Spiritual Journey on Buddhist Tour

 Day 01: Our dedicated airport representative will greet you warmly when you land at Bhubaneshwar International Airport. They will escort you to your pre-arranged hotel and help you with check-in procedures. Bhubaneshwar, known as the temple city of India, holds a rich cultural heritage, blending art, architecture, and traditional customs, offering a captivating journey through the ancient kingdom of Orissa.

 Day 02: Post-breakfast at your hotel, embark on a journey beginning with the revered Lingaraja Temple, a testament to Lord Shiva’s sanctity and an architectural marvel in Bhubaneswar. Next, ascend to the Mukteshwar Temple perched on a hill, showcasing a blend of ancient and contemporary design dating back to the 10th century and devoted to Lord Shiva. Your exploration proceeds to the historical Parsurama Temple, the exclusive sanctuary in Kerala for Lord Parusarama, the warrior avatar of Lord Vishnu, originating from the 12th and 13th centuries.

The tour advances to the Rajarani Temple, echoing the erotic artistry akin to the Khajuraho Temples, constructed between the 11th and 12th centuries. Culminate your journey at the Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts, a treasure trove of Orissan tribal heritage, displaying traditional attire, artifacts, jewelry, and weaponry. This visit promises an insightful finale to your tour, followed by an overnight stay at your hotel.

 Day 03: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading to Puri, stopping en route to explore the Khandagiri and Udaygiri Caves, dating back to the 1st century B.C., near Bhubaneswar. These ancient Jain monk residences highlight the architectural prowess of King Kharavela of the Mahameghavahana dynasty, renowned for his contributions to the Kalinga empire and public welfare projects.

Next, we visit Dhauli, where Emperor Ashoka famously embraced Buddhism, marking a pivot to non-violence. The site features the Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), erected in the early 1970s by Japanese Buddhists, and two of Ashoka’s rock edicts that advocate for governance through kindness and equity.

The Shanti Stupa at Dhauli, established by the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha with guidance from Guruji Fuji of Japan, is a testament to peace and Buddhism’s influence in the region. This area showcases the Peace Pagoda and a modern monastery. Its rock-cut caves, early medieval Hindu temples, and the revitalized Dhavalesvara Siva temple offer a glimpse into history.

Upon arrival in Puri, check into your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 04: Post-breakfast, explore Ratnagiri, Udaigiri, and Lalitgiri in the Birupa river valley of Jajpur district, a renowned Buddhist site. This area, highlighted by a small hill near a village sharing its name, boasts significant Buddhist relics uncovered through extensive archaeological efforts, including two major monasteries, a significant stupa, various shrines, sculptures, and many votive stupas.

The Datavamsa, a credible early Buddhist scripture from Sri Lanka, notes Ratnagiri as the temporary guardian of Buddha’s relics during their transfer from Dantapura in ancient Kalinga (now Orissa) to Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Following Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana in Kushinagar, his left canine was brought to Kalinga by his disciple Khema Thera and handed over to King Brahmadatta.

Initially a key site for Mahayana Buddhism, Ratnagiri rose to prominence as a hub for Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana art and philosophy from the 8th to the 9th century A.D. Its significant role in the development of the Kalachakratantra in the 10th century is supported by Tibetan texts, evident in the votive stupas adorned with Vajrayana deities.

Today, this ancient center of Buddhist scholarship lies in ruins, attracting numerous visitors annually. Among its ruins, Ratnagiri offers a glimpse into its past glory through a large brick monastery adorned with exquisite doorways, a sanctum housing a colossal Buddha statue, and a wealth of Buddhist sculptures. Visitors can also find a smaller monastery, a stone temple, brick shrines, and a sprawling stupa surrounded by smaller ones. Return to Puri in the evening for an overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 05: Start your day with a delightful breakfast at the hotel before embarking on an excursion to marvel at the Chariot of the Sun God Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed by King Langula Narasimha Deva in the 13th century A.D., this temple stands as a masterpiece of Orissan art, showcasing exquisite architecture and sculpture. Witness the mesmerizing spectacle as the Sun God’s rays grace the sanctum throughout the day, reflecting off the azure waters of the Bay of Bengal. Later, explore the quaint Pipli Artist Village, renowned for its vibrant applique artistry. Here, skilled artisans craft intricate designs of animals, deities, and more, adorning articles like lampshades and handbags. Don’t miss the iconic applique canopies above Lord Jagannath in Puri. Rest overnight at the hotel, relishing the day’s enriching experiences.

Day 06: Today’s itinerary includes a must-visit to Jagannath Temple, an iconic landmark in Puri, revered as one of the holiest sites in Hinduism. This towering 12th-century temple is 65 meters tall and dedicated to the Lord of the Universe. Explore Nata Mandir and Bhoga Mandir, showcasing exquisite Orissa architecture from the 14th and 15th centuries. Another noteworthy stop is Gundicha Ghar, associated with Lord Krishna’s aunt, where the deity resides for nine days during the famous Rath Yatra festival.

Later, embark on an excursion to Chilika Lake at Satpada for a delightful boat cruise, offering glimpses of playful dolphins. This vast lake serves as a crucial wintering ground for migratory birds and shelters numerous endangered plant and animal species. The lake’s abundant fishery resources sustain a thriving community of over 150,000 fisherfolk across 132 villages. During peak migratory seasons, the lagoon becomes a sanctuary for over 160 bird species. Rest assured, your overnight stay at a hotel in Puri promises a memorable experience.

Day 07: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading back to Bhubaneswar. Then, swiftly transfer directly to the airport for your onward flight.

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