BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE TOUR
Duration: 09 Nights / 10 Days
Day 01: Arrive Delhi:
Arrive Delhi by International Flight, assistance and transfer to hotel.
Delhi: The modern capital of India is also an ancient city whose origins are lost in legend. Hundreds of monuments adorn with its carved and ancient history. From this city many Hindu and Muslim dynasties including the Mughals, ruled India. No less than 7 successive cities existed here before the arrival of the British, they would create, with the help of Sir Edwin Lutyens, his dream capital. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Delhi- Varanasi:
After breakfast transfer to airport to connect flight for Varanasi. Flight: TBA
Upon arrival at Varanasi visit Sarnath, the principle center of Buddhism. It was here around 530 B.C that Buddha preached his 1st sermon after gaining enlightenment.
In evening visit local market and enjoy evening Puja and boat ride in holy river “The Ganges. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Varanasi-Bodhgaya:
Early morning boat ride at holy river “The Ganges”, visit BHU, Bharat Mata Temple. Breakfast at hotel and drive to Bodhgaya. Upon arrival at Bodhgaya, Sightseeing of Bodhgaya one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centers. It was here that Gautama attained enlightenment and became Buddha under the “Bodhi” tree. Visit Mahabodhi Temple built by Ashoka the Great in 3rd Century BC one can also visit the Sacred Bodhi tree also visit Sujata House a temple dedicated to Uruvela tribeswoman who offered food to the starving Siddhartha. The neighboring purlieu and the shrine itself evoke a sense of sanctity, not to be missed Niranjana River. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 04: Bodhgaya- Rajgir- Nalanda- Patna:
After breakfast drive to Patna en-route visit Rajgir & Nalanda.
Rajgir – During the lifetime of the Buddha, Rajgir (Rajgriha) was the capital of the powerful Magadh kingdom, ruled by the virtuous king Bimbisara. Visit the Vishwa Shanti Stupa. It is a marble structure with niches bearing golden images of the Buddha, built by the Nipponza Myohoji sect of Japan. Then drive further to Griddhakuta. The strange rock protrusion resembling a vulture’s beak probably gave the hill its name. In the rock cut caves here the Buddha spent many rainy seasons, meditating and preaching Venuvana Vihara- Site of the monastery Venuvana Vihar built by king Bimbisara for Lord Buddha to reside. This was the king’s first offering to Lord Buddha. Jivakameavan Gardens: Seat of the Royal Physician’s dispensary once brought to have wound dressed by Jivaka, the royal physician during the reign of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara
Nalanda, the ancient Buddhist University, one of the world’s oldest universities founded in the 5th century. Also visit monasteries and temples with impressive Buddhist & Hindu images. The Institute for research in Buddhism and Pali literature which houses rare manuscripts is also worth visiting for the enthusiasts. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 05: PATNA- VAISHALI- KUSHINAGAR
After breakfast at hotel. Drive to Kushinagar en-route visit Vaishali Stupa.
Upon arrival at Kushinagar. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 06: Kushinagar- Lumbini:
After breakfast drive to Lumbini while going to Lumbini, stop at India/Nepal border for Visa/Immigration formalities.
Upon arrival at Lumbini Visit Lumbini, the Birth place of Lord Buddha. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 07: Lumbini- Sravasti:
After breakfast drive to Sravasti. On arrival, check in at Hotel.
Later visit Sravasti (Sahet-Mahet), capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kosala, an active center for Buddhism. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 08: Sravasti- Lucknow:
After breakfast drive to Lucknow, Upon arrival at Lucknow. Leisure and free time. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09: Lucknow-Agra:
After breakfast drive to Agra, upon arrival at Agra.
Later visit Taj Mahal. The world famous Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday) built by Shahjahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the sill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘Love Poem in Marble’.
Continue visit Agra Fort, built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 & 1573, reveals the Mughal talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10: Agra- Delhi- Back Home:
After breakfast drive to Delhi, upon arrival at Delhi, visit Qutub Minar – which is the tallest stone tower in India. The Qutub Minar was started in 1199 AD by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and completed by the sultan’s successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish. The building is 72.5 m high and has 379 steps from the bottom to the top. Also visit Lotus Temple.
In time transfer to International Airport to connect flight for back Home.