A soulful journey visiting the most important sights of Lumbani, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar including a visit to the most spiritual and atmospheric Hindu city – Varansai on the banks of the Ganges.
Walk with the Buddha
It was a prediction that set it off. Terrified that his son might one day renounce the world to become a great Seer, King Suddhodna of the Shakyas. A small kingdom in the Teri region of Nepal, Shielded the young Prince Siddhartha from the evil of the world by keeping him within the confines of his palace, in the embrace of material comforts and loving care. From his very Birth in 623BC, in a garden at Lumbini close to the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu, portents revealed that the young man’s fate was sealed for higher things then dealing with the earthly concerns and the business of a King. Lord Buddha, as a reminder of his difficult journey and its ultimate goal, he prevailed upon his disciples to visit the four important places that were the cornerstones of his great journey – Lumbani, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar.
Joins us on this spiritual awakening journey through the Buddhist Hartland, to savour the splendid beauty and great appeal of Buddhism.
Best time : Mid October to Mid March.
Duration : 19 days
Day 1 : New Delhi (India).
Arrive New Delhi in the midnight, assistance on arrival with garland welcome and transfer to pre booked hotel. O/n Hotel with breakfast.
Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital, Delhi. It was the magnet that drew the Mongols, Turks, persians, Afghans, Mughals and finally the British. All of whom Contributed to its glorious but turbulent history.
Day 2 : Delhi-Gorakhpur, train.
Morning free (Room/s available until 1200hrs), afternoon sightseeing to Delhi, visit Qutub Minar–The Minar built to proclaim the victory of Islam. Humayun’s Tomb-is a memorial by a grieving wife, it was built by emperor Humayun wife Haji Begum in 1565-66, nine years after his death, she have spent one and a half million rupees on the building, Red Fort-Anthoer marvel of architecture is the Red Fort or Lal Quila. It is laid out along the river Yamuna as an irregular octagon, surround by a wall of around 2.4 kilometres and is built of red snadstone. The Mughal King Shah Jhan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and the fort was completed in 1648.
In the evening transfer to the New Delhi Rialway station to board train at 19.45 hrs to Gorakhpur. O/n Train with breakfast & dinner.
Day 3 : Gorakhpur-Sonauli-Lumbini (Nepal).
Arrive Gorakhpur at 08.50 hrs pick-up and straight drive to Sonauli border about 95 kms/ 3 hrs. At Sonauli border you can get Nepali visa on the spot. From Sonauli drive to Lumbini- The birth place of Lord Buddha, about 30 kms/ 01 hr. Evening visit & attend the Buddhist pray at Maya Devi Temple , the Parts of the Temple are believed to be over 200 years old. A huge pipal tree is gradually tearing the temple apart-Some believe this is the tree that Maya Devi held while giving birth to Siddhartha. You can visit Ashoka pillar also just near to Maya devi temple. The pillar at Lumbini commemorates Ashoka’s pilgrimage to the birthplace of Buddha. It is six meters high, although half of it is underground. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 4 : Lumbini-Tilaurakot-Lumbini :
Morning after breakfast full day excursion to Tilaurakot about 30 kms, visit the ruins of Tilaurakot.
Tilaurakot, which is bustling Terai region, there is nothing more than a tiny hamlet. Tilaurakot was once, however, the capital of the republic of Kapilvastu, where Buddha spent the first 29 years of his life. Most of the surrounding countryside is now dominated by poor muslim peasant farmers. There is no Buddhists at all.
Evening return back to Hotel-Lumbini. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 5 : Lumbini-Berdpur-Sravasti (India).
Morning after breakfast drive to Saravasti about 252 kms/ 8 hrs, enroute visit Berdpur , ruins of convent and stupa in no mansland between India and Nepal. Drive continue to Sravasti (Balrampur). O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 6 : Saravasti, visit.
Sravasti, The ancient city of Saravasti, venerated by Buddhists and Jains alike, is at present a scattering called Sahet and Mahet, the site is 17.7 kms (11 miles) west side of Balrampur. The Buddha performed the great miracle and stayed here 25 rainy seasons on account of which and other less famous occurrences Saravasti has become one of the eight holy places of Buddhist pilgrimage. The entire area of the ruins is known by the twin names of Sahet Mahet. Sahet was the site of the famous Buddhist monastery known as JETAVANA-Maha vihara, which lay outside the limits of the ancient city. The ruins, covering roughly an area of 1500 ft. by 500 ft ; consist mainly of plinths and foundations of monasteries and stupas, all Buddhist. Mahet, situated about two and a half fourlongs north of Sahet, denotes Sravasti city proper and is a much bigger site situated south of the river Achiravati (Modern Rapti), which flows a few fourlongs away. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 07 : Saravasti-Kushinagar, drive.
After breakfast drive to Kushinagar about 257 kms/ 8 hrs. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Kushinagar–(near Kasia), east of Gorakhpur is clebrated as the place where the Buddha died at the age of 80 and was cremated and passed into Parinirvana. This place is one of four major Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Monasteries established after the Buddha’s death flourished here until the 13th century. In the main site, the core of the Main Stupa poosibly dates from Ashoka’s time with the Parinirvana Temple. The restored 6 m recumbent sandstone figure of the dying Buddha in a shrine in front , may have been brought from Mathura by the monk Haribala during King Kumargupta’s reigon (413-455 AD). Excavations were begun here by the archaeological syrvey of India in 1904-05, following clues left by the Chinese travelers.
Day 08 : Kushinagar :
Full day explore to Kushinagar, visit Mahaparinirvana temple, Burmist temple, Chinese temple etc.. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 09 : Kushinagar-Patna :
Morning after breakfast drive to packed populated city–Patna through beautiful countryside about 290 kms/ 9 hrs. Evening free. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Patna, this city saw the rise and fall of India’s first major kingdoms. Its period of glory spanned a thousand years from the 6th century B.C. to 5th century A.D. Turning over the pages of early indian history one comes across the name of the preeminent city of Patliputra located at the site where Patna is today.
Day 10 : Patna–Vaishali-Patna :
Morning after breakfast an excursion about 55 kms/ 2 hrs to Vaishali. Explore Ashoka Pillar –The lion Pillar at Kolhua, was built by empereor Ashoka. It is made of a highly polished single piece of red sandstone, surrounded by a bell shaped capital, 18.3 m, high. A life size figure of a lion is placed on top of the pillar. There is a small tank here known as Ramkund, Raja Vishal Ka Garh -A huge mound with a circumference about one kilometre and walts nearly 2 m high with a 43 m wide moat around them, is said to be the ancient Parliament House. Over seven thousand representatives of the federal assembly gathered here to legislate and discuss the problem of the day, Birth place of Lord Mahavira, founder of Jainism and World peace stupa.
Afternoon return back to Patna. Evening visit Golghar– Built in July 1786 by captain John Garstin of the Bengal Engineers, Who planned this grain store for the army in case of a repeat of the 1770 famine. Golghar is a 96 feet high structure of Unique beehive shaped architecture. It has a base 125 m wide where the wall is 3.6 m thick, and in evening also explore the cremation place at the bank of river Ganges. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 11 : Patna -Nalanda-Rajgir :
Morning after breakfast drive to Rajgir about 105 kms, enroute visit Nalanda, ruins of one of the world’s great universities founded in the 5 th century B C. and an important Buddhist centre until it was sacked by the Afghans in the 12th century and Museum.
Drive continue to Rajgir. Evening free. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 12 : Rajgir :
Rajgir is a pleasant valley and is a very important pilgrim centre for the Hindus and Jains. It is a most popular winter health resort with number of hot water springs.
Sightseeing to Rajgir, visit Griddhakoot Hill -Associated with Lord Buddha. The “Hill of Vultures” was one of the Buddha’s favourite places where he delivered many important sermons, Bimbisara Jail -Where king Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajatshatru, Saptaparni Cave -On the northern cave of the Vaibhara hill, is a series of six caves contained in natural bend of rock, Ajatshatru stupa, Sone Bhandar and Maniar Math. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 13 : Rajgir-Bodhgaya :
Morning after breakfast drive about 75 kms/ 3 hrs to Bodhgaya, A quiet village near the river Phalgu, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was under the Bodhi tree here that Gautama, the prince attained supreme enlightenment to become “The Buddha”. Arrive Bodhgaya and transfer to the hotel. O/n hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Afternoon visit to Mahabodhi Temple-The temple stands east to the Bodhi Tree. It’s architectural effect is superb. It’s basement is 48 sequare 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 feet, Vajrasana – Vajrasana, the seat of stability. The Buddha supposed to have say in meditation gazing east under the Bodhi tree, where the Vajrasana, the stone platform is kept, The Hindu Monastery, Monasteries of Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, Burma, Tibet etc…
Day 14 : Bodhgaya :
Day free for rest or explore the civilized countryside area. O/n hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 15 : Bodhgaya-Sasaram-Varanasi :
Morning after breakfast, a long drive to Varanasi about 240 kms/ 8 hrs, enroute visit impressive Mausoleum of Afghan King Sher Shah, built of red sandstone in the middle of large green pond. Sasaram is on the Grand Trunk Road, the famous Indian highway that was built by Sher Shah in mid 16 century.
Drive Continue to Varanasi. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 16 : Varanasi-Sarnath-Varanasi :
Very early morning sunrise boat ride on the holy river Ganges, back to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast an excursion about 15 kms to Sarnath–is one of Buddhism’s major centres in India. When Buddha had gained enlightenment at Bodhgaya, the Buddha came to the deer park ar Sarnath and delivered his first sermon, usually referred to as Dharamachakra (The Wheel of Law).
Explore to Dharmarajika Stupa-Built by the emperor Asoka to contain relics of the Buddha. It was enlarged on several occasions but was destroyed by Jagat Singh, Dewan of the Maharaja of Benaras, in 1794, when a green marble casket containing human bones and pearls was found, Deer Park –Holy to Jains because Shyeyanshnath, the 11 th Tirthankar was born near the Dhamekh stupa. “Sarnath” may be derived from his name. The monastery in the southwest corner is one of four in the Deer Park. The others are along the north edge.
Afternoon return back to Hotel. Evening stroll around the local market. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 17 : Varanasi, sightseeing.
Early morning boat ride in holy river Ganges. Return to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast full day visit to Beneras Hindu university, Tulsi Manas temple, Durga Temple, Bharat Matta temple. Evening free to relax. O/n Hotel with breakfast & dinner.
Day 18 : Varanasi-Delhi, fly.
Morning breakfast & free, afternoon transfer to the airport to board flight to New Delhi at 14.40 hrs.
Arrive Delhi at 16.00 hrs, pick-up and transfer to hotel near international airport (rooms for wash & change only with farewell dinner). Late night transfer to international airport.
Day 19 : New Delhi-Departure:
Mid night board flight to return back to your home country.