From Bodhgaya to Lumbini

#1 Sep 23rd, 2018, 12:07
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Dear community,

I have searched online but couldn't find up to date information on the best way to reach Lumbini from Bodhgaya by train and / or bus.
Via Patna or Gorakhpur? Via Sunauli or Raxaul for the border crossing?

If convenient for the route, I would maybe consider stopping in Rajgir en route.

Thank you!
#2 Sep 23rd, 2018, 14:09
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Originally Posted by Juditha20 View Post Dear community,

I have searched online but couldn't find up to date information on the best way to reach Lumbini from Bodhgaya by train and / or bus.
Via Patna or Gorakhpur? Via Sunauli or Raxaul for the border crossing?

If convenient for the route, I would maybe consider stopping in Rajgir en route.

Thank you!
Since the Buddha's main places (recommended to be visited on pilgrimage in the Suttas, the Buddha's discourses, namely Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar) are roughly on a circle, you can reach each of them traveling either clockwise or anti-clockwise.

If you start in Bodhgaya and just want to reach Lumbini, the logistically best option is probably the clockwise way, but I describe both here, for other readers with the query looking to visit all the places including Rajgir.

1- On the clockwise circuit you take a train from Gaya to Varanasi (and could visit Sarnath which is just 12 km from Varanasi). Then you take a train to Gorakhpur (Kushinagar is just 50 km from there, easily reachable by bus). From Gorakhpur you take a bus to Sunauli, the Nepal border and cross it there. Here is my description how to do this journey: https://www.indiamike.com/india/utta...7/#post1382351

2- in the anti-clockwise direction you take a train from Gaya to Patna, and another train from there to Gorakhpur.

You can search for trains here: https://indiarailinfo.com/
#3 Sep 23rd, 2018, 18:21
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Since you mention Rajgir as a place of interest to you, I would like to point out that I consider it the more impressive place than Bodhgaya in the sense that it is more authentic than BG, because in BG you only have the Bodhi tree as something going back to the Buddha's time, and the tree also only as an offshoot of the original tree, while in Rajgir you have the caves, the hills, the whole landscape which has not changed much since the Buddha's time. Rajgir is more rugged, therefore more original, while Bodhgaya is totally overgrown by relatively recent construction (including the Mahabodhi temple, constructed 1st-3rd century, so it is several hundred years after the Buddha).

Bodhgaya is definitely nice for the atmosphere at the Mahabodhi temple, but Rajgir offers more perspective for someone interested in the Buddha's teaching because many events happened there that are related in the discourses, many of them taught at Rajgir. The Buddha spent much more time in Rajgir than in Bodhgaya. Rajgir was an important city at his time, while Bodhgaya was just a pleasant forest area (which it is now no more).

So Rajgir is definitely worth a visit. You best stay there at least two nights, so you have time to go see Vulture Peak (Gijjakuta) which is 45 min by Tonga (horse-carriage) outside of Rajgir.

A taxi from Bodhgaya is around Rs. 1500, as Rajgir is only 70 km from BG, a train from Gaya at 7:20 on weekdays.
#4 Sep 23rd, 2018, 20:07
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Rajgir was also Bimbisara's capital city.
#5 Sep 23rd, 2018, 20:12
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I always thought the similarity between the names of bimbisara and bindusara was fascinating.
#6 Sep 23rd, 2018, 20:29
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post I always thought the similarity between the names of bimbisara and bindusara was fascinating.
Their respective sons turned out to be quite different, though.
#7 Sep 23rd, 2018, 20:35
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Yes, one became a hotel in Delhi. The other, not so hospitable.
#8 Sep 23rd, 2018, 20:54
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I think Patna needs a Hotel Ajatasatru. It could be something like Ajatasatru's palace as described in this novel with lots of nooks and crannies for spies to hide in.
#9 Sep 24th, 2018, 06:33
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Originally Posted by atala View Post Since the Buddha's main places (recommended to be visited on pilgrimage in the Suttas, the Buddha's discourses, namely Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar) are roughly on a circle, you can reach each of them traveling either clockwise or anti-clockwise.

If you start in Bodhgaya and just want to reach Lumbini, the logistically best option is probably the clockwise way, but I describe both here, for other readers with the query looking to visit all the places including Rajgir.

1- On the clockwise circuit you take a train from Gaya to Varanasi (and could visit Sarnath which is just 12 km from Varanasi). Then you take a train to Gorakhpur (Kushinagar is just 50 km from there, easily reachable by bus). From Gorakhpur you take a bus to Sunauli, the Nepal border and cross it there. Here is my description how to do this journey: https://www.indiamike.com/india/utta...7/#post1382351

2- in the anti-clockwise direction you take a train from Gaya to Patna, and another train from there to Gorakhpur.

You can search for trains here: https://indiarailinfo.com/
Thank you! May I ask why going via Varanasi (just to reach Lumbini) is better than taking a train or bus to Patna and then another one to Gorakhpur?

Thanks!
#10 Sep 24th, 2018, 12:34
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Originally Posted by Juditha20 View Post Thank you! May I ask why going via Varanasi (just to reach Lumbini) is better than taking a train or bus to Patna and then another one to Gorakhpur?

Thanks!
To go from Patna to Gorakhpur you have to first get to Hajipur.
#11 Sep 24th, 2018, 20:24
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Originally Posted by Golghar View Post To go from Patna to Gorakhpur you have to first get to Hajipur.
You mean for Patliputra Junction.... Initially I thought so too, but surprisingly there are lots of direct trains to Gorakhpur from Patna Junction.

Edit: oh, I just see when clicking the individual trains (after checking for Patna Jn to Gorakhpur Jn and getting that long list of trains) they actually start from over on the other side, as I initially thought too.
#12 Sep 24th, 2018, 20:49
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Originally Posted by atala View Post You mean for Patliputra Junction.... Initially I thought so too, but surprisingly there are lots of direct trains to Gorakhpur from Patna Junction.

Edit: oh, I just see when clicking the individual trains (after checking for Patna Jn to Gorakhpur Jn and getting that long list of trains) they actually start from over on the other side, as I initially thought too.
https://erail.in/trains-between-stat...pur-GKP?view=d

Yes, the only one departing from PNBE (Patna Jn.) is something called the "Exam Special", which only runs till Sep. 30th. There are a few from PPTA (Pataliputra Jn.) but that station is way out of town. All the others are from HJP (Hajiour Jn.) which is on the other side of the Ganga (Republic of Vaishali - enemy territory for Magadhians).
#13 Sep 25th, 2018, 21:19
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#13
Dear all and for future readers,

I did end up taking a train to Patna Junction, from there a shared Rikscha (nice view of Ganga river, yes) and then another train from Hajipur Junction to Gorakhpur. There are many trains for both routes, so the transfer went well. From Gorakhpur, shared taxis leave to Sunauli, so I managed to make the trip to Bhaiwahara in Nepal in one day. Plus, it was inexpensive, with only unreserved / sleeper trains available.
#14 Sep 25th, 2018, 21:33
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In one day possible - that's great to know!
#15 Sep 25th, 2018, 22:42
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#15
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Originally Posted by atala View Post In one day possible - that's great to know!
I was very lucky with train connections and started in Gaya Junction at 7.35 am, but yes, doable! Otherwise, it's possible to stay in Gorakhpur for one night - seemed alright!

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