Pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya

Thursday to Sunday, 5 to 8 December 2024

For 25 centuries Bodhgaya has been the epicenter of the Buddha’s teachings that have now spread around the world. The extensive temple-park complex, created by Emperor Ashoka, is a place for quiet reflection, meditation and contemplation. Seven sacred shrines commemorate the seven weeks the Buddha spent here after his enlightenment. There is a “meditation park” strictly reserved for serious meditation. Our hotel is a short walk from this holy spot, and we can return several times during our stay. 

While the powerful Mahabodhi Temple complex is the focus of our visit, the town around the temple is also a haven for those inspired by the Buddha, and a joy to explore. Traffic is restricted, devotees and pilgrims walk everywhere, and we’re a short walk to many beautiful temples and monasteries, built by devotees of different Buddhist lineages from different countries, each in their unique style. Some of these will also be our meditation destinations. Here an infinite variety of Buddhist traditions come together harmoniously. 

We’ll also drive 12 kilometers into the countryside to meditate at the Dungeshwari or Mahakala caves where the Buddha did his sadhana for several years leading up to his enlightenment. 

This pilgrimage will be led by Keshava and Daya Taylor, spiritual directors of Ananda Sangha Delhi. 

Our Schedule

Thursday, 5 December

4:00 pm flight arrives in Gaya from Delhi (Indigo-6E 448)
Bus meets flight and takes us to hotel, check-in, free time
4:00 pm opening gathering at the hotel
Walk to Mahabodhi temple for meditation 
Dinner at hotel

Friday, 6 December

Morning meditation at Indosan Nipponji Japanese temple
Breakfast
Guided tour of Mahabodhi temple
Lunch on your own
Different countries’ Buddhist temples and monasteries – walking tour
Dinner at hotel

Saturday, 7 December

Meditation (location to be announced)
Breakfast
Depart for Dungeshwari Caves for meditation
Visit Tergar Monastery
Lunch on your own
Afternoon free time, more local temples, or optional meditation at Mahabodhi temple
Dinner at hotel

Sunday, 8 December

Early morning meditation at Mahabodhi temple
Check out, have breakfast
Transfer to airport
11:50 am flight departs Gaya to Delhi (Indigo-6E 2416)

Dungeshwari Caves

Accomodation, Meals and Transportation

For 3 nights we’ll stay at a comfortable 3-star hotel in the centre of Bodhgaya. Breakfasts and dinners are included. Within Bodhgaya town our destinations are within a 10-minute walk of our hotel. The ground is level, the temples have some steps. Airport transfers and the outing to Dungeshwari Caves will be by a/c bus. Reaching the Dungeshwari Caves involves a 10-minute moderately steep walk up a cement path. If this is difficult, motorcyclists also offer rides. 

Photos above: The holy Bodhi Tree at the Mahabodhi temple where Buddha attained enlightenment (top); Thai Buddhist  Temple (bottom left) and entrance to Dungeshwari Hills Cave Temple – these caves are believed to be where Lord Buddha meditated for years (bottom right)

Tergar Monastery Bodh Gaya

Photo above: Tergar Monastery. Different countries have built many Buddhist temples and monasteries in their cultural architectural and spiritual styles in Bodhgaya. We will visit various such places!

How to Reach Bodh Gaya

You will arrange your own flightThe pilgrimage leaders are taking the following to and from Delhi: 

Arrive: Indigo-6E 448 departs Delhi 14:25, arrives Gaya 16:00
Depart: Air India #433 departs at Gaya at 11:50 am and arrives in Delhi at 1:45 pm. 

It is possible to fly from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, or Pune all in one day, and return home in one day. Try to connect in Delhi with this same Indigo flight. 

Trains also reach; Gaya Junction station is 30 minutes away. You would make your own way to our hotel. 

Nipponji Japanese temple

Programme Fees

Double occupancy: Rs. 18,000 per person, plus airfare.
Single occupancy: Rs. 22,500 plus airfare.

If you wish double occupancy accommodation and you don’t know another pilgrim, you’ll be assigned a roommate if possible. 

The programme fee includes:
Group ground transportation in Bodh Gaya, lodging and 2 meals a day, airport transfers for the indicated flights, and hotel tips. 

Not included in the fee:
Airfare to and from Gaya, lunches, beverages, personal trips in taxi or auto, and personal hotel expenses such as laundry or room service. 

The pilgrimage begins at Gaya airport after lunch on Thursday, 5 December, and ends at Gaya airport after breakfast on Sunday, 8 December.

Payments 

A completed application form and payment are both needed to confirm your space.

We ask for full payment as soon as your application has been approved.

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