Maha Parinirvan Express / Buddhist Circuit Train

About Buddhism

Founder of Buddhism - Lord Buddha was born to a princely family in Mid-6th Century BC, in a Kingdom located in South Nepal ,but just before he was going to be crowned the King. He lost all interest in worldly goods & one night Simply abandoned his Wife & Children, sleeping in the Palace Chambers - to wander in the forest area located near Hindu Pilgrimage of Gaya. It is said that he meditated for nearly twenty years ,before he preached his first sermon in a village located near to Hindu Pilgrimage town of Benares(now called Varanasi).

He wanted to bring about a Casteless Society (without strangle hold of any Priests Or Temples) & wanted his followers to follow a Noble Eightfold Path-The middle Way moderation Between extremes of sensual indulgence & self- mortification.

Wide Spread of Buddhism in South East Asia & Sri-Lanka was brought about Great Warrior King Ashoka in 250 Century BC ,who saw the futility of War after winning a battle in East Coast of India where a great massacre took place. During his reign only, for the first time Lord Buddha’s Preaching’s were written in Pali Script.

Buddhism was very popular in Kingdoms of North & Central India for more than 400 years till mid-3rd century A.D. ,before which the Hindu Priestly Class ( Brahmins) slowly restored their powers as Advisors to the Kings on how to rule the Kingdom

Over centuries, Four Different Schools of Thought –based on preaching of Lord Buddha have developed

  • THERAVADA BUDDHISM: is the most ancient form of Buddhism, is the dominant school in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, and Laos). Its name translates to "Doctrine of the Elders," and it centres around the Pali scriptures, transcribed from the oral tradition taught by the Buddha. By studying these ancient texts, meditating, and following the eightfold path, Theravada Buddhists believe they will achieve Enlightenment. Strong emphasis is also placed on the monastic community and on heeding the advice of the wise.
  • Mahayana Buddhism : developed out of the Theravada tradition roughly 500 years after the Buddha attained Enlightenment. A number of individual schools and traditions have formed under the banner of Mahayana, including Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and Tantric Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism focuses on the idea of compassion and touts bodhisattvas, which are beings that work out of compassion to liberate other sentient beings from their suffering, as central devotional figures.
  • Vajrayana BUDHISM : was last of the three ancient forms to develop, and provides a quicker path to Enlightenment than either the Theravada or Mahayana schools. They believe that the physical has an effect on the spiritual and that the spiritual, in turn, affects the physical. Vajrayana Buddhists encourage rituals, chanting, and tantra techniques, along with a fundamental understanding of Theravada and Mahayana schools, as the way to attain Enlightenment.
  • Zen Buddhism : is said to have originated in China with the teachings of the monk Bodhi dharma. Zen Buddhism treats zazen meditation and daily practice as essential for attaining Enlightenment, and deemphasizes the rigorous study of scripture.
    Because Buddhism is a system based on practice and individual experience rather than on theology or dogma, the different forms that have emerged differ less in what they believe the Buddha's teachings to be than in how they believe Buddhism should be practiced in daily life. Here are some Web sites that explain the history of the various movements and ways to be involved in those sects, both online and off.
    Unfortunately, While Lord Buddha was against monolithic worship & simply wanted his followers to enlighten themselves by spreading his teachings ,He is Today prayed to as an Idol
    Majority of Buddhist followers DO NOT REMEMBER ,What Lord Buddha said: NEITHER AM I THE FIRST BUDDHA NOR THE LAST ONE ,anyone who attains ENGLIGHTMENT is a BUDDHA

About Train

Welcome aboard the Buddhist Circuit Special train tour, to discover the path to enlightenment in abode of Lord Buddha!

The Mahaparinirvan Express is a special tourist train that takes passengers on a spiritual tour through Bihar/Uttar Pradesh in India , where Buddhism originated more than 2,500 years ago.

The train gets its name from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, which contains the Buddha's final explanation of his teachings. Its sacred journey includes visits to the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Lumbini (where the Buddha was born), Bodhgaya (where he became enlightened), Varanasi (where he first preached), and Kushinagar (where he passed away and achieved nirvana).

This train tour is owned & operated by IRCTC Ltd. By modifying carriages of an Air conditioned Rajdhani Express sleeper train, offering three different classes of travel (first class, two tier, and three tier). There are limited toilets with showers on the train, but & daily are taken to hotels to freshen up & for brief rest, or at times overnight stay.

There is an onboard hygienic kitchen car facility & passengers are served sumptuous hot meals. Packaged drinking water & tea/coffee Service is available free of charge As this train is targeted for pilgrimage tourist, the onboard facilities are limited & far from opulent ;& cannot be compared to other luxury train tours e.g. Palace On Wheels etc.

But personal & good care is taken of the esteemed Passengers & they are provided luggage assistance at each destination. Security guards are present on the train, An English speaking guide is part of group sightseeing tours & excursions & their costs are already included in the train tour package

Accommodation Type

As per tour itinerary, at certain destinations hotel rooms are only provided for wash & change basis & available for limited time. Passengers should not expect the wash/change Room facility to be available for a longer duration. Check-in at certain hotels may be delayed due to early arrival, before standard check-in time of hotel The entire train is air-Condtioned & you have option to book 2nd AC Sleeper Class OR 1st AC Class Cabin category These may be further explained as

2nd AC Sleeper :

There are curtains available for limited privacy of each cabin with capacity of 4 passengers on inner side. Two lower & two upper berths The outside side has one lower & one upper sleeping birth

1st AC Sleeper Cabin(4 sharing):

Each cabin has two lower & two upper berths with provision of sliding door which can be locked from inside

1st AC Sleeper Exclusive Cabin :

There are limited cabins with one lower & one upper berth with a sliding door, which can be locked from inside

Option to book:
  • Cabin with one lower & one upper sleeper berth(having sliding door,which can be locked from inside)
  • Cabin with both lower sleeper berths(having sliding door,which can be locked from inside)

Detailed Train Program :

bodhgaya

Day 01 Saturday Afternoon : NEW DELHI Depart

Report by 1 p.m. at Safderjung railway station for check-in formalities of Mahaparinirvan Express Buddhist train tour. After traditional welcome, be escorted to respective Passenger Carriage & train departs by 230 p.m. Evening tea & dinner served on board. Overnight in train.

bodhgaya

Day 02 : BODHGAYA –Town of Enlightenment

Buddhist Circuit Train TourTrain arrives early morning at Gaya Railway Station. After onboard wash and Change and breakfast ; proceed with overnight clothes to visit Mahabodhi temple & Niranjana River. Later check into hotel at Bodhgaya for overnight stay. After lunch in hotel & brief rest, visit Thai Temple, Japanese temple & Buddha statue Return to Hotel in the evening for Dinner & Night stay in Bodhgaya hotel.

rajgir

Day 03 : RAJGIR & NALANDA - Ancient University

Buddhist Circuit Train TourAfter Early morning breakfast, check out from Bodhgaya Hotel & board buses to drive 2 hours to Rajgir, to visit Bimbimsara Jail,Gridhakut Hill & Venuvan After lunch at a restaurant in Rajgir, proceed to visit ruins of one of the oldest university in the world at Nalanda & nearby located museum Depart by 4 p.m. from Nalanda by bus to reach Gaya railway station by 8 p.m. Train departs by 1130 p.m. Dinner & overnight stay onboard.

sarnath

Day 4 : VARANASI & SARNATH - The First Sermon

Buddhist Circuit Train TourEarly morning train reaches Varanasi railway station, proceed to a hotel room for wash & change only, followed by breakfast Morning excursion to Sarnath, to visit Dhamek stupa, Sarnath Museum, Ashokan Pillar & Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Drive back to Varanasi hotel for lunch & time at leisure. Evening visit ancient Ghats of Holy river Ganges, to view evening lamp immersion ceremony Return to Varanasi railway station by 8 p.m. to board the train. Dinner & overnight stay on board. The train departs by 11 p.m.

kushinahar

Day 05 : KUSHINAHAR : Nirvana

Buddhist Circuit Train TourEarly morning train reaches Gorakhpur railway station. Board buses for Kushinagar Hotel for Overnight stay & breakfast. Morning visit Mahaparinirvan Temple, Rambhar stupa, Mata Kutir temple etc. Return to hotel for lunch & afternoon at leisure. Evening participate in chanting & meditation session Dinner & overnight stay in Kushinagar Hotel.

lumbini

Day 06: LUMBINI - Birthplace

Buddhist Circuit Train TourAfter Early breakfast, check-out from hotel by 6 a.m. & proceed by bus for excursion to Lumbini(Nepal/across India border). Only those foreign nationals having valid Multiple Entry Visa to India, will be taken across the border by train tour officials After lunch in Lumbini restaurant/hotel, visit Maya devi temple,Ashokan Pillar & Pushkarni lake Depart from Lumbini by 4 p.m.& reach Gorakhpur railway station by 830 p.m. Board train for dinner & overnight stay Train departs by 1130 p.m.

Note:Program for day 5 & 6 can be interchanged also.

sravasti

Day 07: SRAVASTI - A Legend Begins

Buddhist Circuit Train TourEarly morning board buses from Gonda Railway station for Sravasti Hotel for wash/change & breakfast. Morning visit Jetvana Vihar,Pakki Kuti & Sehat Maher Thai temple, After lunch in Sravasti hotel Drive back to gonad railway station to board train by 5 p.m. & depart by 6 p.m. Evening tea & dinner on board Overnight on train

image

Day 08 : Morning : TAJ MAHAL

Morning train reaches Agra railway station After onboard breakfast & wash/change, visit one of Seven Wonders of Modern world, The Taj Mahal. Return to train by 1230 Noon & train departs by 215 p.m. for Delhi Onboard lunch 7 evening tea.

image

Day 08 : Evening : DELHI Return

Check-out at Safderjung Railway station on arrival by 630 p.m

Tour Ends
Important:
  • Onboard Train Manager reserves the right to amend day to day program - to suit local logistics.
  • Total journey if of Seven Nights from New delhi/New Delhi =BUT Option to book for MINIMUM Three Nights part journey.

Depart Schedule :Ex New Delhi Till March 2019:

7 Nights Buddhist Train Tour- Maha Parinirvana Express
Month Departure Dates
Sept 2018 29
October 2018 13,27
November 2018 10.24
December 2018 08,22
January 2019 05,19
February 2019 02,16
March 2019 02,23
Important :Train Tour Operator(IRCTC) reserves the right to cancel scheduled depart due to low occupancy/technical reasons.

Note :Train Tour will operate subject to minimum 50 paid passengers

Tariff 2018-19 Season

7 Nights Train Tour Cost
CABIN TYPE For Foreign Passport Holders (in US$) For Indian Passport Holders (in INR) Taxes Extra
PER PERSON in 2nd AC Sleeper
(no privacy)
US$ 945
per person
INR Rs. 62,800
For One person
Add 5% GST Tax Extra
PER PERSON in 1st AC Sleeper Cabin
(sharing with 3 other passengers )
US$ 1155
per person
INR RS. 76,800
per person
Add 5% GST Tax Extra
PER COUPLE in 1st AC Sleeper Cabin
(with One Upper & One lower Berth)
US$ 2610
For 2 persons
INR Rs.1,73,500
For 2 persons
Add 5% GST Tax Extra
PER COUPLE in 1st AC Sleeper Cabin(both lower berths) US$ 3470
For 2 persons
INR Rs. 2,30,700 Add 5% GST Tax Extra
For Person on Single Occupancy in 1st AC Sleeper Cabin US$ 1935
for 1 person
INR Rs. 1,28,600
For 1 person
Add 5% GST Tax Extra
Train Tour cost Includes :

Travel & stay in Rajdhani style AC train with sharing toilets, Facility of wash & change in hotel rooms; Daily 3 meals & packaged drinking water; Conducted sightseeing trips in AC Buses with English speaking guides; Monument entrance fees.

Extra Costs(not included) :

Professional/video camera fees at monuments; alcoholic & non alcoholic beverages; laundry, tour insurance, tips, room service Or telephone calls in hotels, Visa fees for India Or Nepal; hotels bookings not specified; air ticket OR any other expense of personal nature

Terms & Conditions

Booking Procedure:
  • We require Names/Nationality/date of birth of all the passengers with preferred journey date to process your booking request
  • The booking will be confirmed on receipt of minimum 25% of total ticket value
  • Full payment must reach us at least 65 days before tour date with photocopy of passport & multiple entry visa for India
  • Booking request made < 65 notice will be confirmed on receipt of one time full payment
Cancellation Rules :
  • The Mahaparinirvan Express Buddhist train tour is owned & operated by IRTCT Ltd & rules accordingly framed.
  • Train Tour bookings are Non-endorsable & non transferable.
  • Only on receipt of written request, will we process your cancellation request.
  • MINIMUM levy of 10% of total ticket value if cancellation request made > 50 days in advance
  • MINIMUM levy of 25% of total ticket value if cancellation request made between 45 to 20 days in advance
  • MINIMUM levy of 50% of total ticket value if cancellation request made between 20 to 10 days in advance
  • Full 100% levy of total ticket value if cancellation request made < 10 days in advance
  • Failure to meet payment deadline will be treated as per cancellation rules
Payment Options :
  • Online credit card authorization (only VISA/ MASTERCARD accepted)
    OR
  • Swift wire transfer
    OR
  • Indians can pay by RTGS/Cheque payable at par in New Delhi (India)
Minimum Passender Gurantee Clause :
  • The Mahaparinirvan Express Train tour will operate subject to booking of minimum paid passengers
  • It is Sole Responsibility of Train Tour Operator(IRCTC) to give adequate prior notice if scheduled depart is to be cancelled due to limited booking/technical reason & maximum liability of Royal Indian trains is limited to refund the advance taken for train booking.
  • Disputes, if any, are only subject to jurisdiction of courts of New Delhi (INDIA)

About Destinations

Important Destinations Covered

BODHGAYA : It is Considered one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, it's dominated by the ancient brick Mahabodhi Temple Complex, built to mark the site where the Buddha attained enlightenment beneath a sacred Bodhi Tree. A direct descendant of the tree sits within the complex today, along with six other sacred sites, including a lotus pond.

RAJGIR : Is an ancient city Surrounded by hills, it's known for its holy sites. Remains of the Cyclopean Wall, which encircled the city centuries ago, still stand in the center. Close by, Venu Vana park was once home to a monastery built for Buddha. The shield-shaped Japanese Temple contains a huge Buddha statue. Nearby there are hot springs believed to have medicinal properties.

NALANDA : was, a large Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha and was a centre of learning from the Fifth century BC to 9th Century AD & considered cradle of philosophy of Mahayana, which attracted students from as far as China & Indonesia . All students at Nalanda studied Mahayana as well as the texts of the eighteen Hinayana sects of Buddhism. IN later centuries ,Tantric Buddhism was also taught here. The university campus was ransacked by Muslim Invaders in 12th AD & now in ruins-,which the Govt. Authorities are in the process of slowly restoring.

SARNATH : Located near ancient Hindu Pilgrim town of Varanasi with Holy Ganges River, Sarnath is the places where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Also referred to as Isipatana, this city is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage to which his devout followers should visit, if they wanted to visit a place for that reason.[1] It was also the site of the Buddha's Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which was his first teaching after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the four noble truths and the teachings associated with it.

KUSHINAGAR : It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Buddhists believe Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death[1] It is an international Buddhist pilgrimage centre. The followers of Buddhism, especially from Asian countries, wish to visit this place at least once in their lifetime.

LUMBINI : Located in Nepal, near Indian border, Lumbini is the place where, according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in Mid-6th Century BC & who is said to have achieved Enlightenment at age of 35 years -became the Buddha and founded Buddhism.

Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Maya Devi Temple and several others which are still under repair. Many monuments, monasteries and a museum, the Lumbini International Research Institute, are also within the holy site. Also there is the Puskarini, or Holy Pond, where the Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he had his first bath. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddha’s were, according to tradition, born, then achieved ultimate Enlightenment and finally relinquished their earthly forms.

SHRAVASTI : Considered amongst the six largest cities in India in 5th Century BC ,it closely associated with the life of Gautama Buddha, who is believed to have visited it 24 times during his lifetime. The Age-old stupas, majestic viharas and several temples " establish Buddha's association with Shravasti.

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