Buddhist Pilgrimage

Duration : 12 Nights/13 Days
Places to see : Delhi - Agra - Varanasi - Bodhgaya - Nalanda - Rajgir - Patna- Kushinagar - Lumbini - Shravasti - Lucknow - Delhi


Day 01: Home - Delhi
On arrival in Delhi, you will be welcomed by our executive and transferred to your hotel (Rooms will be booked from 1200 hrs to facilitate immediate check in).

New Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India is a fusion of the ancient and the modern. Standing along the West End of Gangetic Plain, the capital city, Delhi, unwinds a picture rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows. Comprising of two contrasting yet harmonious parts, the Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is a travel hub of Northern India. Narrating the city's Mughal past, Old Delhi, takes you through the labyrinthine streets passing through formidable mosques, monuments and forts. The imperial city of New Delhi displays the finely curved architecture of British Raj.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02: Delhi
Have a healthy breakfast at the hotel and embark on sightseeing tours of Old & New Delhi.

In Old Delhi drive past Red fort, built in Red Sand stone this imposing fort is 3 Kms in perimeter with the height of the wall varying from 18 to 30 meters at places.

Visit Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques not only in Delhi but also in India. Completed in 1658 this Mosque has three gateways, four angle towers and two 40 m high minarets. Also visit Raj Ghat -Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial.

In New Delhi, drive past Janpath, Rashtrapati Bhawan (Hindi for presidential palace) and India Gate is perhaps one of the most impressive structures built in the capital of India. This historic monument was built as a memorial to commemorate the 70,000 Indian soldiers killed in the First World War.

Visit Humayun's Tomb: built in mid 16th century this is an early example of Mughal architecture.

Also visit Qutab Minar. It is a one of the finest monuments in India and is 238 feet in height. Qutab Minar is 47 feet at the base and tapers to nine feet at the apex. The city tour ends with a visit to Laxmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir).

Overnight will be at hotel.

Day 03: Delhi - Agra
Early morning proceed to Agra by Shatabdi Express Train. Breakfast to be served in the train. Upon arrival transfer to Hotel.

Afternoon Visit Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal remains closed on Friday), a poem in white marble, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. It took twenty-two years and hard toil of more than twenty thousand workers to construct Taj Mahal. The beauty of the Taj Mahal is enchanting and it reflects the marvelous beauty of architecture. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period.

After Taj Mahal visit Agra Fort; built by Emperor Akbar on the west bank of the river Yamuna and beautified with palaces and gardens by Jehangir, Agra Fort today dominates the centre of the city. The crescent-shaped fort with its 20-metre high, 2.4-km outer walls contains a maze of buildings that form a small city within a city.

Overnight will be at hotel in Agra.

Day 04: Agra - Varanasi
Transfer to airport for flight to Varanasi - Varanasi is the World's most ancient living city. Sunrise on the riverfront, as seen from a boat, can be spiritually uplifting sight. Crowded with temples, and its labyrinth of streets, the city attracts the maximum number of tourists. The religious capital of Hinduism, Varanasi is the carpet manufacturing place of India. It was previously known as Kashi - the city that illuminates. The present name is derived from the fact that the city is at the confluence of the rivers Varuna and Asi.

Visit Sarnath - 5 miles out of Varanasi for a day excursion: One of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, where Buddha preached his first Sermon in 590 BC. Witness the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Varanasi - Bodhgaya
In the morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going.

Return to hotel for a sumptuous breakfast. Proceed for a guided tour of Varanasi in the afternoon including the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Gyanvapi Mosque, Benaras Hindu University and other important monuments.

Afternoon proceeds for Bodhgaya - is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centre and attracts Buddhists from all over the world. It is the place where Lord Buddha entered into meditation and attained enlightenment.

Overnight at Bodhgaya.

Day 06: Bodhgaya
Full day sightseeing of Bodhgaya. You will visit the Bodhi Tree and Mahabodhi Temple. Bodhi Tree is at the western side of the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodhgaya. Under this and historic Bodhi Tree Shakyamuni Buddha, then known as Gautama, attained enlightenment some 2540 years ago.

The Mahabodhi Temple stands east to the Bodhi Tree. Its architectural effect is superb. Its basement is 48 square feet and it rises in the form of a slender Pyramid, till it reaches its neck, which is cylindrical in shape. The total height of the temple is 170 feetAlso visit Sujata Temple, Niranjana River & take part in religious activities.

Overnight at Bodhgaya.

Day 07: Bodhgaya - Nalanda - Rajgir - Patna
Nalanda has a very ancient history.
Lord Buddha frequently visited it in the 6th century BC. You will visit the Nalanda University Archaeological Complex and the Nalanda Archaeological Museum (Established in 1971, the museum has a beautiful collections bronze statues of Buddha, Hindu Gods and Goddesses)

Rajgir, "House of the King", is an important religious place for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. You will visit Vulture's Peak (This was the place where the Lord Buddha set in motion his second wheel of Law and for three months every year during the rainy season Preached many inspiring sermons to his disciples), Hot Springs and Venuvana (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.)

Overnight at hotel.

Day 08: Patna - Kushinagar
Early morning drive to Kushinagar (7-8 hrs), a small wooded town. It was here Lord Buddha ended his earthly journey passed into Mahaparinirvana. In the evening visit Mutkabandha Stupa, believed to have been built to preserve the relics of Buddha.

Overnight at Kushinagar.

Day 09: Kushinagar - Lumbini
Early morning leave for Lumbini (125 kms) - a place in the South-Western Terai of Nepal, evokes a kind of holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world-as do the Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims. Lumbini is the place Lord Buddha - the apostle of peace and the light of Asia was born in 623 B. C.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Lumbini - Shravasti
After breakfast visit Sacred Garden, a small complex lying at the southern end of Lumbini. It marks the place where the Buddha is reputed to have been born and contains all of the area's important historical monuments and archaeological finds. Also visit Maya Devi Mandir, believed to date as far as the 3rd or 4th century BC. Peepul tree, under which Maya Devi is believed to give birth, Ashoka Pillar and Pushkarni.

Later drive to Shravasti - This place seems to have fascinated Lord Buddha very much for he spent over 1/4th of his life over here, recollecting the Jatakas or the stories of his previous births. Today Sravasti is full of old stupas, majestic monasteries and several temples. The city is believed to be founded by Mythological King Sravasti and has old stupas, majestic monasteries and several; temples.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: Shravasti - Lucknow
AM visit the stupa and monasteries town and then drive to Lucknow (176 kms).

Day 12: Lucknow - Delhi
In the morning visit ashram. Later transfer to railway station to connect train to Delhi.

On arrival transfer to hotel.

Day 13: Delhi - Home
Free to explore city and last minute shopping. Check out in the evening and proceed for The Dances of India Show. After farewell dinner transfer to Airport for onwards destination.

 
 
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