Buddhism has more than 300 million followers around the world, which makes it the 4th religion (or philosophy) after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. The history of Buddhism begins around the 5th century BC, when Siddharta Gautama, prince of the Shakya kingdom, got enlightened under a ficus tree. Siddharta Gautama then became the ‘Buddha Samyaksam’ or ‘the perfectly awakened one.’ From then until his nirvana, Buddha visited several cities in North India spreading his message of the Middle Way. I invite you to follow in the footsteps of Buddha over more than 1000 km in northern India and Nepal, from the birth of the Prince Siddharta Gautama to the Nirvana of Buddha. Read More

During the month of Shravan (July-August), tens of thousands of Hindus undertake an arduous 50km pilgrimage through the scenic Himalayas to worship a very special symbol of Lord Shiva: an ice stalagmite-lingam that forms each year in the cave of Amarnath at the end of the Lidder Valley in Kashmir. The sacred Amarnath cave is regarded as one of the principal Hindu pilgrimages or yatra
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At the age of 29, Siddharta Gautama, Prince of Kapilavastu, abandoned his material and worldly life to find the truth of existence. He went as a wandering hermit and in Bodhgaya, under a ficus tree, Siddharta Gautama became the ‘Buddha’, ‘the one who is awake’. Buddhism, or the philosophy of the middle way, thus began in Bodhgaya, in the state of Bihar. It now has more than 300 million followers from all over the world. Bodhgaya along with Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sarnath is one of the four holiest Buddhist pilgrimages. Read More

The ‘lingam’ or ‘Shiva-lingam’ is one of India’s most emblematic hindu representation, and one of the most powerful. Some theories trace the lingam back to the ancient fertility cults probably due to its phallic form. But though it is easy to jump to conclusions, it is a mistake to think of the Shiva lingam in purely sexual terms; The Sanskrit word lingam means ‘sign’ or ‘symbol’. So the literal meaning of Shiva lingam is ‘Shiva’s sign”. It is the symbolic form of the god Shiva, the divinity without form, the source of the universe, the infinite into which everything merges at the end of time. Read More

On 17th March 1959, Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama fled Tibet following the Chinese invasion and took refuge in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, where he established the Tibetan government in exile. McLeod Ganj or ‘Upper Dharamshala’ located 10km above Dharamshala became the official residence of the Dalai Lama and the haven of thousands of Tibetans. Over the years, McLeod Ganj turned into one of the most attractive mountain resorts in India not only for its Buddhist culture but also for its relaxed ambience and the beauty of its mountainous landscapes. Read More

Kinnaur is like a precious and rare little treasure consisting of majestic mountain ranges, orchards, undulatinhills and verdant valleys, temples-towers and picturesque hamlets with glittering slate tiles. The valley is lying in the south eastern corner of Himachal Pradesh and borders Tibet to the east. Trekkers and lovers of untouched landscapes will find there a green paradise. Read More

Khajuraho, a small village in Madhya Pradesh, is reputed for its sumptuous temples, built under the Chandela dynasty and listed as Unesco World Heritage. They are famous all over the world for their relief sculptures of the “art of love”. Read More

Char Dham, meaning ‘four abodes’, is the pilgrimage circuit around the four most revered pilgrimage sites in all India. These are in Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram. Over time, another Char Dham pilgrimage circuit has developed, in Uttarakhand state in North India. It is known as Chota Char Dham, ‘the four small abodes’ or ‘Himalayan Char Dham’. Read More

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