Buddhist TourDuration: 19 Nights / 20 Days
Destinations Covered: Delhi - Varanasi - Sarnath - Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Patna - Vaishali - Kushinagar - Lumbini - Sravasti - Sankisia - Agra - Bhopal - Sanchi
Day 01: Arrive/Delhi b y Int’l flight
Today you will arrive at Delhi International airport. Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: Delhi
After breakfast, you will be taken on a full day sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi visiting the Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648, Jama Masjid- the largest Mosque in India, Raj Ghat – Mahatma Gandhi cremation site, India Gate – 42 meters high, built as a memorial to the Indian Soldiers killed in World War-I, Parliament House – This building houses the two Houses of Parliament The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. President House – Is the official residence of President of India. Formally the Residence of Viceroy of India, Hamayun’s Tomb & Qutub Minar – The 72.5 meters- High tower dates back to The 13 century built by Qutub-u-din-Eabak . A famous Iron Pillar of the 5th century stands before it; it has remained rust free for 1500 years.
Day 03: Delhi/Varanasi
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Delhi airport in time to connect flight to Varanasi. Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to Hotel. In the Afternoon you will be taken on a half day sightseeing tour of Varanasi visiting the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Durga temple Aurangzeb Mosque & Banaras Hindu University founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.
Day 04: Varanasi
Arise early morning for boat ride on river Ganga to witness the ritual bath at Ghats.
After breakfast, you will be taken on a excursion to Sarnath – first Turing of the wheel of Dharma, Sarnath is an important site of the Buddhist Circuit. Buddha came to Sarnath soon after he attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya. He delivered his first sermon or Maha Dharma Chakra Pravartan (To Set in Motion the Wheel of Law) at the Deer Park in Sarnath. Emperor Ashoka visited Sarnath 234 BC and erected a stupa here. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD visiting Chaukhandi Stupa is a impressive earthen mound covered by brickwork. The square base edifice surrounded by an octagonal tower. It is believed that Emperor Ashoka erected the original structure. Dhamek Stupa is the most impressive stupa at Sarnath. Cylindrical in shape, the stupa is 28 m in diameter at the base and 43.6 m in height. The stupa is built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is embellished with exquisite floral carvings in Gupta style. Mulgandha Kuti Vihar is a modern temple erected by the Mahabodhi Society. Japan's best painter, Kosetsu Nosu, painted the beautiful murals in the temple. The temple has a valuable collection of the Buddhist literature. The ancient Mulagandha Kuti temple is among the brick ruins of Sarnath.
Day 05: Varanasi/Bodhgaya
After breakfast, driven by car to Bodhgaya – site of Buddha’s enlightenment and check in at Hotel.
Day 06: Bodhgaya
After breakfast, you will be taken on a sightseeing tour of Bodhgaya visiting Mahabodhi Temple - depicting the various phases of Buddha's journey towards enlightenment, showing different aspects of his life; Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum - houses a small collection of Buddhist sculpture from the 1st century B.C, to the 11th century A.D; Jagannath Temple close by has a four armed statue of Shiva in black stone.
Day 07: Bodhgaya/Patna via Rajgir & Nalanda
After breakfast, drive by car to Patna en route visiting Gridhakuta and Bimbisara Jail in Rajgir and also visit Nalanda – which was one of the oldest Universities of the world and International Centre for Buddhist studies and check in at Hotel.
Afternoon you w ill be taken on a half day sightseeing tour of Patna visiting Patna Museum - has a rich collection of Mauryan and Buddhist sculptures, terracotta and other interesting place.
Day 08: Patna/Khushinagar via Vaishali
After breakfast, driven by car to Khushinagar – where Buddha entered Mahaparinirvana en route visiting Vaishali – Lord Buddha often visited this place and preached his last sermon at Kolhua, a nearby place. Emperor Ashoka erected one of his famous lion pillars here in the 3rd century BC commemorate the event and continue your drive to Khushinagar and check in at Hotel.
Day 09: Khushinagar
After breakfast, you will be taken on a sightseeing tour of Khushinagar – is significant attained the state of Mahaparinirvana or Permanent Bliss at the age of 80. Three great Chinese scholars Fa-Hien, Hiuen Tsang and I-Tsing visiting Rambhar Stupa - which marks Lord Buddha's cremation ground. Our second stop is Mahaparinirvana temple - which houses the recumbent figure of Lord Buddha, Nirvana Chaitya, Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka temple, Wait Thai Temple and the museum.
Day 10: Khushinagar/Lumbini
After breakfast, driven by car to Lumbini – is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. where he was born in 623 BC. While taking rest in a garden in Lumbini on the way to her parents' home for the childbirth, she started admiring the beauty of the garden. Maya was sitting under a Sal tree when she felt the labor pains and delivered the child in the garden. Lumbini is listed in the World Heritage Site and check in at Hotel.
Day 11: Lumbini
After breakfast, you will be taken on a sightseeing tour of Lumbini visiting Sacred Garden – the Sacred Garden where Buddha was born converges on the Ashoka pillar, which carries an inscription identifying the spot as the birthplace of Buddha. Maya Devi, mother of Buddha, was on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha. While taking rest in Lumbini under a Sal tree and admiring the beauty of the region, she felt labor pains. She gave birth to the child while holding a drooping branch of a Sal tree. Puskanj Pond – Puskani Pond is towards the south of the Ashokan Pillar. It is believed to be the sacred pool in which Maya Devi took a holy dip just before giving birth to the Lord. Little Buddha was given his first purification bath in this pond. Made of fine brick masonry, the pool has the protruding patios in descending order. Ashokan Pillar – Ashokan is the first epigraphic evidence related to the life of Lord Buddha. It is a prominent landmark of the Sacred Garden. German archaeologist, Dr. Fuhrer, discovered it. The inscription on the pillar is engraved in Brahmi script. Emperor Ashoka visited the site on his 20th Reignal Year and erected the pillar as homage to the birthplace of Buddha.
Nepal Buddha Temple is built within complex premises of Lumbini in the same style as that of modern Buddhist shrines in Nepal. The prayer hall houses a huge idol of Buddha while the walls are embellished with medieval style murals and Lumbini Museum - has a large collection of the Mauryan and Kushana coins, religious manuscripts, terracotta fragments and stone and metal sculptures. Also on display is an extensive collection of stamps from various countries depicting Lumbini and the Buddha.
Day 12: Lumbini/Sravasti
After breakfast, driven by car to Sravasti – the city believed to be founded by the mythological king Sravast. Lord Buddha preached here after he got his enlightenment. Buddha has 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens at Sravasti and has performed some miracles here. After the death of Buddha, this monastery got royal patronage and check in at Hotel.
Day 13: Sravasti
After breakfast, you will taken on a sightseeing tour of Sravasti visiting Temple No-2 – is the site of the ruins of the Gandha-Kuti or Perfumed Chamber built by Anathapindika for the Buddha's use. The original Gandha-Kuti was made of wood but by the time of the Chinese pilgrims, a two-storeyed brick building in a ruinous condition was found. Today only the low walls and stone plinth are left. Temple No-3 – is supposed to be the site of the original Kosambi-Kuti. Anathapindika built this as well as the meditation room for Buddha. There is a long platform in the front marking the site of the original promenade used by the Buddha for walking meditate, Ananda Bodhi - tree is located near the entrance of Jetavana Garden. It was planted at the request of Anathapindika as an object for worship during the Buddha's absence from Sravasti and also visit the Stupa H, Sudatta Stupa, Angulimal Stupa and the Stupa of great Miracle.
Day 14: Sravasti/Lucknow
After breakfast, driven by car to Lucknow and check in at Hotel. Afternoon you will be taken on a half day sightseeing tour of Lucknow.
Day 15: Lucknow/Agra via Sankasya
After early breakfast, driven by car to Agra en route visiting Sankasya – Sankissa is a place where Lord Buddha descended from heaven along with Lord Brahma and Devraj Indra after giving a discourse to his mother, Mayadevi. Emperor Ashoka erected a pillar with an elephant capital mark this holy spot and continue your drive to Agra and check in at Hotel.
Day 16: Agra
After breakfast, you will be taken to a half day sightseeing tour of Agra visiting The magnificent Mughal Capital visiting Taj Mahal – a poem written in white marble, the most extravagant monument ever built for love, Agra fort – a visit to the fort in ‘Agra’ is must since so many of the events which lead to the construction of the Taj took Place here, and also visit local market. Afternoon is free to relax.
Day 17: Agra/Bhopal by 2002 Shatabdi Exp at 0817/1405
Today morning you will be transferred to Agra train station in time to board 2002 Shatabdi Exp (Travel in AC Chair Car) to Bhopal. Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to Hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax.
Day 18: Bhopal
After breakfast, you will be taken on a full day excursion to Sanchi - Sanchi is located 46 kms from Bhopal, on an isolated hill, it holds an unmatched place in Buddhist history. Sanchi is famous for its Stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars standing tall from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. The Sanchi Stupa 1 is one of the most famous of these monuments and was originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. He was then the governor of Ujjayini, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant from a nearby place called Vidisha. Their son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra were born in Ujjayini and sent to Sri Lanka, where they converted the King, the Queen and their people to Buddhism.
Sanchi's Stupas, Chaityas, Temples, Monasteries, and gateways, decorated by delicate carvings depict the Buddha's life and teachings. For Buddhists all over the world, Sanchi is almost as sacred a spot as Bodh Gaya or Sarnath. On Buddha Purnima (full moon), which usually falls in April/May according to the lunar calendar, Buddhists from all over the world gather at Sanchi to celebrate the triple anniversary of Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana.
UNESCO designated the Stupas of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh in the year 1989 as the world heritage site for its archaeological and historical importance and in the evening drive back to Bhopal.
Day 19: Bhopal/Delhi by 2001 Shatabdi Exp at 1440/2230hrs
After breakfast, you will be free till transfer to Bhopal train station in time to board 2001 Shatabdi Exp (Travel in AC Chair Car) to Delhi. Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to Hotel.
Day 20: Depart/Delhi by Int’l flight
Today morning you will be transferred to Delhi International airport in time to connect your onward flight to next destination.