2023 Pilgrimage of India and Nepal: In the Footsteps of the Buddha w/ Khentrul Rinpoche
This retreat starts directly after the 1000 Buddha Empowerment retreat. For those who wish to do both, there is a discount on the retreat in Bodh Gaya. Find more information here.
Register for the 2023 India Nepal Tour on RimeBuddhism.com
Follow in the footsteps of Shakyamuni Life through Nepal and India with Khentrul Rinpoché. During this 16-day pilgrimage participants will study and practice the pinnacle of the Buddha Dharma while on an immersive journey to the country’s most sacred sites and the 4 key sites of the Buddha’s life.
This journey is open to those new to Buddhism or long-term practitioners who want to connect with the life of Shakyamuni to help with their inner transformation. We will start at the seat of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodh Gaya India. Rinpoche will give teachings on Buddha Nature and enlightenment to inspire us forward. Khentrul Rinpoche says the most important thing to know when we set off on a journey is the destination and in this case the final destination is Buddhahood. Once we are clear on our destination, then we can follow our guide to get there.
Along our journey, we will visit many sacred sites including the great university of the panditas at Nalanda, the Vulture Peak Mountain where the Buddha turned the wheel of Dharma by teaching the Heart Sutra, the ancient city of Varanasi where we will visit Sarnath, and Deer Park where the Buddha gave his first teaching on the 4 Noble truth and through Kathmandu Valley to see the wish-fulfilling stupa.
Every step along the way, Khentrul Rinpoche will give teachings to help connect us with the sacred meaning of each location in order to help us unveil our own sacred truth. In addition to the spiritual aspect of the tour, you will be able to enjoy authentic Indian and Nepalese nature, culture, and cuisine.
Cost: $4000 AUD (Includes shared accommodation, all teachings, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Airfare is not included.)
The tour includes:
- 15-night stay in India and Nepal
- Daily guided teachings, meditations, and or reflections by Shar Khentrul Rinpoche Jamphel Lodrö and Senior students
- Authentic traditional accommodations, all meals included
- All transportation within India and Nepa
- Entry fees to all sites
Who can come?
This pilgrimage is open to everyone. It is a great opportunity for those who want to learn about Buddhism for the first time or who would like a chance to spend more time and connect with Khentrul Rinpoche.
Day 1 (27th October) – Arrival in Bodh Gaya India
Check in to your room. Enjoy a welcome dinner and teaching with Khentrul Rinpoche under the Bodhi Tree near the Mahaodhi Stupa where the Buddha Realized Enlightenment. Rinpoche will give a teaching on Buddha Nature and what it means to be enlightened. When setting out on any journey, the most important thing to understand is to be clear on the destination.
Day 2 (28th October) – Explore Bodh Gaya – The Place the Buddha’s Enlightenment
We will spend the day exploring Bodh Gaya together visiting nearby temples, and the large Buddha, and spending more time at the stupa.
Day 3 (29th October) – Rajgir & Vulture Peak Mountain
We will travel to the area to take a hike up Vulture Peak Mountain to have a teaching where Buddha taught the Heart Sutra. Khentrul Rinpoche will give a teaching on the Heart Sutra from the Zhentong Perspective. We will continue on to visit the Saptpani caves in the area and enjoy the nearby Bamboo Forest.
Day 4 (30th October) – Nalanda University
The great Panditas of the past taught at the famed Nalanda University which is considered to be the first university in the world. We will spend time studying the Dharma, saying prayers, and connecting to the wisdom of the masters who spent time in the historic place.
Day 5 (31st October) – Travel to Varanasi
Day 6 (1st November) – Varanasi: Explore Saranatha and Deer Park
Enjoy an early morning boat ride on the river Ganges while visiting important temples and palaces around the holy city. Then we will visit Sarnath and Deer Park.
Day 7 (2nd November) – Varanasi to Sravasti
We will travel to the place where Buddha spent 25 years in Retreat.
Day 8 (3rd November) – KUSHINAGAR – Place of Passing into Parinirvana of Lord Buddha
We will travel to the place where the Buddha passed into Parinirvana.
Day 9 (4th November) – Travel toward Lumbini
Here you can find several peaceful modern temples and stupas including three main historical sights: Ramabhar Stupa, Mahaparinirvana Temple, and Mathakuar Temple. The half-ruined, Ramabhar Stupa is where Buddha’s body is said to have been cremated and monks and pilgrims can often be seen meditating. Set among monastery ruins, Mathaukar Temple marks the spot where Buddha made his final sermon and now houses a 3m-tall blue-stone Buddha statue.
Day 10 (5th November) – Lumbini Day of Pilgrimage
On this day we will visit Shakya Tank, a pool where Queen Maya is believed to have bathed before giving birth, the Maya Devi Temple & Ashokan pillar.
Day 11 (6th November) – Lumbini: Birthplace of Buddha
We will stay and practice prayers in Lumbini while Rinpoche teaches the illusory nature of reality.
Day 12 (7th November) – Pokhara Valley
We will enjoy a boat ride on the beautiful lake, and visit Matepani Gompa, the most famous monastery in all of Pokhara. We will take a leisurely hike with Rinpoche to enjoy the scenic splendors of the valley.
Day 13 (8th November) – Pokhara
We will explore the peace stupa (Shanti Stupa) and spend the day enjoying the Bazaars and outdoor lake area. Rinpoche will give teachings while we connect with the beauty and nature of the Himalayas.
Day 14 (9th November) Patan and Kathmandu Valley
We will visit the ancient city of Patan. This is the place that has many statue artisans and Thangka painting schools. We can also explore nearby Bhadgaon known for its medieval art and architecture.
Day 15 (10th November) – Exploration of Kathmandu Valley
We will spend a day visiting Swayambhunath – one of the world’s most famous Buddhist stupas, the Wishfulfilling Stupa at Boudhanath, one of the largest and most important Buddhist stupas in the world and nearby monasteries. The Kathmandu Valley is considered to be the valley of the Dakini, Vajrayogini. We will visit her temple. If possible we will arrange an introduction to the dance as a spiritual practice. The rest of the day will be free for you to walk about in the colorful and exotic bazaars.
Day 16 (11th November) – Departure from Kathmandu
We will check out of the hotel and make our way home.
Food & Accomodations
As we travel around India and Nepal, we will be staying in a mix of modern hotels and guest houses. In the cities, we may have rooms with western toilets and hot water. Rooms are either a twin share or a dorm-style.
If you are traveling with a friend and would like to stay with them, please write in and request. We will do what we can to keep you together.
The price for this journey is $4000 AUD per person (shared occupancy). A non-refundable $1000 deposit holds your space. We will email you an invoice (via PayPal) at least a week before each due date. The tour is non-refundable. If you have special circumstances then we can discuss and refund it based on unexpected circumstances. We can not refund you for a change of mind.
|Payment #1 (20% – non-refundable)||AUD$1000||Paid at registration|
|Payment #2 (40% – non-refundable)||AUD$1500||1st of July|
|Payment #3 (40% – non-refundable)||AUD$1500||15th of September|
Methods of Payment
You can make payments for this tour via any of the following methods:
- Credit Card or Paypal: Check out on the form below
- Direct Debit: Tibetan Buddhist rime Institute Inc. Bank: ANZ. BSB: 013-479 Account: 4944-47223 (Please include your surname as a reference)
- Wire Transfer: Acc: Tibetan Buddhist Rime Institute. Bank: ANZ. Branch: Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria Australia. Swift Code: ANZBAU3M. BSB:013 457. Account No: 4944 47223
- Book a ticket on this website, for the non-refundable AUD$1000 using one of the methods described above.
- Once we have confirmed the payment, we will contact you via email to confirm your registration.
- 3 Meals per day
- Transportation to sites within India and Nepal
- All accommodations
- All site entrance fees
- All tips at hotels and restaurants
- Cultural performance
Price does not include:
- International airfare
- Mongolian visa fee if needed
- Travel and health insurance
- Photography fees at sites
- Tip to local guide and driver
- Dana to Rinpoche
- Beverages in addition to water
Advice for Travel
You are responsible to book your own international flights. Please arrange your own transportation to and from the start and finish location. If you need to have extra accommodation before or after your trip please reach out to us and we will help you if we are able to.
First and foremost, your passport MUST be valid at least 6 months beyond the end date of the trip, and you’ll need two empty pages in the Visas section of your passport (make sure they are in the Visa section, not the Amendment or Endorsement section). Most countries require a visa for India and Nepal. Please check with your local embassy for details. Please do not rely on visas that can be gotten at border crossings.
You can read the American CDC’s recommendations here. We advise you to check with your local doctor to decide what is best for you. It is useful to bring a small first aid pack which includes: Nausea and diarrhea medicine, travel sickness tablets, glucose powder, paracetamol tablets, saline eyewash, cold and flu tablets, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, and any other supplies you feel you may need or have been advised to bring. We will not be at high altitudes but we will be traveling up and down through various altitudes that can generate sickness in some people.
We suggest medical insurance which includes evacuation and trip cancellation insurance, as well, as you never know what obstacles life can toss at you leading up to a trip. However, we do not require this coverage, we only suggest it highly. We will be in remote areas that may not have modern medical facilities. Please plan accordingly.
When attending the teachings, you will require something to sit on, so bring a meditation cushion with you and a plastic sheet in case it rains. You will most definitely need insect repellent. Other items which will come in handy are an umbrella, sunscreen, towel, hat, sunglasses, toilet paper/tissues, batteries, headlamp, camera, SD card for extra storage, torch, chargers, adaptors, pen, paper/writing book, favorite snack food, access to $500 for extra food and miscellaneous expenses.
We recommend drinking only bottled water, and you will want to rinse your toothbrush off in bottled water. Bottled and boiled water will be available throughout the trip.
You can either exchange cash in Mongolia or use local ATMs. It’s best to bring some with you as we won’t have time to exchange money in many places. All of your meals and transportation are covered, so you just need personal spending money.
For most of the trip, there will not be wifi available.
There is no required preparation. If you want to familiarize your mind with any of the material related to the trip we have selected a few of the texts. Unveiling Your Sacred Truth 1, 3 or 3 by Khentrul Rinpoche The Kalachakra Path offers a profound method for actualizing your greatest potential and contributing to greater peace and harmony within this world. For the first time ever, this extraordinary path is revealed in a step-by-step manner, allowing students to gradually approach this uniquely comprehensive system in a structured and methodical way.
Rules and Conditions
- The rooms are for at least 2 people.
- All meals are included in the tour costs and are pre-ordered. If you have any special requests please contact your tour guide representative the day before.
- Please be punctual and attend all sessions where possible. It is your responsibility to be at the bus when it leaves.
- It is recommended that any personal items be kept in a locked bag. The Tibetan Buddhist Rime Institute cannot be held responsible for any items left around the property that is stolen or damaged.
Food Or Medical Issues
If you have a serious food allergy or medical condition we should know about please inform us by email to discuss it as soon as possible. This is not a strenuous trip. We will be driving for several multi-hour stretches times on this trip, so guests should be able to sit in a vehicle for up to 5 hours at a time (although we can stop for bathroom breaks and leg-stretching along the way). At times, during the practice or teaching sessions, we will be sitting on the ground for hours at a time. Please bring a cushion or folding chair if you need one.
Traditionally, an offering is made to the teacher at the conclusion of the Tour (please note that this is entirely optional) as a gesture of appreciation. You can offer whatever you think is appropriate. However, here are a few suggestions – a card, flowers, money, food, or other items. A Tibetan offering scarf (khata) is given to the teacher as a blessing as part of the ceremony and can be borrowed or purchased from retreat volunteers or you may like to bring your own.