Your Tour Leaders:
SHARON THRUPP has lived and worked in Dharamsala, India for the past 13 years. Sharon is passionate about India and is a Buddhist. She has led many pilgrimages through out India and Nepal including the Buddha’s Sites and South India. She is also involved in an Indian NGO which provides education and mentoring to underprivileged and marginalized school girls through the Indian Himalayan region.
She considers Australia as her home by birth but India as her home by heart. In her spare time, she does yoga and meditation on her roof top with the Himalayas as a backdrop and wanders the back roads of her home near Dharamsala.
Emma Billsberry (Lozang Drolma)
Lozang Drolma (Emma Billsberry) is originally from a small village in the English countryside. Emma met the Dharma in 2005 when volunteering at an FPMT centre in Australia, Chenrezig Institute. Within a few months she was ordained as Lozang Drolma and began her formal studies with the five year Buddhist Studies Program and became a registered FPMT teacher in 2012. She continued with two years of further Masters studies completing nine years of studies while living and serving in Chenrezig Nuns Community.
While at Chenrezig she assisted the spiritual program offered at Chenrezig leading meditations and pujas. She also regularly taught introductory courses and led retreats at Chenrezig a becoming well known for her natural warmth, kindness and wisdom.
In 2012 she assisted the Kopan November course as meditation leader. Since arriving in India in 2015 where she is learning Tibetan and has taught at Tushita Meditation center and Root Institute.
Currently Drolma resides in Dharamsala as a student at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics.
|Dates||1-14 January 2018|
1 Jan 2018
2 Jan 2018
After breakfast at the hotel, meet with Root Institute representative who will accompany you on your Pilgrimage. We spend the day in the sights and sounds of Delhi, including the National Museum which houses the Sacred Relics of Buddha (5th-4th century BC) which were discovered in Uttar Pradesh (a state of India). The relics are outstanding specimens of Buddhist Art and are illustrated through exhibits in a variety of materials and forms from the three principal Buddhist forms – Hinayana, Mahayana & Vajrayana.
If time permitting, visit other Delhi monuments including India Gate, Rajpath and Secretariat Buildings. Overnight Delhi.
3 Jan 2018
Morning flight to Varanasi, considered the spiritual gateway of India and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Arrive in Varanasi late morning and check into your hotel. Sightseeing trip in Main Ghat area and Vishwanath Temple.
Varanasi is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. This evening, participate in the breathtaking evening puja which accompanies sunset.
4 Jan 2018
Leave after breakfast for Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites in North India. On arrival in Sarnath, visit the Deer Park where the Buddha taught The Four Noble Truths (his first teachings) after attaining enlightenment.
Afterwards, we visit Dhamekh Stupa and other Buddhist ruins including Chaukhandi Stupa and Mulganda Kuti Vihar. The Dharmek Stupa is said to mark the exact spot of the Buddha’s first teaching of the Four Noble Truths. Return to Varanasi late afternoon. The evening is free to explore or rest at your leisure.
5 Jan 2018
Sravasti is where the Buddha spent many rainy seasons teaching to his disciples and spent the greater part of his monastic life.
6 Jan 2018
Spend the day around the ruins of Sravasti which are believed to be the originals of ancient Sravasti. Overnight Sravasti
7 Jan 2018
This morning we leave for Kushinagar (approximately 6 hours drive). Kushinagar is an important Pilgrimage site where the Buddha attained paranirvana after his death and where the long statue of reclining Buddha is housed. The image was unearthed during the excavations of 1876. Carved from sandstone, the statue represents the dying Buddha reclining on his right side. The group can also visit the site of the Maitreya Statue Project. Overnight Kushinagar
8 Jan 2018
Our first stop after breakfast is Mahaparinirvana temple – the site of the reclining Buddha. After we visit the Rambhar Stupa – which marks Lord Buddha’s cremation ground.
9 Jan 2018
On the way we visit Kesariya Stupa which was the venue where the Buddha delivered his Kalama Sutta. The Stupa has 5 large terraces which vary in shape and house a life like statue of Lord Buddha. Overnight Vaishali
10 Jan 2018
Depart for Nalanda Monastery (4 hours drive). Afternoon visit to Nalanda which was the most renowned university in ancient India and the home to the great Buddhist scholars). Established in the 5th century B.C. it remained the center of learning till the 12th century A.D.
Afternoon, we leave for Rajgir.
Rajgir was the lifetime of the Buddha and was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous King Bimbisara.
11 Jan 2018
After breakfast, take the chairlift to visit Vultures Peak and the Japanese Stupa.
Vulture Peak Mountain is one of several sites frequented by the Buddha and his community of disciples for both training and retreat is the place where the Buddha gave sermons including the Heart Sutra. Late afternoon drive to Bodhgaya.
Overnight Root Institute, Bodhgaya
12 Jan 2018
After breakfast pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa.
13 Jan 2018
Rest day. Night at Root Institute sponsored
14 Jan 2018
Fully accompanied by representative of Root Institute
Met on arrival at Delhi International Airport
Accommodation with breakfast
Flight from Delhi to Varanasi
Private transport for all transfers and sightseeing as mentioned below
- Delhi airport pickup and drop off
- Sightseeing in Delhi
- Pickup Varanasi airport to hotel, sightseeing to Sarnath
- Car/Mini Bus from Varanasi – Sravasti – Kushinagar – Kesariya – Vaishali – Nalanda – Rajgir – Bodhgaya
All attractions and entrance fees as per itinerary
Boat Ride in Varanasi
Local guides in Delhi, Varanasi, Sarnath, Nalanda and Rajgir
Accompanied by local English speaking guide from Delhi to Bodhgaya
Airfares to and from India
Travel Insurance (compulsory)
Lunch and dinner
Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description
Tipping and personal expenses
Bottled water and other beverages not included with meals