Day 01: Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel. Visit to Patan. Patan City is an enchanting melange of palace buildings, artistic courtyard and former Royal palace complex. One remarkable monument here is a 16th century temple dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Krishna, built entirely of stone. Tibetan Refuge Camp is famous for its weaving carpet and other Tibetan art. The famous Kwa Baha also popularly called Golden Temple is situated in Patan. The vihara is known by several names such as Sri Bhaskaradeva Samskarita Hiranyavarna MahaVihara, Kwa Baha, Kwaba and Hiranyavarna MahaVihara. Kwa Baha is a Tibetan style monastery. The Mahabouddha Temple also known as Mahabodhi Mandap Vihara is one of the most well-known Buddhist sites of Patan. The temple architecture is said to be inspired by Bodh-Gaya temple structure in Bihar. The temple is a branch of Rudravarna MahaVihara (Ukubaha).
Day 02: Kathmandu”
Morning visit to Swayambhunath. Swoyambhu is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for both Nepalese and Tibetans. It is one of the most ancient chaityas in Asia and a major symbol of Nepal’s Buddhist heritage. Swoyambhu represents the Primordial Buddha or Adi-Buddha. The hillock where Swoyambhu Chaitya is built is called by the names of Padmagiri, Vajrakuta, Gosringa, Gopuchha, Samhegu, and Simbhu and is enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vijeshwori Yogini temple is located on the banks of River Bishnumati, a few minutes walk from Swayambhunath. There is also a Buddhist monastery called Bilas Vihara. There are several votive chaityas in the courtyard of Vijeshwori. The Vijeshwori shrine is situated in the northeast corner of the complex. The main shrine is located on the second floor.
Afternoon sightseeing of Boudhanath. Bouddhanath is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage and old heritage sites in Nepal. It is said that this stupa contains the relics of Buddha Kashyapa. Almost 176 miniature stupas and paintings of Tibetan Buddhist pantheons cover the walls that surround the stupa at Bouddhanath. Newari style chaityas adorn the four gates of the stupa.
The Bouddhanath Stupa is believed to be the embodiment of Dharmakaya (Buddha mind) and hence an object of devotion for all Buddhists. The stupa built in traditional Nepalese architectural style consists of a raised plinth, a spherical dome, a cubical steeple and a spire of 13 discs. The plinth that consists of three terraces is believed to represent thirty-seven factors of enlightenment. The dome represents Tathagatagarbha (the Buddha nature) from which virtuous special qualities develop.
Bouddhanath Stupa is an important pilgrimage site for Tibetans. The stupa is mentioned in the Tibetan classical texts such as Biography of Yeshe Tshogyal (A.D. 8-9) and Padma Ka’thang (A.D.14). The Tibetan government had jurisdiction over the stupa from seventeenth century to the nineteenth century. Bouddhanath has numerous Tibetan monasteries. The area around Bouddhanath is even called the Vatican of Tibetans by some.
In afternoon, light lunch at Cafe and take a flight to Bhairahawa to continue to Lumbini. Rest of the afternoon sightseeing tour of sacred garden. Return to hotel for checking and night stay.
Sightseeing of Lumbini. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha situated in western Tarai of Nepal holds a special place in the Buddhist world. It is also mentioned in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta that the Buddha advised his followers to visit Lumbini. Emperor Ashoka of erstwhile Magadha Kingdom of India made a pilgrimage in 3rd century BC and erected a world famous pillar with inscription stating ”Here the Buddha was born”. Chinese pilgrims Tsen Tsai (4th Century A.D.), Fa-hsien (5th Century A.D.) and Hiuen-Tsang(7th Century A.D.) accounted their travel to Lumbini mentioning that they saw the holy tree, the pond, stupas and shrines. Hiuen Tsang described the Ashokan Pillar with a horse capital on the top of it. Temple of Maya Devi, mother of Lord Buddha has been recently renovated under the vigilance of UNESCO. Several foreign monasteries and stupas have been constructed in Lumbini. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Lumbini – Sravasti (approx. 255 km). O/N Hotel
Morning drive on the flat terai country on the low belts of the Himalaya to Sravasti. Saravasti, is the most commonly visited place. It is here that the Buddha is said to have performed great miracles. One story tells of how on throwing down the seed of a mango, a great mango tree instantly arose. Another story tells of how the Buddha stood in the air, the lower part of his body engulfed in flames, with five hundred jet of water streaming from the top of his body.
Saravasti was a garden of prince Jeta which was brought by Sunanda popularly known as Anathapindika. He built a beautiful 9 storey monastery for Lord Buddha which is known as Gandha Kuti. Today we can see remains of Gandha Kuti, Rahul Monastery, Ananda Monastery and all the remains. There is another archeological site known as Mahid. There are resident of Anathapindika and Angulimal.
Day 04: Sravasti – Kushinagar (approx. 300 km). O/N Hotel
Today we drive to Kushinagar following the town Basti & Gorakhpur. Lunch at hotel. Afternoon sightseeing of Kushinagar visiting the Mahaparinirvana Stupa & Ramabhare Stupa.
This is the place where Lord Buddha preached his last sermon and said, “All Things must Pass. Decay is inheritance in all things’”. Kushinagar was an important center under Mauryan King Ashoka, a great Buddhist follower. Ramabhare Stupa is the most important landmark of Kushinagar, the Stupa is said to have been built on the same spot where Lord Buddha was cremated in 543 BC.
Mahaparinirvana Temple is another attraction in Kushinagar with a huge statue of Lord Buddha in reclining position. Mathakuar shrine is the place where Lord Buddha had given his last sermon.
Day 05: Kushinagar – Lumbini (approx. 185 kms). O/N Hotel.
We retraced back to Lumbini via Gorakhpur – busy city of Uttar Pradesh of India. Arrive at Sunouli to cross the India-Nepal border, after a short border crossing formalities we continue our journey toward Lumbini.
After the lunch at Lumbini, we continue our journey to Kapilavastu, the place where Lord Buddha spent his 29 years of Royal life. Return to the Hotel for overnight.
Enroute to Kapilavastu we come across the Crane Sanctuary, which has been reserved for endangered species under the protection of ICF (International Crane Foundation).
Alternatively drive direct to the airport to fly back to Kathmandu.
Day 06: Arrive Kathmandu & transfer to hotel.
Morning free for last minute souvenir shopping & meeting friends.
Transfer to airport to depart Kathmandu for onward International Journeys.[/su_spoiler]
Bon Voyage. You have completed the original Buddha’s Path. May Buddha bless you with the Buddha Wisdom.