East India Pilgrimage (8 days and 7 nights)
The land of East India had been the birth and dwelling place of many self-realized masters. Lord Buddha, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Saint Haridas Thakur, Totapuri Maharaj, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, Anandamayi Ma, Mother Teresa are some of the saints whose holy presence made this land blessed and gave it its identity. East India Pilgrimage is an endeavour from Maitrepa to take you to some of the places associated with the saints of this region. It is a pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Kolkata and Puri. The pilgrimage goes on for eight days and seven nights at an engaging yet unhurried pace. The pilgrimage begins and terminates in New Delhi. It is ideal for those who cannot afford the time and money to spend a month in India for exploration. It is a systematic and time bound way of exploration, which prevents you from hassle and provides you the best experience of travel in India.
Day OneMahabodhi Temple Complex
You will fly to Bodhgaya from New Delhi. On arrival in Bodhgaya, you will check-in at the hotel. Later in the day, you will head for Mahabodhi Temple Complex. It houses Mahabodhi Temple, Mahabodhi Tree and six other spots where Lord Buddha had spent time after his Enlightenment. Mahabodhi Tree is the descendant of the tree under which Lord Buddha had attained Enlightenment. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day TwoDungeshwari Hill Cave
The first excursion of the day will be to Dungeshwari Hills where Lord Buddha had lived in a cave before going down to Bodhgaya in frustration. Bodhgaya has many monasteries established by various South-East Asian countries. You will visit some of the monasteries of importance; following that will be a visit to the park where stands the Great Buddha Statue, which is about 80 feet high. Post lunch, you will head for Varanasi by flight. After check-in at the hotel, you will proceed to Dasaswamedha Ghat to witness Ganga Aarti.
The day will commence with an early morning boat-ride on the holy river Ganges. You will then visit Anandamayi Ma’s Ashram and Satyaloka. Satyaloka is the ancestral house of the Lahiris. It enshrines the ashes of Lahiri Mahasaya, his son Tincori Lahiri and his grandson Satyacharan Lahiri. Later in the day, you will visit Sarnath – the place where Lord Buddha had preached his first sermons. You will then fly to Kolkata. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day FourNagendra Math
Post breakfast, you will visit Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. It enshrines the tomb of Mother Teresa and her room where she had lived for 27 years. After the visit to Mother House, you will proceed to visit poet-philosopher Rabindra Nath Tagore’s family mansion, which is turned into a museum. The museum showcases paintings, photographs, journals, furniture, crafts and sculptures. The museum offers a light and sound show which presents the life story of Tagore’s family and their role in Bengal Renaissance.
Later in the day you will get the opportunity to visit the room of Sri Nagendranath Bhaduri – The Levitating Saint. He finds mention in the autobiography of Paramahansa Yogananda. Garpar Road has become famous because of Yoganandaji’s house where he had spent his childhood. You will get to see the small meditation room of Yoganandaji and his room where he had darshan of Mahavatar Babaji.
You will proceed to Serampore on a boat. The boat ride will give you a priced opportunity to have a panoramic view of The City of Joy. Smriti Mandir, Anandaloka and Raj Ghat are the places of importance which you will be visiting in Serampore. Smriti Mandir is a temple erected on the ashram grounds of Swami Sri Yukteswar. Anandaloka is the house of Yoganandaji’s uncle where he would live during his college days. The banyan tree under which Mahavatar Babaji had given darshan to Swami Sri Yukteswar is located in Raj Ghat.
Post lunch, you will visit Dakshineswar Kali Temple which had been a witness to the divine leelas (play) of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. The living room of Sri Ramakrishna is vibrant with his divine energy and is an ideal place for meditation even though it is frequented by large number of visitors. You will then visit Belur Math, which is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission. Belur Math enshrines the Samadhi Shrine of Sri Ramakrishna, his consort Sharda Ma and his monastic disciples which includes Swami Vivekananda and Swami Brahmananda. One can also have a glimpse of the room of Swami Vivekananda where he had entered Mahasamadhi. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the hotel.
You will fly to Bhubaneswar. From Bhubaneswar, you will head for Puri by road which will approximately take two hours. Later in the day, you will get to explore Gaura Gambhira, Siddha Bakul Math and Karar Ashram. Gaura Gambhira is the house where medieval saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had lived for many years. Siddha Bakul Math is the sadhana ground of Saint Haridas Thakur who had sat in a continuous japa-meditation under a tree. Karar Ashram is the ashram founded by Swami Sri Yukteswar. It houses his Samadhi Shrine.
Post breakfast, you will proceed to visit Advaita Brahma Ashram. Mahayogi Sri Totapuri had stayed in the ashram for about 40 years and had entered Mahasamadhi here. It houses his Samadhi Shrine. This small ashram located far from the centre of Puri is an ideal place for meditation. You will then head for Konark to visit the magnanimous Sun Temple which is an architectural marvel. You will then be back to the hotel. Remaining half of the day will be off. You can use the time to explore the nearby beaches and shopping. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the hotel.
You will bid adieu to Puri and head for Bhubaneswar. In Bhubaneswar, you will get the opportunity to visit the famous Lingaraja Temple. Lord Shiva is the principal deity of this ancient temple. You will then be dropped off at the airport from where you will fly to New Delhi. Once in New Delhi, you can then fly to your desired destination.
For cost information or any other query, you can email us on email@example.com or call us on +91-95007 68635.
On demand, we can organize this pilgrimage at any time of the year.
- The devotees of YSS/SRF who would like to stay at YSS Ashram in Dakshineswar, need to inform us in advance. The pilgrimage cost will then be reduced for them.
- On request, it is possible to customize the tour itinerary. In those cases, the travel cost will differ.
- One may visit Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Kolkata and Puri at any time of the year. During the summer months (from April to June), temperatures soar to a high in the thirties, so those who would want to avoid summer months, may visit it anytime from September to March when the climate is more agreeable. December to February are the winter months, so all those visiting during this period, should carry warm clothing with them.
- We request women travellers from the western countries to give thoughtful consideration to the fact that the dress culture is on the conservative side in this part of the world and thus dress accordingly to avoid unwanted attention.
- Umbrellas and caps are always a must when visiting India and one should not forget to carry the cushion for meditation and Yoga mat with them.