Have you ever been to India?

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Have you ever been to India?

Postby dragonwarrior » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:35 pm

Hi guys, have u ever been to India or maybe you have a plan to go there? Please share here.. I really want to have a religious trip (Bodh Gaya, Kusinara, Lumbini, etc) and also traveling around India. I want to know about everything -interesting places, accommodation, etc. basically what a traveller needs to know. Hear from you soon!

:anjali:
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:24 pm

I went with my family and used http://www.buddhapath.com/ as the tour guide. There are other companies too. They covered all travel, food, lodging, etc. Not including air fare, the cost ranges from about $1,000 USD to $4,000 USD per person, depending upon the length of the trip and how many sites you see.

Bodh Gaya and Vulture Peak are a must! Sarnath, Varanasi, and the Ganges were nice too.
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:05 pm

Hi Winny
I was in India nearly 20 years ago and stayed exclusively in Maharashtra state for three months. Mumbai, Igatpuri (where I stayed at my teacher's main centre for nearly the entire time), Nasik, Ahmedabad, Jalgoan, and the Ellora and Ajanta Caves.
I'm sure some of our other members will have more up to date and relevent information.
Metta

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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby Dhammabodhi » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:24 pm

Hi Winny,

As you have probably read in my earlier posts, my hometown is Gaya(15 kms from Bodh Gaya). If you start your pilgrimage there, the Abbot of the Bangladeshi monastery there is a family friend, he and my family can help you out with your stay there, and help to plan your further journeys. Let me know if you find this feasible.

In any case, you can also travel on the Mahaparinirvana Express, a special tourist train which tours all the important pilgrimage places on the so-called "Buddhist curcuit"(this does not include Lumbini, which is in Nepal).

Metta, :anjali:
Dhammabodhi

P.S: I'd also recommend that you visit the Mahakala cave near Gaya where the Buddha did severe austerities prior to his Enlightenment.
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby PeterB » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:59 am

I have been to India a number of times. Among some basic tips I would recommend ;
Getting your shots.
Taking your anti malarials if needed where you are intending visiting. Some parts of India do not have the mosquitos that carry malaria, check online.
Staying at the best accomodation that you can afford.
Eating vegetarian food only unless you eat in posh hotels.
If drinking water, drink only bottled.
Having said all that...relax ! Enjoy ! India is wonderful and chaotic, leave all your expectations behind and open to the experience.. :anjali:
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby BudSas » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:29 am

Winny wrote:Hi guys, have u ever been to India or maybe you have a plan to go there? Please share here.. I really want to have a religious trip (Bodh Gaya, Kusinara, Lumbini, etc) and also traveling around India. I want to know about everything -interesting places, accommodation, etc. basically what a traveller needs to know. Hear from you soon!


1) Get the book: Middle Land, Middle Way, by Ven. S. Dhammika (strongly recommended!)

available at: http://www.bps.lk/middle_land_middle_way%20.html

2) Read online:

a) http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/buddhism-online/buddhistworld/pilgrimage.htm

b) http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/cpg1420/displayimage.php?album=15&pos=11

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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby vinodh » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:55 am

I am from India :twothumbsup:

:namaste:
http://www.virtualvinodh.com

Buddhists Texts in Brahmi Script : http://www.virtualvinodh.com/brahmi-lipitva

yo dharmaṁ paśyati, sa buddhaṁ paśyati
One who sees the Dharma, sees the Buddha

na pudgalo na ca skandhā buddho jñānamanāsravam
sadāśāntiṁ vibhāvitvā gacchāmi śaraṇaṁ hyaham

Neither a person nor the aggregates, the Buddha, is knowledge free from [evil] outflows
Clearly perceiving [him] to be eternally serene, I go for refuge [in him]
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby dragonwarrior » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:26 pm

TheDhamma wrote:They covered all travel, food, lodging, etc. Not including air fare, the cost ranges from about $1,000 USD to $4,000 USD per person, depending upon the length of the trip and how many sites you see.

Bodh Gaya and Vulture Peak are a must! Sarnath, Varanasi, and the Ganges were nice too.


greetings The Dhamma, the website looks interesting, but what can I do with the price? lol I think I can travel around Europe with $4000. :tongue:

PeterB wrote:I have been to India a number of times. Among some basic tips I would recommend ;
Getting your shots.
Taking your anti malarials if needed where you are intending visiting. Some parts of India do not have the mosquitos that carry malaria, check online.
Staying at the best accomodation that you can afford.
Eating vegetarian food only unless you eat in posh hotels.
If drinking water, drink only bottled.
Having said all that...relax ! Enjoy ! India is wonderful and chaotic, leave all your expectations behind and open to the experience.. :anjali:


I'll keep that in mind. Thanks PeterB!

Dhammabodhi wrote:Hi Winny,

As you have probably read in my earlier posts, my hometown is Gaya(15 kms from Bodh Gaya). If you start your pilgrimage there, the Abbot of the Bangladeshi monastery there is a family friend, he and my family can help you out with your stay there, and help to plan your further journeys. Let me know if you find this feasible.

In any case, you can also travel on the Mahaparinirvana Express, a special tourist train which tours all the important pilgrimage places on the so-called "Buddhist curcuit"(this does not include Lumbini, which is in Nepal).

Metta, :anjali:
Dhammabodhi

P.S: I'd also recommend that you visit the Mahakala cave near Gaya where the Buddha did severe austerities prior to his Enlightenment.

Hi Dhammabodhi, thanks for your good intention, really appreciate it. And about The Mahaparinirvana Express seems like a good suggestion for me, and I will consider it. many thanks

Also, thanks to BudSas & Ben for the information.

vinodh wrote:I am from India :twothumbsup:

:namaste:

hi vinodh, can you tell us more specific about India? :twothumbsup:

anyway did you guys go to The TajMahal & Kashmir?
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby vinodh » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:32 pm

hi vinodh, can you tell us more specific about India?


Ask and it shall be answered.

If you any pre-conceived (stereotypic) notions about India and Indians, post them here, I will try to clear them up

:anjali:
http://www.virtualvinodh.com

Buddhists Texts in Brahmi Script : http://www.virtualvinodh.com/brahmi-lipitva

yo dharmaṁ paśyati, sa buddhaṁ paśyati
One who sees the Dharma, sees the Buddha

na pudgalo na ca skandhā buddho jñānamanāsravam
sadāśāntiṁ vibhāvitvā gacchāmi śaraṇaṁ hyaham

Neither a person nor the aggregates, the Buddha, is knowledge free from [evil] outflows
Clearly perceiving [him] to be eternally serene, I go for refuge [in him]
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:06 pm

Winny wrote:greetings The Dhamma, the website looks interesting, but what can I do with the price? lol I think I can travel around Europe with $4000. :tongue:


Forgot to mention: the price included a tour guide and a driver. The car was a newer SUV with air conditioning.

If you go it solo, without tour guides and drivers, the price would be much less. But you would need to know what to do, where to go, directions, and how to do it, in a land where you probably don't know the language. So we played it safe and went with the full tour package.
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby dragonwarrior » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:29 am

vinodh wrote:
hi vinodh, can you tell us more specific about India?


Ask and it shall be answered.

If you any pre-conceived (stereotypic) notions about India and Indians, post them here, I will try to clear them up

:anjali:


Hi Vinodh, when I said that I want to go to India, some of my friends said that it wasn't a good idea to go to India. :thinking: I'm sorry. Then, when I asked the reasons, they told me that India is not safe (many criminals), India is so dirty -dirtier than Jakarta, messy, hot and they said I will regret if I travel to India. I don't know the real condition there, but I'm sure that every country in this world has it's own uniqueness, beauty and it's own charm. My friends' words don't really discourage my desire to go to India (pilgriming & traveling). so please tell us the truth! Many thanks :thanks:

TheDhamma wrote:
Forgot to mention: the price included a tour guide and a driver. The car was a newer SUV with air conditioning.

If you go it solo, without tour guides and drivers, the price would be much less. But you would need to know what to do, where to go, directions, and how to do it, in a land where you probably don't know the language. So we played it safe and went with the full tour package.


Yes I think you're right, maybe I'll look for cheaper package. But they do speak English don't they?
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby vinodh » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:37 am

Winny wrote:
Yes I think you're right, maybe I'll look for cheaper package. But they do speak English don't they?


Ofcourse. If you are on the Urban areas, most of the guys know English and can speak [Indian] English. But the main problem is the accent. Try speaking in a Neutral accent, a bit slowly. This way, people can comprehend you easily and clearly. (and be ready to take a dosage of Indianized English :tongue: )

Winny wrote:Hi Vinodh, when I said that I want to go to India, some of my friends said that it wasn't a good idea to go to India. :thinking: I'm sorry. Then, when I asked the reasons, they told me that India is not safe (many criminals), India is so dirty -dirtier than Jakarta, messy, hot and they said I will regret if I travel to India. I don't know the real condition there, but I'm sure that every country in this world has it's own uniqueness, beauty and it's own charm. My friends' words don't really discourage my desire to go to India (pilgriming & traveling). so please tell us the truth! Many thanks :thanks:


Dirty :thinking: . I will come to that part later.

Hot ? May be for those who come from the cooler regions of the globe. 30-35 Degree Celsius is considered average here. (I set my AC to 25 and my Mom screams its too cold)

Criminals ..hmm.. As it goes anywhere, Tourists need to safe guard their belongings and avoid the street-guides and stuff. People tend to overprice things for Tourists (including the Local Tourists), so be careful on that part.

Now for the "Dirty" Part . It depends upon where you go. Yes, In general is little messy. Bear with it ! No other go :shrug: ( I know, its very embarrassing :( )

V
http://www.virtualvinodh.com

Buddhists Texts in Brahmi Script : http://www.virtualvinodh.com/brahmi-lipitva

yo dharmaṁ paśyati, sa buddhaṁ paśyati
One who sees the Dharma, sees the Buddha

na pudgalo na ca skandhā buddho jñānamanāsravam
sadāśāntiṁ vibhāvitvā gacchāmi śaraṇaṁ hyaham

Neither a person nor the aggregates, the Buddha, is knowledge free from [evil] outflows
Clearly perceiving [him] to be eternally serene, I go for refuge [in him]
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby vinodh » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:39 am

they said I will regret if I travel to India


Definitely not. :toast:

:thumbsup:

:namaste:
http://www.virtualvinodh.com

Buddhists Texts in Brahmi Script : http://www.virtualvinodh.com/brahmi-lipitva

yo dharmaṁ paśyati, sa buddhaṁ paśyati
One who sees the Dharma, sees the Buddha

na pudgalo na ca skandhā buddho jñānamanāsravam
sadāśāntiṁ vibhāvitvā gacchāmi śaraṇaṁ hyaham

Neither a person nor the aggregates, the Buddha, is knowledge free from [evil] outflows
Clearly perceiving [him] to be eternally serene, I go for refuge [in him]
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:37 pm

Winny wrote:Yes I think you're right, maybe I'll look for cheaper package. But they do speak English don't they?


As vinodh said, they speak English in urban areas, also airports, train stations, tourist spots. But I was somewhat surprised to see that in most rural areas they do not speak English and nearly all of the signs are in Hindi only. So as long as you don't get lost, you will be fine. :tongue:

There are criminals in every country, as vinodh mentioned, just be wary of street guides and as our tour guide said it, be especially cautioned for anyone saying, "how may I help you?"

Street guides try to lour unsuspecting tourists to a back alley and then rob them. Also there are several beggars who shave their heads and wear robes, but are not really monks.

One way you could do it solo is by using the airports and train stations for getting from one tourist spot to another and sticking close to the hotels and pilgrimage sites only. That is what I plan to do next time. Now that I am somewhat familiar with the country, I plan to do the next one without a guide.
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby PeterB » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:53 pm

My wife and myself have visited several Indian towns away from the usual tourist trail destinations and have never had a bad experience..
On one occasion we left our hotel and went into the local village by tuk tuk with a couple of chaps we passed on the tracks, they showed us around the village, including pulling the local priest out of bed to do a puja, and showed us where a cobra lived during the day in a kind of mud shrine painted yellow.
When we returned to the hotel the staff were amazed when we told them where we had been. No hotel guest had ever been into the village before.
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby dragonwarrior » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:54 am

vinodh wrote:
Dirty :thinking: . I will come to that part later.

Hot ? May be for those who come from the cooler regions of the globe. 30-35 Degree Celsius is considered average here. (I set my AC to 25 and my Mom screams its too cold)

Criminals ..hmm.. As it goes anywhere, Tourists need to safe guard their belongings and avoid the street-guides and stuff. People tend to overprice things for Tourists (including the Local Tourists), so be careful on that part.

Now for the "Dirty" Part . It depends upon where you go. Yes, In general is little messy. Bear with it ! No other go :shrug: ( I know, its very embarrassing :( )

V


Oh, since I live in Jakarta, so I can understand the heat and the mess. >>> more embarrassing :?
Glad to hear the temperature, at least it's almost the same here.

vinodh wrote:
they said I will regret if I travel to India


Definitely not. :toast:

:thumbsup:

:namaste:

I hope so! :twothumbsup:
PeterB wrote:My wife and myself have visited several Indian towns away from the usual tourist trail destinations and have never had a bad experience..
On one occasion we left our hotel and went into the local village by tuk tuk with a couple of chaps we passed on the tracks, they showed us around the village, including pulling the local priest out of bed to do a puja, and showed us where a cobra lived during the day in a kind of mud shrine painted yellow.
When we returned to the hotel the staff were amazed when we told them where we had been. No hotel guest had ever been into the village before.

:thumbsup: you're so lucky ^^
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby cooran » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:02 am

Hello Winny,

Are you planning to travel with companions, or alone? It is unwise for lone females to travel alone around India.

metta
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby vinodh » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:38 am

Chris wrote:t is unwise for lone females to travel alone around India.

metta
Chris


?

V
http://www.virtualvinodh.com

Buddhists Texts in Brahmi Script : http://www.virtualvinodh.com/brahmi-lipitva

yo dharmaṁ paśyati, sa buddhaṁ paśyati
One who sees the Dharma, sees the Buddha

na pudgalo na ca skandhā buddho jñānamanāsravam
sadāśāntiṁ vibhāvitvā gacchāmi śaraṇaṁ hyaham

Neither a person nor the aggregates, the Buddha, is knowledge free from [evil] outflows
Clearly perceiving [him] to be eternally serene, I go for refuge [in him]
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:41 am

Hi Chris,

Chris wrote:Hello Winny,

Are you planning to travel with companions, or alone? It is unwise for lone females to travel alone around India.

metta
Chris


I've actually known several female co-practitioners who travelled alone in India with little hassle.
metta

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- Hereclitus


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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Postby cooran » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:57 am

Hello Ben, vinodh, all,

I've been to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Kashmir etc. three or four times, and am going again in Feb/March 2010 to India and Nepal.

My son spent about six months travelling down the east coast, up the west coast and across the north from west to east. He lived in backpackers accommodation and travelled on public transport from place to place with others he met on the way. Invariably, the young women had experiences which impelled them to try to find groups which included males to travel onwards with.

Others experiences may vary.

metta
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