10 Days |
Considered among the oldest of religions, Buddhism thrived to India in the 3rd century BC. Thousands of Buddhist pilgrims come to India to search for utter serenity and to treat their eyes with Buddhist destinations and to get enlightened thereafter. These tourist spots are famous for different stages of Buddha's life - from birth to sermons to death.
The 10-days Buddhist Pilgrimage tour of India begins with Delhi and covers places of Buddhist interest like Sravasti, Lumbini, Kushinagar, Patna, Rajgir, Bodhgaya and Varanasi. The trip covers all the imperative Buddhist destinations which are linked to the life and enlightenment of Buddha's life.
On your arrival in Delhi you will be transferred to your hotel. Hotel check-in time is 1400hrs
Delhi has been inhabited from the 6th century BC has been the capital of many kingdoms. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times and is called the "city of cities". Delhi's culture has been influenced by its different rulers and the city is full of beautiful monuments. The Mughal rulers influenced the food habits of the residents and Mughlai cuisine originated here. Due to the proximity of different states, all festivals are celebrated here. Old Delhi is a maze of small lanes lined and old buildings and New Delhi has large road with huge buildings. Delhi is the capital of India and is the hub for politics.
After the check in proceed for city tour of Delhi. Visit the major attractions of the Delhi city. The day tour of Delhi will start from Old Delhi which was constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the seventeenth century. Visit of Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. Thereafter, visit to the museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi where e to witness various relics and attractions dedicated to him. Then drive to visit Jama Masjid (Jama Mosque) (passing by two gems of Delhi, Red Fort and Chandni Chowk). Red Fort is a famous monument constructed entirely out of red stone whereas Chandni Chowk is one of the busiest markets of Old Delhi. Jama mosque was built by Shah Jahan and is one of the biggest mosques in India. A short rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk could be quite interesting as this part of the city is quite crowded as it is full of shops. These numerous shops sell delicious mouth-watering food, clothes, jewels, household goods, etc. and are virtually a shopper's paradise.Also visit the historic Qutub Minar which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the tallest minaret in India which was
constructed by Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak in the twelfth century. Thereafter visit Humayun's Tomb, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a peaceful place where one can spend some peaceful moments marveling at the majesticity of the place. Afterwards, visit the India Gate which is a war memorial dedicated to the soldiers who laid their lives for the protection of the nation from enemies. Driven past the Parliament House, President's House and other Government Secretarial Buildings, and the final stop will be at Lakshmi Narayan Temple, a temple dedicated to Lakshmi and Lord Narayana.
Overnight at Hotel in the capital city of India, Delhi.
Lucknow to Sravasti by road (Driving time approx. 04hrs)
Early morning check out from Hotel and transfer to New Delhi railway station in time to connect your train to Lucknow. (Breakfast on board)
Arrive Lucknow and straight drive to Sravasti.
Arrive Sravasti and transfer to Hotel.
The city of Sravasti located on the banks of river Rapti has been one of the largest cities during Buddha's lifetime and he had spent a large part of his life here. Apparently, Buddha is said to have spent 25 years (rainy seasons as referred to in the legends) in Sravasti - 19 years he was in Jetavana monastery and 6 in the Pubbarama monastery.
Overnight at Hotel in Sravasti
Breakfast at Hotel. Check out and proceed to visit the ancient Sravasti which holds the remains of Angulimala Stupa, Anathapindika Stupa, and an old Jain temple. Take a visit to the Jetavana Monastery where meditation and chanting is done at Buddha's hut (where he apparently lived for those 25 years) and the Anandabodhi tree.
Continue the drive towards Lumbini (In Nepal)
Immigration Check required at the border of Nepal to entre. Personal Identity proof required at this time
Lumbini - the birthplace of Buddha which is termed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered as the holiest place for the Buddhists .Lumbini is separated into eastern and western zones - the The Ravadin monasteries and the Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries respectively.
Lumbini proudly showcases a number of ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, an Ashoka pillar and the Mayadevi temple at the place where Buddha was born. Mayadevi, as Rupa Devi (the mother of Lord Buddha) is worshipped here by several Hindus who consider Buddha as Lord Vishnu.
Stay Overnight at Hotel in Lumbini.
Breakfast at Hotel. Check out and proceed for a short city tour of Lumbini visiting Mayadevi Temple, Bodhi Tree
Continue the drive towards Khushinagar
Arrive Khushinagar and transfer to Hotel.
Khushinagar - another of the four most important pilgrimages for the Buddhists. Buddha had attained Mahaparinirvana here. You would explore a huge number of ruined stupas and Viharas that date back to the 3rd century BC-5th century BC.
Interestingly, Emperor Ashoka had made several significant constructions at this site. You would be amazed to see places like the remains of Par nirvana Stupa and Par nirvana Temple. Both were rediscovered as being covered with 40 foot high mound of bricks surrounded by dense thorny forest.
Overnight at Hotel in Kushinagar.
Breakfast at hotel. Check out and drive to Patna en route visiting Vaishali
This day would be spent at Vaishali - the capital city of Lichchavi. Not only for Buddha's last sermon here, Vaishali is also famous as the birthplace of the 24th Jain Tirthankara, Bhagwan Mahavir born in 599 BC. Buddha preached his last sermon here at Vaishali in 483 BC before his death. Places to explore include the Pillar of Ashoka topped by a single Asiatic lion, the Relic Stupa where one of the eight portions of Buddha's relics are preserved and encased by the Lichchavis. The place is also famous for Buddha's organized Bhikshu Sangha which he passed on to his maternal aunt Maha Prajavati Gautami for further organizing.
Continue the drive towards Patna
Arrive Patna and transfer to Hotel.
Overnight at Hotel in Patna.
Breakfast at Hotel. Check out and drive to Bodhgaya, en route visiting Nalanda and Rajgir.
Nalanda has always been known as the knowledge hub. Students and scholars from all over India and other countries came down to this ancient study center from the 5th century AD to the late 12th century AD. Nalanda University was among the first residential universities accommodating over 10000 students and 2000 teachers. However, the library was burnt down by the army of BakhtiyarKhilji. Nalanda also holds importance for the activities by the famous Chinese traveler HuenTsiang. Explore the set of monasteries, temples and museums with a collection of antiquities recovered.
Rajgir is the next place of interest which is considered sacred by both the Buddhists and the Jains.Rajgir was the first capital of Magadha and is as ancient as dated back to 1000 BC. Buddha had attended the "Ataniya" conference at the Gridhra-kuta. The Jains consider is as holy as Lord Mahavir had spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir as well as Nalanda. Rajgir is also considered sacred by Hindus due to its hot water springs named Brahmakund. Places to visit are Bimbisar's Jail, the Ajatshatru's Fort, the Jarasandh'sAkhara and Rajgir Heritage Museum.
Continue your drive towards Bodhgaya
Arrive Bodhgaya and transfer to Hotel.
Overnight at Hotel in Bodhgaya.
Breakfast at the Hotel and proceed to explore Bodhgaya. Considered as one of the most sacred places for Buddhists, the main attraction is the Mahabodhi Temple. It is said that Gautam Buddha achieved enlightenment on a full moon night under a Bodhi Tree in this place. The temple was built after 250 years of Buddha's enlightenment by Emperor Ashoka. People from China, Japan, Srilanka, Thailand and many more places have constructed many Buddhist monasteries and temples here in Bodhgaya. Spend entire day visiting these places amid religious activities.
Overnight at Hotel in Bodhgaya.
Early morning breakfast at Hotel. Check out and travel by road to Sarnath.
There is a deer park where Gautama Buddha preached about Dharma and the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. One km away from here is Singhpur village which is an important pilgrimage site being the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism who has a dedicated temple located at this place. It is also one of the four most sacred pilgrimage for the Buddhists.
The place is also where Buddha taught the four noble truths and teachings associated with it - known as Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, his first teaching after attaining enlightenment. Places to explore are the ruins, stupas, the Buddhist temple and the museum(Museum Remains closed on Fridays).
Continue the drive towards Varanasi
Varanasi which is considered to be dating back to 5000 years making it one of the oldest cities around the world. Varanasi is considered to be the cultural and spiritual capital of North India for years and breathing last here is considered to be the path to salvation.
Overnight at hotel in the holy city, Varanasi.
Early morning boat ride on river Ganges. . Two of the most renowned banks (ghats) Manikarnika and Harishchandra are frequented by hundreds of devotees. These two ghats are quite famous not only for taking a holy dip, but also for cremation purposes. It is strongly believed by Hindus that whoever dies in Varanasi and gets cremated on the bank of river Ganga achieves salvation, thereby releasing him from this birth cycle. You may witness numerous funeral pyres burning around in these ghats.
Return back to the hotel for breakfast.
Later follow the city tour of Varanasi - Hindus holiest city and one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi was already old when Rome was founded, a flourishing trade Centre when the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his first sermon. It was a city of great wealth and religious importance when the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang visited in the 7th century. Visit the Bharat Mata Temple with a big relief map of India in marble, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, Banaras Hindu University which has an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Moghul Emperor Aurangazeb built on the site of an ancient Hindu Temple.
After the city tour transfer to airport in time to connect your flight to Delhi.
Arrive Delhi and transfer to Hotel.
Overnight at Hotel in the capital city of India Delhi
Breakfast at Hotel. Check out. Depending upon the flight timing transfer to airport in time to connect flight for onward destination. Hope you enjoyed your travel with Services International Pvt. Ltd. We wish to see you again soon.