BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE TOUR
Duration: 12 Nights / 13 Days
Day 1: Arrival Kolkata:
Meet and greet assistance at Kolkata international airport.
From three swampy villages on the Ganges delta, bought by the East India Company in the seventeenth century, Kolkata (known then, of course, as Calcutta) grew to become the first capital of British India 100 years later. It was from here that the British ruled a large part of South East Asia for two centuries. Following in their footsteps, the Bengali aristocracy and middle class came to settle in the then-wealthy, now-crumbling neighborhoods of north Kolkata.
After meeting, transfer to hotel. Overnight at Hotel
Day 2: Kolkata:
Breakfast at Hotel. Our morning begins at the mighty cantilevered Howrah Bridge spread across the mighty Hooghly River connecting Kolkata with the industrial town of Howrah. 80,000 vehicles and 1 million pedestrians cross this bridge every single day. Plus thousands of cattle and bicycles.
We visit Mother Teresa’s home and “Sishu Bhawan” – orphanage for the homeless kids. She was probably one of the greatest women in the history of the world who dedicated her entire life serving humanity. Born in Yugoslavia, she came to India in 1929.
Moving on, the Victoria Memorial Hall can be seen rising majestically through the smog, a monument to colonialism that has endured where many haven’t. Built in memory of Queen Victoria, Empress of India, in the early twentieth century by Sir William Emerson, it’s a perfect example of Indo-gothic architecture, incorporating Mughal elements, and filled with Victorian memorabilia, British Raj paintings, and hundreds of other curiosities.
The Marble Palace of Kolkata: The Marble Palace in Kolkata is an exquisitely engineered palatial mansion that was built by Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadur, who was one of the wealthiest landlords of Bengal in the year 1835. It’s sheer magnificence and scintillating artistry will surely captivate you in a state of trance. Overnight at Hotel
Day 3: Kolkata – Gaya:
After breakfast transfer to Airport to board flight to Gaya (Flight TBA).
On arrival at Gaya Airport, transfer to Hotel.
If time allow visit to Mahabodhi Temple. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 4: Bodhgaya:
Breakfast at hotel, then visit: Mahabodhi temple, Bodhi tree, Sujata village, Niranjana River, some temple in Gaya: Tibet, Nepal, Vietnam, Chinese, Myanmar temple…. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 5: Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Bodhgaya:
Early breakfast at hotel and drive to Rajgir (80 Km|02 HRS|. Visit: Gridhrakutta (Vulture’s Peak), Sapataparni in Uruvela, Venuvana. Later visit to Nalanda. After sightseeing return back to Bodhgaya. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 6: Bodhgaya – Varanasi:
Breakfast at Hotel and visit to Mahabodhi Temple. Sometimes leisure for shopping. Later drive to Varanasi (275 Kms / 05 Hrs Drive). On arrival check in at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 7: Varanasi – Kushinagar:
Early morning, take boat on Ganges River to see sun rise, back to hotel for breakfast. Later visit to Dhameka stupa, Mulagandhakuti, Sri Dharmarajika stupa, Yasas temple.
Afternoon drive to Kushinagar (255 Kms / 06 Hrs Drive). On arrival check in at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 8: Kushinagar – Lumbini, Nepal:
Breakfast at hotel and Visit: Ashoka Pillar, Rambhar, Mahaparnivana temple.
Afternoon drive to Lumbini, Nepal (175 Kms / 05 Hrs Drive). Emigration process at Indo-Nepal boarder and continue drive to Hotel, Check In. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 9: Lumbini – Sravasti:
Breakfast at Hotel and visit: Maya Devi temple, Ashoka pillar. Afternoon drive to Sravasti (225 Kms / 05 Hrs Drive). Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10: Sravasti – Lucknow:
Breakfast at hotel and visit to Jetavana-vihara garden, Sivali stupa, Ananda’s Bodhi tree, Sudatta Anathapindika house, Angulimala stupa.
Later drive to Lucknow (175 Kms / 05 Hrs Drive). On arrival check in at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 11: Lucknow – Agra:
Early breakfast at hotel and drive to Agra (345 Kms / 06 Hrs Drive).
Later Visit to World Heritage Monument The Taj Mahal (closed on Friday). Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace” and is in fact the most well preserved and architecturally beautiful tomb in the world. The beautiful Taj Mahalwas built by the fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The construction work began in 1631 with more than 20,000 workers and artisans and was completed in 22 years. The Iranian architect Istad Usa made the design and the marbles and other materials were brought in from all over India and from Central Asia.
Red Fort: Built by Emperor Akbar in 1565 and with many additions till the time of his gransdson Shahjahan. The Agra Fort represents the might and power of the Mughals. This red sandstone structure is similar to the red fort of Delhi amd houses Moti Masjid, angina Masjid, Shish Mahal, Khass Mahal and Musamman Burj-The place where Shahjahan died in 1666.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 12: Agra – Delhi:
Breakfast at hotel and drive to Delhi (200 Kms / 04 Hrs Drive).
You will travel to Old Delhi en-route making stop at Raj Ghat – memorial built at the cremation spot of Mahatma Gandhi; next on your tour is brief stop at Red Fort for a photo stop.
From here you will proceed towards Lutyen’s Delhi: passing by India Gate – a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the undivided British Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War; drive down the main avenue, the impressive Rajpath or Kingsway Street; drive past the Parliament House and Rashtrpati Bhavan – the President’s Residence (Prior to Independence this was the residence of Viceroy of India – Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy who oversaw the creation of Independent states of India and Pakistan).
New Delhi: visit Qutub Minar. Qutub Minar originally an early Islamic Monument inscribed with Arabic inscriptions is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Qutbu’d-Din Aibak laid the foundation of Minar in AD 1199 for the use of the muezzin (crier) to give calls for prayer and raised the first storey, to which were added three more storeys by his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu’d-Din Iltutmish (AD 1211-36). All the storeys are surrounded by a projected balcony encircling the minar and supported by stone brackets, which are decorated with honey-comb design, more conspicuously in the first storey.
Lotus Temple, this temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples built around the world. Completed in1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens.
Overnight at Hotel
Day 13: Delhi – Back Home:
After breakfast transfer to Airport to board flight to Back Home.