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Follow the steps of the Buddha at the Four Holy Pilgrimage sites in Buddhism: Bodhgaya, Lumbini, Kushinagar and Sarnath. Then revisit other chapters of his life in Rajgir, Vaishali, Kapilvastu, Sravasti and Nalanda.
At Bodhgaya airport one of our assistants will receive you and transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.
Today we will start our Buddhist tour with perhaps the most important one: the Mahabodhi Temple of Bodhgaya. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Mahabodhi Temple is one of the Four Holy sites of Buddhism. It is built next to a bodhi tree that is a descendant of the original one under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
Everyday thousands of pilgrims and monks from all over the world come to pay their respects to the Buddha golden statue inside the main shrine and to meditate under the bodhi tree. The temple complex is built around the seven places where Buddha spent the following seven weeks after enlightenment and features historically related stupas, statues, meditation gardens and a pond.
After our visit we will travel to the Niranjana River and the Sujata village, where the Buddha was first welcomed after his seven weeks in Bodhgaya.
After breakfast, we will drive to Rajgir, a small hill town covered by lush forests that was the ancient capital of Magadha kings.
The Buddha often visited Rajgir to retreat at the Jivkamaravana monastery, preaching and meditating on the Gridhakuta Hill. The First Buddhist Council was held here after Buddha's nirvana. Rajgir is also sacred to Jains as Lord Mahavira studied and meditated in this site. We will go on a tour of the sites visited by the Buddha in this city, such as Gridhakuta Hill, the Venuvana Monastery and the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, a Hindu temple built in the location of an ancient monastery.
|Bodhgaya → Rajgir||70 km||2hr|
On this day we will drive to Nalanda, which is believed to be the oldest university in the world.
Founded in the 5th century BC, it became a renowned centre of Buddhist and Jain learning. Though Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous centre of Buddhist learning launched to fame much later, during the 5th-12th centuries accommodating over 10,000 Buddhist students. We will visit the ruins of the Great Stupa and visit Nalanda Archaeological Museum, which has a magnificent collection of Pali and Mauryan statues, bronze and manuscripts.
After the visit we will continue our drive to Patna.
|Rajgir → Patna||110 km||2hr 30min|
After an early breakfast we will take the road to Kushinagar. On the way we will make a visit to the ancient city of Vaishali, one of the cities that Buddha visited several times over his life and the birthplace of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism.
Vaishali was where Buddha preached his last sermon and announced his parinirvana (nirvana after death) three months before. As one of the most prosperous cities of the time, Vaishali was also the seat of the Second Buddhist Council, which resulted in the first division of the Sangha.
We will then continue to Kushinagar.
|Patna → Kushinagar||340 km||7hr|
Today we will start with our visit to Kushinagar, one of the Four Holy sites in Buddhism and a major pilgrimage site in the Buddhist world.
Kushinagar is the place where the Buddha passed away and then attained parinirvana. Our tour will take us to the historical temples in the city, the Parinirvana Stupa, which houses a beautiful 6m-long reclining Buddha, and the Ramabar Stupa, where he was cremated. We will also visit the splendorous temples that other Buddhist nations have built in their own architecture style: the chinese Linh Son Temple, the burmese Mahasukhandada Chin Thurgyi Pagoda and the siamese Wat Thai Temple. We will then set off to Lumbini making an en route stop in Kapilvastu.
Kapilvastu is the city where the prince Siddharta Gautama spent the first 29 years of his life before leaving and turning to monastic life. We will make a short tour the stupas and historical landmarks of this city before heading to the city of Lumbini in Nepal.
|Kushinagar → Lumbini||260 km||5hr|
This day we will make a tour of Lumbini, also one of the Four Holy sites in Buddhism.
Lumbini is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to the prince Siddharta Gautama. The great Buddhist ruler Ashoka visited the site two centuries later, constructing a Stupa and Pillar in recognition. Although largely destroyed now, these remain important marks of Buddha's birthplace. Among the important temples we will visit on our tour is the modest but incredibly important Mayadevi Temple, which houses the very stone where the Buddha was born.
Our tour will continue with a drive to Sravasti, one of the largest cities in the times of the Buddha and where he stayed for Chaturma in 24 occassions.
We will tour several of the sites related to the Buddha's life and where he performed many of his miracles. We will first stop by Buddha's meditation hut near in Jetavana Monastery, the Ananda Monastery, the Rahul Monastery and another archeological site known as Mahid.
|Lumbini → Shrawasti||225 km||5hr|
We will start early for our long drive to Varanasi.
Located along the banks of the Ganges River, Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of Hindu faith and it’s believed that dying in this holy city will lead to liberation from samsara (the cycle of birth and rebirth). As a result, it is home to a multitude of ghats (stone steps) washed by the holy river, some of which are used for bathing rituals and others as cremation sites.
|Shrawasti → Varanasi||350 km||8hr|
Today we will enjoy of an inspiring sunrise boat ride to view the temples and ancient rituals of the pilgrims who come for worship everyday. Later we will disembark to walk the labyrinthine lanes of Varanasi witnessing the pilgrims going for worship to the Golden Temple after they have taken a cleanse from the Holy Dip in the River Ganges. then we will make our way back to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, we will make an excursion to nearby Sarnath, the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon on the fundamentals of Buddhism. We will walk among the ruins of Mulagandhakuti, Dharmek Stupa and Mulagandhakuti Vihara, as well as a visit to its Archaeological Museum which has an interesting collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques.
After some hours of rest we will join an Evening Aarti tour of the old city, walking through its famous narrow lanes to witness the Burning Ghat, and view the nightly Aarti Puja ceremony.
Today we will drive back to Bodhgaya.
Rest of the day at leisure to visit the collection of temples built by every Buddhist nation.
|Varanasi → Bodhgaya||270 km||5hr|
After breakfast, transfer to Bodhgaya airport to connect with your onwards flight.
|Prices per person||2 pax|
Double Sharing Basis
Double Sharing Basis
Double Sharing Basis
|1 Apr 2018 - 30 Sep 2018||$1371||$1268||$1184|
|1 Oct 2018 - 31 Mar 2019||$1517||$1417||$1337|
The folders with the stamps, printed stationery, post cards and the beautiful gifts were unexpected and outstanding. The gifts at every stop were a delight!!! We will treasure each of them. Thank you for the time and effort involved. The staff has been excellent, could not have asked for better. We were so well taken care of, we always felt watched over, and so comfortable wherever we went. Thank you so much.
We had the best trip ever. We have traveled for 45 years around the globe but I think that we were most taken by India. the guides you selected were wonderful, knowledgeable and easy to understand and the driver made us feel safe and for that we are most appreciative.
I would like to thank you and your team for a great job organizing our trip to India! We will highly recommend you guys!