Pilgrims headed to Gaya for the Pitripaksha Mela can choose from four tour packages designed to ease logistical bottlenecks in performing rituals for the salvation of souls.
Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) has finalised the package tour for the event in Gaya to be held between September 20 and October 5. The BSTDC has offered four tour packages to pilgrims, which include arrangements for transport, lunch, priests and sightseeing at places like Rajgir and Bodhgaya.
A senior BSTDC official said: “Every year, there is a huge rush of pinddaanis (those performing pinddaan rituals) during the 15-day Pitripaksha Mela. We have introduced four packages this year to ensure hassle-free travel and stay for the pilgrims. The costs of the packages have been tailored as per different income groups viz. budget, middle-income and higher-income groups.”
The pilgrims from other states can also avail the packages through the tourism department website — www.bstdc.bih.nic.in.
The packages would include services like pick-and-drop, accommodation, pinddaan at Vishnupad temple, Akshaywat tree and river Falgu with arrangements for the priests, sightseeing, breakfast, lunch and others. The four packages are categorised as a single day, one day and one night, a night and two days, a day/a night and two days.
The official said: “Under the single-day package, the pilgrims would be picked up from Gaya railway station/airport in the morning and taken to the hotel. Thereafter, they can head towards the Vishnupad temple or Akshaywat tree or river Falgu to perform the pinddaan rituals. Thereafter, they would return to Bodhgaya, have lunch, followed by sightseeing at spots like the 80ft statue of Buddha, Tibetan and Thai temples, and Mahabodhi Mahavihara. The pilgrims then would be dropped at the railway station or airport in Gaya.”
The second package follows the same schedule but the pilgrims can also stay the night in Bodhgaya. The third package, too, has the same schedule and then pilgrims can head for sightseeing to Rajgir on the second day after performing pinddaan and a sightseeing in Bodhgaya.
The fourth package is meant especially for pilgrims from Patna. “They can either avail packages for a day or for one night and two days. The day package includes transportation from and to Patna, lunch and performing pinddaan in Gaya. The one-night-two-day package includes transport from Patna, rituals in Gaya followed by a night’s stay at Bodhgaya. The second day will include sightseeing at Rajgir,” said the official.