Special budget train for Buddhist sites

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Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:55 am

Greetings,

Planning a pilgrimage...?

Special budget train for Buddhist sites
http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article97797.ece

The Indian Railways will launch its maiden special train covering the Buddhist circuit across the country, with a visit to Nepal also thrown in.

Aiming to cater to budget tourist from Sri Lanka and other Asian countries, the 14 days and 13 nights, all-paid package tour will also provide off-board services such as hotel accommodation, vegetarian meals, road transfers for sight-seeing, and assistance for visa formalities for foreign nationals.

The tour which will start from Chennai on February 22 will be a round trip. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will be managing the operation, has offered three rates for the budget tourist.

Twin-sharing accommodation comes for Rs.23,650 per person, while triple-sharing accommodation costs Rs.20,600 and for hall or dormitory accommodation, the fare has been pegged at Rs.16,650. Accommodation will be provided in budget hotels.

The train provides sleeper class accommodation for 500 passengers on each trip along with a pantry car serving vegetarian food. The IRCTC assures escort and security on the train for the passengers.

The pilgrims get to see 11 Buddhist sites starting with the paintings and sculptures in Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The other sites are: the massive stupa at Sanchi; Sravasti, capital of the ancient kingdom of the same name; the birth place of Gautam Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal; the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar; Vaishali, where the Buddha preached his last sermon; the evocative ruins of Buddhist monasteries and temples of Nalanda; Rajgir, where Buddha preached two of his most famous sermons; Bodh Gaya where the Buddha attained enlightenment; Sarnath where he preached his last sermon; and the excavations of Nagarjunakonda.

The package, however, does not include entrance fee for monuments, medical care and Nepal visa fee for foreigners. It has its own cancellation rules, according to which the last date for cancellation is one week before the start date. The passenger will forfeit the entire money if it is cancelled during the week before the trip.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:33 am

:clap:

That's a good price. It sounds like a good way to get around too, seeing some of the country-side on the train.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby Guy » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:39 am

Hello,

I wonder if we could at some point in the future arrange for a Dhamma Wheel pilgrimage, assuming there is enough interest, with both monastics and lay people.

What do you guys think?

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby salmon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:04 am

Unless you are prepared to wrangle the locals there, I'd advise you to go with experienced travellers. Buddhist holy place or not, some of them have no qualms sticking a weapon in your face to fleece you of your possessions.

All that said...a pilgrimage is highly recommended. I went on mine 5 years ago and I can still remember the piti I experienced there.
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby fijiNut » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:54 am

Guy wrote:Hello,

I wonder if we could at some point in the future arrange for a Dhamma Wheel pilgrimage, assuming there is enough interest, with both monastics and lay people.

What do you guys think?

With Metta,

Guy

I actually wanted to go with Chris & her Brisbane group on her current trip (late Feb 2010) but my uni schedule and circumstances did not allow it.
I would not mind traveling later this year November 16 - 31st Jan as a group or even if there were just few of us.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby cooran » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:01 am

Hello fijinut,

We are getting quite excited now - the departure date is 12 February, spending one night in Bangkok catching up with some of my thai and farang friends - hopefully RobertK among them, then on to Bodhgaya. We will be accompanied by Bhante Dhammasiha and Bhante Paramito -and then leaving Bhante Paramito in Thailand on the way home from India.
I've been a few times to the Four Holy Sites before, but never with such a teacher, well-versed in the Dhamma-Vinaya and accomplished in Pali. And this time there are only 26 of us instead of the usual four busloads when I go with my Thai friends. Additionally, after spending two weeks in India and Nepal at various sites from the Buddha's life, we are spending an additional week in Bodhgaya with some all night meditation sessions planned.
I've been having all my injections - as you know, Australia is one of the few countries in the world completely free of rabies - so ... five rabies injections later, plus all the other immunisations, I feel I could glow in the dark. :tongue:
We are hoping to record Bhante's DhammaTalks ... though a more technologically-illiterate group would be hard to find.
Wish you were coming with us Sung ... you are missed :group:

with metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby Sekha » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:53 am

salmon wrote:Unless you are prepared to wrangle the locals there, I'd advise you to go with experienced travellers. Buddhist holy place or not, some of them have no qualms sticking a weapon in your face to fleece you of your possessions.


:shock:

unless you go off roads in the remote villages where you may do meet naxalites there is no danger of that kind at all in India. Perhaps in Nepal, but again, off roads.

And such places as Bodhgaya, Kushinagar, Sarnath, Sanchi, Ellora & Ajanta, Rajgiri, Nalanda etc. are really safe places.

As to whether you have to wrangle with indian people highly depends on your kamma. I saw the transformation when I was there and started getting the fruits of pratice, local people's behavior towards me changed radically. They see much more of us in just one glance than we can simply imagine. Besides, if you are able to be generous they are really grateful.

Your experience there can range from very unpleasant to very pleasant, depending on your ability to associate with the good people, which is deeply linked to your kamma.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby appicchato » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:35 pm

cooran wrote:We are getting quite excited now...


Wishing you, and all your fellow pilgrims a safe, and rewarding journey... :hello:
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:30 pm

cooran wrote:Additionally, after spending two weeks in India and Nepal at various sites from the Buddha's life, we are spending an additional week in Bodhgaya with some all night meditation sessions planned.


:thumbsup:

That's what I'd like to do for my next trip. Since I have already seen the four most important sites and some of the others, I want to focus on meditation at Bodh Gaya and the Maha Bodhi Temple.

Have a good and safe trip. Bring back plenty of pictures!
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby effort » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:47 pm

wow, it is nice to be in a group. so how is this possible to arrange such a trip cooran?
and are those destinations in train trip too far from each other or all are in the north india?
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby cooran » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:33 pm

Hello effort,

If you attend a monastery or take teachings from a Theravada monk - talk to the people there about the possibility of all doing a Pilgrimage to the Four Holy Sites together in the future.
It may need a year or two to plan - but it is always best to do a well-planned group tour. You also need time to save the money for the trip!

Sometimes sites like Tricycle advertise pilgrimage tours - but aren't always to the Four Holy Sites.

We are particularly lucky at Dhammagiri, because one of our members is a travel agent, and the pilgrimage was suggested by our Abbot, who is leading it.
We aren't doing the train trip - but have arranged via the travel agent for the same bus and crew to be available the whole three weeks. There is a set itinerary, and the entire last week is in Bodhgaya.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby effort » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:31 pm

it is really nice cooran, and thank you for the respond. hope u enjoy.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby alan » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:38 pm

Be aware that when Indian Railways says it has a package for "budget" travelers, they are not talking to you.
These are directed at the home market, people who will put up with conditions most of us would consider unacceptable--extremely crowded compartments and horrid food, to begin with. Then add the scrum of vendors, touts and hustlers who will inevitably glom on to such a group.
Don't mean to be a downer--India is an amazing, incredible country. But it is difficult.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby Maitri » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:43 am

My husband and I have been discussing going on a pilgrimage to India to visit the Four Sites of Lord Buddha's life in Winter of 2011. Does anyone have recommendations about any companies to use or to stay away from? Any personal experience with a group leader or "company" that you could share? I will have a good amount of time off of work, so I am interested in being there for about 2 weeks.

Any feedback would be most helpful!
May all beings be well, happy, calm, and at ease.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:56 am

Maitri wrote: Any personal experience with a group leader or "company" that you could share? I will have a good amount of time off of work, so I am interested in being there for about 2 weeks.


http://www.buddhapath.com/ with Shantum Seth is good. My family and I used that company back in 2006 and it went well.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby Maitri » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:17 am

Hi David,

Thanks for the recommendation of BuddhaPath. It was either between them or Insight Travel. After reviewing both itineraries, I decided to go with Insight Travel. Just in the nick of time too; registration ends a week from today. I spoke with my teacher about it, and upon his review he thought it will be a good choice. http://www.insight-travel.com/

I am so happy to be able to do this... tomorrow I will be going to the bank to get the first payment for the pilgrimage to India. I hope it all works out. :jumping:

It's been a dream of mine for years to go to the sites of the Buddha's life. I am having a hard time believing that it is actually going happen. Any advice is welcomed, too as this will be my first time going to India. I've downloaded a new book called, Along the Path The Meditator's Companion to the Buddha's Land, from Pariyatti to read over the weekend.
May all beings be well, happy, calm, and at ease.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:16 am

Maitri wrote:It's been a dream of mine for years to go to the sites of the Buddha's life. I am having a hard time believing that it is actually going happen.


:thumbsup: It's definitely worth it.

Any advice is welcomed, too as this will be my first time going to India. I've downloaded a new book called, Along the Path The Meditator's Companion to the Buddha's Land, from Pariyatti to read over the weekend.


Insight Travel is good too. I haven't used them, but have heard good things about them too.

Watch out for back alleys / street peddlers trying to lure you to one of their "shops" at a back alley. They know tourists are usually carrying around lots of cash. But nearly all of the vendors are very honest and selling products to make a living. You will find products that are not so easy to find outside of India, so it is good to plan on some room in your suitcase for souvenirs, Maha Bodhi replicas, etc.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby Maitri » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:22 am

I just got my registration packet in the mail yesterday, so I guess it is official! I only have to make the second payment with the airfare and I'm all set.. just a few more grand to cover :rofl: The people at Insight Travel have been very helpful, and I'm looking forward to learning more about the whole process. This will be my first time outside the states, so I am brand new to international traveling . I was thinking of starting a blog to document my process and reflections during the preparation for pilgrimage. Depends if I have the time :juggling:

I'm still in a bit of shock, honestly. It is hard to believe this is going to happen.. for years I have wanted to go on pilgrimage and now it is only 4 months away.

@ David

What were some of the items you could only find in India? I imagine there are lots of items for sale, but what did you find there that you think was really valuable?
May all beings be well, happy, calm, and at ease.
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Advice on a hotel

Postby Maitri » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:31 am

I am now in final stages of planning my pilgrimage. However, I do need some advice from anyone who has been to Bangkok. I will be there for one day to rest after the flight from the U.S. Does anyone know of a hotel (under 100$ a night) they have stayed at to personally recommend? I was hoping to find a hotel that is near the Wat Phra Kaew- Temple of the Emerald Buddha. I will only be there for one day, and if I am not totally jet lagged I want to see this single temple. :rofl:
May all beings be well, happy, calm, and at ease.
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Re: Special budget train for Buddhist sites

Postby alan » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:37 am

There are about a thousand hotels that meet your needs.
TripAdvisor.com is a good place to start. Don't worry--Bangkok has enough room for you. Promise.
You might even want to spend a few extra nights.
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