|Datuk Seri Dr. Victor Wee and myself taking a break for some tea and toilet time.|
Day 07 (30.11.2014) - Kushinagar to Lumbini, Nepal (160km 7hr drive) Lumbini the birthplace of the Buddha.
The morning call was 4.30am, breakfast 5.30am, and by 6.30am we departed Kushinagar for Lumbini, which was about 7 hours away.
At 9.30am we stopped at a Siamese Temple No.690 for the very clean toilet which was very near to India Nepal border. At the border crossing we spent about an hour from 11.30am till 12.30pm for immigration and custom checking. At 1.40pm we arrived at hotel for lunch. We had good rest in the
hotel after a 7hr road journey.
At the hotel, Dr. Basanta Bidari (retired Chief Archeologist at Lumbini), was there to receive us and would be our guide for our two days in Lumbini. Dr Basanta has written 3 books namely: 1) Lumbini: A Haven of Sacred Refuge, 2) Kapilavastu: The World of Siddhartha and 3) Lumbini Beckons.
At 3pm we departed for Ramagama or Ramgram Stupa which was 30km
away in an hour drive. The remains of a stupa and monastery lie on the banks of the Jahari River near Kerwani village. The large stupa mound is about 9 meters high by 21 meters in diameter. In Buddhist Scriptures, the Koliyas of Ramagama are listed among the eight tribes that received a share of the corporeal relics of the Buddha at Kusinara.
Lunch / Dinner and overnight at Lumbini: Hotel Buddha Maya
|At 9.30am we stopped at a Siamese Temple No.690 for the very clean toilet which was very near to India Nepal border.|
|Drive to Sounali at the India border in-order to cross into Nepal.|
|At the border crossing we spent about an hour from 11.30am till 12.30pm for immigration and custom checking.|
|Mother and three children begging for food and money at the checkpoint.|
|This young girl is also begging by the road side at the border post.|
|The Lumbini town centre, noticed the upgrading of the main road.|
|Lunch / Dinner and overnight at Lumbini: Hotel Buddha Maya.|
|The dirt road leading to the Ramgram Stupa.|
|The open field is the school children toilet.|
|The school children in one of their outdoor activities.|
|Ramgram Stupa is the only unopened Stupa with Buddha relic. This is the one among 8 relic stupas constructed by eight princes right after 'Mahaparinirmana' of Buddha. Later in 3rd century B.C. Emperor Ashoka dug open rest of the stupas to redistribute the relic into eighty-four thousand stupas.|
|It is said that Ramgram Stupa was protected by Nagas from being excavated. Whatever be the region, this stupa remained intact. Ramgram was a village in Devdaha kingdom, the maternal home of Lord Buddha's mother. Several other ruins have been found in the excavation of the area.|
|The primary excavation have unearthed important evidences of existence and worshiping of Stupa from around the time of Buddha.|
|We had the privilege of having with us Dr. Basanta Bidari, retired Chief Archaeologist to share with us his work and experiences working the past 30 years at this sacred place.|
|We all sat down and did our chanting and meditation led by Datuk Seri Dr. Victor Wee.|
Day 01 (24.11.2014) Kuala Lumpur - Bangkok - Bodhgaya, India
Day 02 (25.11.2014) Bodhgaya/Dungeswari Cave/Sujata Stupa/Bodhgaya
Day 03 (26.11.2014) Bodhgaya - Rajgir by coach (80km, 3 hrs drive)
Day 04 (27.11.2014) Rajgir - Gijjhakuta Hill (Vulture Peak) /Nalanda/Rajgir
Day 05 (28.11.2014) Rajgir – Vaishali by coach (130km, 5 hrs drive)
Day 07 (30.11.2014) Kushinagar – Lumbini by coach (160km, 7hrs drive)
Day 08 (01.12.2014) Lumbini, Nepal
Day 09 (02.12.2014) Lumbini – Sravasti by a/c coach (250Km, 8hrs drive)
Day 10 (03.12.2014) Sravasti – Varanasi by coach (270Km, 11 hrs. drive)
Day 11 (04.12.2014) Varanasi – Saranath – Varanasi by coach (12Km, half hr.) Varanasi – Bangkok TG328 16:30hrs 21:15hrs
Day 12 (05.12.2014) Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur
Buddhist Pilgrimage by Bro. Chan Khoon San
What Buddhists Believe? by Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda
The Travel Records of Chinese Pilgrims Faxian, Xuanzang and Yijing
The Buddha - Documentary (Narrated by Richard Gere)
The Life of Buddha - BBC Documentary (National Geographic)