Pilgrimage was greatly encouraged by the Buddha as an effective means to cleanse and purify one's karma and deepen one's spirituality.
At the repeated request, Lama Choedak Rinpoche has kindly agreed to lead a pilgrimage again in 2018.
The tentative itinerary has been revised having had confirmation that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be in residence at the end of the scheduled programme.
This pilgrimage will start in Kathmandu, Nepal. The main pilgrimage will cover seven of the eight holy sites in India and Nepal. On most days there will be group prayer & meditation and short teaching either by Rinpoche or by another teacher. We will meet many important teachers and people on the journey.
At the end of the pilgrimage we have scheduled 5 nights in Dharamsala, the seat of Tibetan Government in exile in the hope of having an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. There are many important teachers and interesting institutions to visit in and around Dharmasala.
The pilgrimage will conclude in Delhi where participants can catch international flights.
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Below is the tentative itinerary:
23 November - Arrive Kathmandu
24-26 November - Kathmandu (4 nights)
27 November - Pokhara ( 1 night)
28 November - Lumbini (1 night)
29 November - Kushinagar (1 night)
30 November - Vaishali (1 night)
1 December - Rajgir (1 night)
2-4 December - Bodh Gaya (3 nights)
5-7 December - Varanasi (3 nights)
8 December - Delhi (1 night)
9-13 December - Dharamsala (5 nights). Group audience with HH Dalai Lama has been requested. If the audience is not confirmed, the itinerary for the dates from 9-13 December may be altered.
14 December - Depart Delhi
As is the tradition with Buddhist pilgrimage we will be visiting seven of Eight Holy Sites that were indicated by the Buddha, including:
Lumbini - birthplace of the Buddha (Nepal close to the border with India).
Sarnath - where Buddha first turned the Wheel of Dharma (Uttar Pradesh Province, on the outskirts of the ancient holy city of Varanasi (Benares) on the banks of the Ganges);
Bodhgaya - where the Buddha attained enlightenment (Bodhi Tree);
Kushinagar - the site of Buddha's passing into Mahaparinirvana.
Rajgir – On Vulture’s Peak Buddha taught Heart Sutra
Nalanda – Birth-place of Shariputra and the site of ancient Buddhist University
Vaishali – Site where Buddha ordained women and announced his passing away
Other places that we may visit are:
Tashi Paikhel and World Peace Pagoda, Pokhara - Tibetan Settlement where Rinpoche grew up
Bodh Nath Stupa, Kathmandu - Tibetan refugee enclave in Kathmandu and the monastery and holy relics of His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche as well as IBA (International Buddhist Academy)
Swayambu Nath Stupa – the “Self Arising” stupa, overlooking Kathmandu valley
Namo Buddha, Kathmandu - where Prince Mahasattva fed his body to the hungry tigress
The pilgrimage is very well organised and Rinpoche-la has much experience leading these tours. A more detailed itinerary and other travel advice and information including what to prepare, what to expect and what to being will be provided closer to commencement. Accommodation is usually of a very good quality with breakfast included. Land transportation is in private air-conditioned buses. There will be four domestic air flights including a spectacular scenic flight of the mighty Himalayas. In general, accommodation, food and transport are always improving with every pilgrimage that Rinpoche-la has lead over the last 30 years or so.
The total fee of the pilgrimage is AUD$3500.
What this DOES COVER is:
4 star or 5 star hotel twin share accommodation for 21 nights (Single rooms will cost extra $850)
Four domestic flights
All land transport
Entrance fees to all historic/museum sites
welcome buffet dinner and farewell buffet dinner
tipping to coach driver(s) and conductor(s)
bottled drinking water
What the pilgrimage fee DOES NOT COVER is:
International flights (to Kathmandu/from Delhi)
meals apart from breakfast
Spending money and other personal expenses
A deposit of AUD$500 must be paid upon registration.
The balance of $3,000 is required to be paid in full by 15 October 2018.
All profits from this pilgrimage go towards fundraising for the STUPA TEMPLE OF PEACE project in Canberra.
You have to book your own international flights. It is recommended that you book one way tickets to Kathmandu and from Delhi. No group booking is offered but we may be able to direct you an agent. You need to arrive in Kathmandu on 23 November. You will be back in Delhi on 14th December by 8.00am to return home. If you need help to do this, we can help.
You need at least six months validity on your passport. If you are planning on coming and your passport expires before mid 2019, you need to renew it now.
You will need to apply for your India tourist visa in your country of nationality. Nepal issues 15 day tourist visas upon arrival in Kathmandu airport.
Rinpoche's pilgrimage tours are very popular, and will be offered only to those who join the pilgrimage early. As there is alot to organise and there will be a limit to the size of the group. Those who are interested need to confirm their arrangements as soon as possible. You do not have to be Buddhist to join this trip.
Now is the time to register and pay your deposit.
If you are undecided but are interested ,please let us know now to help with tentative arrangements. We will keep you on an email contact list with updates.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Jampal on 03 5155 0329