-in hotel on arrival. After lunch, drive 2 km to visit Jetvana Garden to witness (Lord Buddha's Hut), Anandabodhi Tree, and Ashoka Pillar inside the holy garden. Thereafter, drive 1 km to visit Orajhar (A spot where Lord Buddha performed Miracle), and (Angulimala Stupa). Overnight stay at Lotus Nikko Hotel in Sravasti. If no elevator, then request rooms on the ground floor.

Day 8 : Sravasti – Kushinagar (300 kms / 8 hrs)

After early breakfast, drive to Kushinagar which will take approximately 8-9 hours depending on traffic condition. Check-in hotel on arrival. After lunch, visit Mahaparinirvana Temple, Ramabhar Stupa-Cremation Site of Lord Buddha. Overnight stay at Lotus Nikko Hotel. in Kushinagar.

Day 9 : Kushinagar – Vaishali – Patna

After having breakfast, leave for Patna the Capital of Bihar. Enroute visit Vaishali which is approximately 250 kms from Kushinagar where Load Buddha delivered his last sermon, hinging at His impending departure from the mortal world. Later, Emperor Ashoka built a huge Pillar, made of a highly polished single piece of red sandstone 18.3 m high, to commemorate the spot of the last sermon of Buddha. A life-size figure of a lion is placed on top of the Ashoka pillar. There is a small tank known as Ramkund near to the Ashoka pillar.? Thereafter, drive few minutes to visit Lord Buddha’s Relic Stupa, Vishwa Shanti Stupa. Vaishali is also known for Amrapali – a beautiful dancer who offered Lord Buddha a mango orchard and later who became a Nun. After lunch at Vaishali and then head towards Patna. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Patna.

Day 10 : Patna – Nalanda - Rajgir-Bodhgaya  

After having breakfast, leave for Nalanda which is 76 kms /3hrs by road from Patna. Nalanda is a site of a Buddhist University of great repute which came up much after Lord Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana. Visit the ruins of the one of the oldest University of the world and also an International Centre for Buddhist Studies. There is an Archeological Museum close to the ruins of the university where one can witness a statue of the Buddha (600 BCE). After the sightseeing of Nalanda, head towards Rajgir.

Rajgir: which is 75? kms, how many/ hrs? from Patna to visit vulture’s peak one of Lord Buddha’s favorite meditation places. Hike up for 30 minutes depending on individual’s speed to visit Vulture’s Peak located on a small hill perched at an altitude of 400m where Lord Buddha has delivered many of His Sermons. Among the sermons are the Heart Sutra, the Lotus Sutra as well as many Prajnaparamita Sutras. It is explicitly mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, as the Buddha's pure land. Also visit Japanese Pagoda either by an aerial Ropeway from the base. After visiting Rajgir, then drive to Bodhgaya. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Bodhgaya at Kirti Guest House.

Day 11 : Bodhgaya - Mahakala Cave

After breakfast, visit Mahabodhi Temple/Bodhi Tree under which Prince Siddhartha meditated and finally attained NIRVANA - the enlightenment. Thereafter, drive to visit Mahakala cave which is about 2 hrs. drive from Bodhgaya. Visit the cave perched on a small hill. Head back towards Bodhgaya after the visit. After lunch, visit Sujata Village/Temple. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Bodhgaya.

Day 12 : Bodhgaya – Varanasi

After breakfast, visit Mahabodhi Temple, Tibetan monastery and other Buddhist Temples around Bodhgaya. After lunch, depart for Varanasi which is 247 kms / 5 hrs. from Bodhgaya. Overnight at hotel NOT in Hotel India? in Varanasi.

Day 13 : Varanasi

After breakfast, Days Excursion to SARNATH visiting Dharmek Stupa in Deer Park, Sarnath Museum, Central Tibetan Institute for Higher Studies. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Varanasi.

Day 14 : Varanasi - Delhi

Leave Varanasi to Delhi to return back to Delhi.

Day 15 : Free day

Evening depart to Delhi International airport. Depending on individual return flight back home with happy memories and blessing from Lord Buddha. Our representative will escort you to the airport and then bid you farewell.

Tour End

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 Kathmandu to Varanasi
  • 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.

CHECKLIST:

Below is a list to help you organize everything you'll need prior to travel:

  1. 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.
  2. Please reconfirm your international flight details beforehand.
  3. Be sure to arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to departure.
  4. Valid passport of minimum six months with multiple entry Indian Visa.
  5. Extra digital copy of passport and passport photos
  6. Cash : you may need approximately $1000 - $3000 for personal needs and shopping. Please check with tour guide before exchanging your money.
  7. Do not bring traveler's checks
  8. Money, passport and tickets need to be protected at all times and carried along with you throughout the entire trip.
  9. Do not leave your bags unattended and do not trust strangers while traveling. There are lot of scammers.
  10. 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 us at office@delekcf.org.

Thank you