Saturday, August 27, 2011


Mahaparinirvana Express –; luxury tour; 8-day excursion on Indian Railways; includes all 4 original circuit stops, plus other historic Buddhist places in northern India, before ending at Taj Mahal; originates in New Delhi, includes air-conditioned sleeper cars, meals, hotels, and English-speaking guides; tickets range from $665 per person for 3-tier sleeper to about $1,050 for 1st class.

SwaSwara – Donibhail (Om Beach); 011-91-48-4301-1711;; on India’s west coast, this ecoresort makes it possible to experience this fantastically rugged stretch of spectacular coast; 24 suites around planted courtyard; each has open-air shower stocked with natural products; bedroom with air-conditioning, and open-air upstairs room for stargazing; no red meat or hard alcohol served but seafood and wine okay; pool, kayaking, and mountain biking; October-March are driest months and sunniest weather without inordinate heat; suites in B and C ranges have best blend of privacy, convenience, and views.

LUMBINI – where Buddha born.

Dae Sung Suk Ga Sa Korean Monastery Guesthouse – 011-977-7158-0123; also known as “Korean Mahabodhi Society Monastery”; has rooms for 3-night stays; bring your own toilet paper and towels.
Sights & Sites
Ashoka Pillar – great art piece erected by Ashoka with horse on pillar’s top; great view; represents ancient story related to Buddhist tales.
Buddhist Monastery – built in modern Nepalese Buddhist temple style; middle hall contains some exquisite murals resembling medieval periods.
Kapilvastu – 27 km south of Lumbini; holy destination related deeply to Buddha legend; where Buddha spent childhood and teenage years in complete luxury; King Shuddhodhan’s capital; houses many Buddhism sculptures.
Maya Devi Temple – temple famous for Maya Devi’s statue, exotic representation of Buddha’s puberty; excavated after stupa’s discovery in 1895; temple, built gradually, composed of many temples, 1 after other; Maya Devi statue splendid.
Puskarni – south of Ashoka Pillar; literal meaning is “pond”; sacred site; Mayadevi took holy dip in pond, just before Buddha’s birth.

Sights & Sites
Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling – monastery established by Tibetan scholar in 1429.

Lo Gekar
Sights & Sites
Ghar Gompa –; considered perfect early Tibetan temple; modest in size, with central assembly hall encircled by covered pathway that allows pilgrims to circumambulate shrine; hall holds altar with lamas’ images; hall only lit by skylight; has apartments and few cells for lama and pupils; friezes border flat roof.

Lo Manthang
Sights & Sites
Thubchen Monastery – tremendous frescoes.

Sights & Sites

Sights & Sites
Chortens – small Buddhist stupas.

Sights & Sites
Luri Gomba Caves – elaborately painted hermitage in cliffside.
Tashi Kabum Caves – elaborately painted temple in Cliffside.

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