Trip Highlights :-: Trip Highlights – Delhi | Varanasi | Bodhgaya | Rajgir | Nalanda | Patna | Vaishali | Kushinagar | Lumbini | Sravasti | Lucknow | Delhi
Tour duration : 08 Nights / 09 Days
Varanasi / Sarnath : The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. There are a number of historical and religious places and towns around Varanasi that are worth visiting. Such as Sarnath, Chunar, Jaunpur and Kaushambi, Sarnath is famous for being the place where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after getting enlightenment.
Bodhgaya : Bodhgaya is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage place in the world. It is situated near the Niranjana river in the state of Bihar, it's here that Lord Buddha became enlightened during intense meditation under a Bodhi tree. The exact spot is now marked by the sprawling Mahabodhi Temple complex. It's a very serene and peaceful place. Monks from all over the world can be found sitting at the foot of an enormous carved Buddha statue, reading Holy Scriptures in deep contemplation. The town is also home to dozens of Buddhist monasteries, maintained by various Buddhist countries.
Rajgir : Rajgir is a historical city and a notified area existing in Nalanda district in the Indian state of Bihar. Located at an elevation of 73 meters (240 feet), the city of Rajgir was in a valley surrounded by seven hills known as Vaibhara, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula. Rajgir name might have come from Sanskrit Rājagṛha, which is translated to 'house of the king' or 'royal house'. Also, the word Rajgir might have its origin in its plain literal meaning, 'royal mountain'. It served as the ancient capital city of the Magadha kings till the 5th century BC when Ajatashatru changed the capital to Pataliputra. During those days, it was known as Rajgrih, which translates as 'the home of Royalty'.
Nalanda : Nalanda was a great center of Buddhist learning in ancient times. A large number of Buddhist students thronged the Nalanda University to study Buddhism. Lord Vardhamana Mahavir and Lord Buddha visited Nalanda quite frequently in the 6th century BC. Its University attracted large number of Buddhist students from different parts of the world. The University was founded in the 5th century by the Gupta rulers. There were thousands of students and teachers. The main courses which were taught there were the Buddhist scriptures (both Mahayana and Hinayana), Vedas, Logic, Shabda Vidya (grammar), Chikitsa vidya (medicine) etc.
Patna : Situated on the Southern banks of the Ganges, Patna, the capital of Bihar, has a rich history behind it. There are other four rivers that join the Ganges in Patna. These are Ghaghara, Gandak, Punpun and Sone. The city is located at an altitude of 53 metres. The history of Patna can be traced back to 493 BC, when a king of the Magadha empire, Ajathashatru, fortified the then called Pataligrama. His son, Udayi continued the dynasty and developed the village into a town and thus, Pataliputra was formed. Patna is known for its Buddhist remains and is also a sacred place for the Sikh Community, since many of the Sikh Gurus were born here. The Buddha also is said to have passed through Pataliputra during the last part of his life.
Vaishali : Long before the advent of Buddhism and Jainism, Vaishali served as the capital of the historic republican Licchavi state. During that period, Vaishali was an ancient metropolis, which even represented as the capital city of the republic of the Vaishali state. It was spread across a major part of the Himalayan Gangetic region of the contemporary Bihar state, India. But, not much is evident regarding the early history of the city. The Vishnu Purana has details of 34 kings of Vaishali, the first being Nabhaga. He is the one who is believed to have abdicated his claim to throne corresponding to a matter of human rights and is said to have stated: "I am now a free tiller of the soil, king over my acre." The last recognized king among the 34 was Sumati, who is known to be a contemporary of King Dasaratha, father of the Hindu god- Lord Rama. It was here in Vaishali that the birth of Lord Mahavira took place. Even, Gautama Buddha delivered his final sermon at Vaishali and declared his Parinirvana at the location. It is also popular as the land of Ambapali (also spelled as Amrapali), the legendary Indian courtesan, who appears in several folktales apart from Buddhist literature. Ambapali became a follower of Buddha.
Kushinagar : Kushinagar or Kushinara of Yore is the place where the Lord Buddha died, at the age of 80 and was cremated and achieved the state of Parinirvana. Kushinagar is situated about 55 kms. away from Gorakhpur and a revered place for Buddhist pilgrims. In ancient times, Kushinagar was known as Kushinara and was a small town of not great significance in the Malla kingdom. The main tourist attraction in Kushinagar is the Mahaparinirvana temple, containing the reclining statue of Lord Buddha.
Lumbini : It is located in the south-central Terai of Nepal, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. For millions of Buddhists the world over, it evokes a kind of holy sentiment akin to the significance of Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims. Lumbini is the place where Lord Buddha - the apostle of peace, and the Light of Asia - was born in 623 B.C. In historical terms, the region is an exquisite treasure-trove of ancient ruins and antiquities, dating back to the pre-Christian era.
Sravasti : Sravasti, capital of the ancient Kosala kingdom is sacred to Buddhists because it is here that Lord Buddha performed the greatest of his miracles to confound the Tirthika heretics. These miracles include that of the Buddha creating multiple images of himself, hence forth has been among the favorite themes of Buddhist art.
Lucknow : It is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh state in India. Lucknow is the administrative headquarters of Lucknow District and Lucknow Division. Located in what was historically known as the Awadh region, Lucknow has always been a multicultural city. Courtly manners, beautiful gardens, poetry, music, and fine cuisine patronized by the Persian-loving Shia Nawabs of the city are well known amongst Indians and students of South Asian culture and history. Lucknow is popularly known as The City of Nawabs. It is also known as the Golden City of the East, Shiraz-i-Hind and The Constantinople of India.
Delhi : On the path of rapid growth and progress today, Delhi has evolved from the fabled "seven cities" established between the 13th and 17th centuries. The haunting Landmarks of yesteryears co-exist with the modern marvels of today. Ancient Forts, Mughal Architecture is juxtaposed with the state of the art architecture, modern residential projects, sky scrapers and commercial hubs of today. City boasts of some of the finest museums and centers of art and excellence. The shopping centers here offer rich heritage of traditional Indian craft as well as rich, fashionable and contemporary ensemble of products.
Arrival in India (New Delhi), traditional welcome by our representative at airport, transfer assistance to hotel. Check-in at hotel, before you proceed to your room/s, our representative will hand-over the travel documents and brief you about the tour programme. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel, this morning explore India's capital city by touring its magnificent monuments, start your tour by visiting - Old Delhi: An ancient walled city earlier known as Shahjahanabad. Take a photo stop at Red Fort: the most opulent red sandstone fort and palace of the Moghul Empire (1639-1648 built by Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India and the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra), visit Jama Masjid, Largest mosque in India, the foundation of the historic Jama Masjid was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650 AD, this mosque was the result of the efforts of over 6,000 workers, over a period of six years (1650-1656 AD). The cost of the construction in those times was 1 million rupees. This Mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time. The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars.
Visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan's daughter Jahanara Begum. Jahanara laid the foundation of Chandni Chowk, which is the largest trading center of Delhi as well as India. At present the street is a busy thoroughfare and is really congested. This area is renowned for 'Kuchas and Katras' also known as Alleys. These alleys house traditional Havelis, places of worship: Temples, Mosques, Church and Gurudwara, popular specialised markets and century-old eating joints. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride.
Visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Nation.
Later visit New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First drive past Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital, then drive to Rajpath (King's Way), India Gate - the 42mt high stone 'Arch of Triumph', erected in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in First World War. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (President Palace) and Parliament House.
Visit the Qutab Minar 12th century minaret built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty - this building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and is fine example of Afghan architecture which is graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 mt. Also visit the Baha'i Temple (Lotus Temple) Lotus being a symbol of peace and prosperity all around the world, the shape of the temple personifies the purpose for which the foundation of this marvelous man-made architectural was laid. Lotus temple is made of pristine marble blocks, cement, dolomite and sand and the entire ascetic value is coddled by the group of nine pools filled with crystal clear water. In accord with the mores of Baha'i religion, the temple is open to everyone from anywhere in the world who is looking for inner peace & tranquility.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
After Breakfast check out from hotel & transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi. Arrive and transfer to hotel, check-in at hotel. Check in at hotel and after relaxing, ready to go for Sarnath to see Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath Museum and The Ashokan Pillar. Sarnath (also known as Mrigadava, Migadāya, Rishipattana, Isipatana) is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Sarnath is located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh. Isipatana is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit, if they wanted to visit a place for that reason. Mrigadava means "deer-park". Isipatana is the name used in the Pali Canon, and means the place where holy men (Pali: isi, Sanskrit: rishi) fell to earth. Later return back to Varanasi and visit to river Ganges ghat where you can also attend and see the evening Aarti (prayer ceremony). Overnight stay at hotel.
Early morning visit the sacred river Ganges for a boat ride. Every morning at dawn hundreds of worshippers can be seen bathing in the sacred waters. The great river banks are lined with an endless chain of stone steps - the ghats - that stretch from one end of the city to the other. The Ghats form an impressive part of the religious landscape of the city. Proceeding downstream at a leisurely pace, you would be pointed out the significant temples and buildings as well as the changing architectural style. Life and death go hand in hand in Varanasi. While young people seek prosperity and protection from harmful influences, the older generation comes to Varanasi to cleanse their souls in the forgiving waters in preparation for their ultimate dissolution. In Morning after breakfast check out from hotel & drive to Bodhgaya, upon arrival transfer to hotel for check-in. Bodhgaya - As the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buddhists, it is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Later visit Mahabodhi Temple. Overnight stay at hotel
After Breakfast check out from hotel & drive to Patna en-route sightseeing of Rajgir & Nalanda. The picturesque Rajgir is surrounded by the meandering river Banganga and five hills. During the lifetime of the Buddha this was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous King Bimbisara. Like many others in search of truth, Prince Siddhartha, after he renounced his royal heritage came to this city to seek the path of salvation. Nalanda was the most renowned university in ancient India. It was one of the world's first residential universities, i.e., it had dormitories for students. In its heyday it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. The Buddha is mentioned as having several times stayed at Nalanda. Later drive to Patna and transfer to hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at hotel.
Checkout from the hotel after breakfast, drive to Vaishali. See Ashok pillar and Buddha stupa. The Lion Pillar at Kolhua, was built by Emperor Ashoka. It is made of a highly polished single piece of red sandstone, surmounted by bell shaped capital, 18.3mt high. A life-size figure of a lion is placed on top of the pillar. The pillar is well-preserved and intact. Later proceed for Kushinagar. Upon arrival Kushinagar check in at hotel. In Evening participate in a chanting and meditation session. (Subject to availability of appropriate teachers). Overnight stay at hotel.
In morning after breakfast check out from hotel, & go for sightseeing tour of Kushinagar visit Mahaparinirvan Temple, Rambhar Stupa, Mata Kutir Temple etc. Afternoon drive to Lumbini, arrive Lumbini and check in at hotel. Lumbini (meaning: the lovely) is a Buddhist pilgrimage site located in Rupandehi District, Lumbini Zone of Nepal, near the Indian border. It is the place where Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who later became a Buddha (Gautama Buddha), and founded the religion of Buddhism. Gautama Buddha lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. For Buddhists, this is one of the four main pilgrimage sites based around the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Bodhgaya, and Sarnath. Lumbini is located 25 km east of the municipality of Kapilavastu, the place where the Buddha grew u p and lived up to the age of 29. Kapilavastu is the name of place as well as the neighbouring district. Lumbini has various Buddhist temples including the Mayadevi temple. There is also the Puskarini pond and remains of Kapilavastu palace in Lumbini. There are other sites near Lumbini where, according to Buddhist tradition, previous Buddhas were born and achieved enlightenment and died. Overnight stay at Hotel.
After breakfast check out from hotel & go for sightseeing tour of Lumbini including a visit to the birth Place of Lord Buddha. Later drive to Sravasti - the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala, has the honour for sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens. The city believed to be founded by the mythological king Sravast, has age-old stupas, majestic monasteries and several temples. Buddha is said to have performed some miracles here. In Sravasti visit Saheth - Maheth & Jetvan. Overnight stay at hotel in Sravasti.
In morning after breakfast check out from hotel & get driven to Lucknow (165 kms approx) - city of Nawabs created by Asaf-Ud-Daula. Upon arrival in Lucknow, visit Bara Imambara built by Nawab Asaf Ud Daula, Chhota Imambara and Museum. After lunch proceed to the railway station to board Train # 2003 Shatabadi Express for Delhi (Departure at 1535 hrs - Arrival in Delhi at 2205 hrs) transfer assistance from New Delhi Railway station to International airport to board flight for return journey.
Departure early in morning by an international flight.
Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.
Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at New Delhi airport.
All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to airport and vice - versa
Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary.
Accompanying English speaking guide.
Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, Excursion to Sarnath, early morning boat ride on river Ganges in Varanasi & Cable car ride tickets in Rajgir.
Air ticket/s for sector/s NEW DELHI / VARANASI in economy class.
Tickets in AC express train for sector LUCKNOW / NEW DELHI.
All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day.
All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes
Return international air tickets from the city of origin.
Travel Insurance and Indian / Nepalese Visa.
Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".