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Buddhist Special Train Tour

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Sravasti

Sravasti was the largest town in the Gangetic plains in the lifetime of Lord Buddha. The place was once the capital of the Kosala Kingdom and it is specially sacred to the Buddhists because it was here that Lord Buddha performed the most talked about of miracles when he created many images of himself that befuddled the Tirthika heretics. It is a very popular theme among the artists of Buddhist leanings. Buddhism was very much popular in Sravasti even in the lifetime of Lord Buddha.

Lord Buddha himself was present in the city in many of the summers in which he delivered some of his important sermons. In fact, the city hosted Lord Buddha for 25 years during the annual rain retreat as it was at this time that entire Sangha gathered at one place.

Sravasti is located in Gonda district in eastern Uttar Pradesh. It was here that Lord Buddha turned the Kosala King Prosenjit into a believer although he used to be an atheist earlier. The past has gradually been obliterated from the region as well as minds of the people though efforts are on to restore the memory of era back again. The place also has two Buddhist temples that are built by the Chinese and the Burmese.

Sravasti Destinations
» Maheth - It is a 400 acres large area where the remains of the city have been found. Here the massive gates as well as other structures of the city have been uncovered during excavations which confirm the fact that Sravasti used to be a very prosperous city. It is believed that Pakki Kuti and Kachchi Kuti were perhaps Buddhist shrines which were later converted into Brahmanical temples.
» Saheth - This is an area of about 32 acres which lies to the south west of Maheth. The Jetavana monastery existed here and the place later became a very important pilgrimage. The stupas found here are of the Kushana period whereas temples are in Gupta style.

» Devi Patan Temple - It is an important Shaktipeeth in the region and is revered by the Hindus.

» Sobhanath Temple - It is believed that this place was the birth place of Jain Tirthankar Sambhavnath. The place is visited by mostly Jain devotees

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Agra

Taj MahalThis is the city which can be declared to be the most authoritative centre of tourism in India. Agra is known all over the world for the legendary monument Taj Mahal which is also one of the seven wonders of the world. The Lodhi ruler Sikandar Lodhi made Agra his capital some time in the sixteenth century. Later Agra went into the hands of Mughals and it was the time when some of the most stunning monuments of the human history came up in the city.

Agra is an important destination on the tourism scene of the world and this city alone accounts for three heritage monuments. These are - Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Not very many cities of the world can match the history and heritage of Agra.

Agra Destinations
Taj Mahal -It takes just one and half hours to reach the city of Taj Mahal from Delhi by an express train. It is among the most well preserved architectural wonder of the world. It is quite a feat to stand out among the flood of monuments and the Taj Mahal manages to do exactly that. It is located on the banks of river Yamuna. Although the Red Fort is also located on the banks of the river but the river is not known for that. The Taj is said to be sheer poetry in marble which took 22 years to complete.

» Agra Fort - Its construction was begun by Emperor Akbar which was continued by the later generations. Shahjahan replaced many of the Akbar's creations with his own creations made of marble. The main buildings inside the fort are Jehangir Mahal, Jodha Bai's Palace, Anguri Bagh etc.

» Itmad-Ud-Daula - This tomb was built by empress Noor Jehan in the memory of her father. The monument also has the cenotaph of Nurjehan's mother. The tomb sometimes is also referred to as baby Taj.

» Chini Ka Rauza - The monument is named so because of the profusion of the decorations in the form of carvings. It is the mausoleum of Mulla Shukrulla Shirazi and it was built by himself. He was the prime minister of Shahjahan. The main tomb is pretty simple in plan and lacks architectural grandeur.

» Fatehpur Sikri - The place is only 37 km away from Agra and is a complete city built in Red Sandstone. The town was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital but had to be abandoned due to shortage of water. The city still retains many of its old structures due to the efforts of the Archaeological Department. Fatehpur Sikri is an excellent example of the Mughal Architecture at its peak.

Fatehpur Sikri Destinations
» Diwan-e-Aam - It is the hall of public audience which was used for celebrations and mass prayers. In the western side there is a pavilion with a throne of the emperor.

» Diwan-e-Khas - It is the hall of private audience where in one chamber it is believed that emperor Akbar used to sit on the throne with the ministers sitting on the four corners.

» Buland Darwaza - The massive gate was constructed to commemorate Akbar's victory over Deccan.

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