Destination: Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Saravasti-Kapilvastu-Lumbni-Kushinagar-Vaishali -Patna-Nalanda-Rajgir-Bodhgaya-Varanshi
Duration :08 nights / 09 days
DAY 01 ARRIVE DELHI
Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel Qutab . Lunch at hotel and then proceed for sightseeing of New and Old Delhi. Visit Old Delhi. See the Red Fort – a marvel in red sandstone, the Raj Ghat, – memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India. Spend some time in Chandni Chowk to savour the ambience of an oriental, crowded bazaar. Drive past India Gate (memorial to the Indian army soldiers who died in the World War I) the Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly the viceroy’s residence) and the Parliament House. Continue After lunch visit the 12th century Qutab Minar, gracefully hand-carved for its entire height of 234ft, and the iron pillar, which has withstood the ravages of time and not rusted even after 1500 years.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 02 DELHI-AGRA (202 Kms- 5 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel and then leave by bus for Agra. On arrival transfer to hotel . Later proceed with the sightseeing tour of Agra, with visit to Taj Mahal and Fort. Visit the world famous Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan in 1560 in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 years to complete this ‘Love Poem in Marble’. (Friday closed). Also visit Fort. Dinner at local restaurant Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 03 DELHI-LUCKNOW-SARAVASTI (175 Kms/ 4 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel and then leave for Delhi airport to connect flight. Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to Saravasti. On arrival check-in at hotel. Sravasti- 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. This holy place also has the famous Anand Bodhi tree, an offspring of the one, said to have been planted by Buddha’s main disciple Anand.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 04 SARAVASTI-KAPILVASTU-LUMBINI (265 Kms- 7 hrs)
After breakfast at hotel, proceed with the tour of the Jetavana monastery at Sravasti, the capital of the Kosala kingdom, was the scene of many a sermon of Buddha and has been identified with the twin sites of Saheth-Meheth, located in Gonda and Bahraich Districts of Utter Pradesh. Excavations conducted between 1907 and 1911 have revealed at Saheth, representing ancient Jetavana, a number of shrines, monasteries and stupas, the earliest of which, probably of the Mauryan age, yielded a sandstone casket containing bone-relics together with a gold leaf and a silver punch-marked coin. Maheth, representing Sravasti, is a fortified town with ruins of residential houses as well as brick stupas and shrines, one of which exhumed more than three hundred terracotta panels, depicting scenes from the Ramayana in the Gupta style. After lunch proceed by surface to Lumbini. en route visiting Kapilavastu. The little village of Piprahwa, 93 Kms. from Lumbini via Sonauli, is identified as Kapilavastu, the capital of the Sakyas, where the Lord Buddha spent the first thirty years of his life. Excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India between 1971 and 1977. In a Stupa that was excavated, referred to as the Eastern Stupa, by archaeologists, an inscription was found dating back to the Kushan period. Its text read Om devaputra vihare Kapilavastu bhikku sanghasa (This is the Devaputra Vihara of the Kapilavastu bhikshu sangha). One and a half kilometers from the site there are two excavated mounds. The larger one is a thick walled structure, which according to local belief, was Suddhodana’s palace. There is a small Sri Lankan monastery and temple, Mahinda Mahavihara, in the vicinity of the ruins. On arrival check-in at hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 05 LUMBINI-KUSHINAGAR( 161 Kms).
After breakfast visit visit to Pangeran, Siddhartha Born place. Lumbini located in the foothills of Himalayas in Nepal is located 22 Kms from Indian border. Lumbini is where Lord Buddha born on full moon day under Sala tree, 2600 yrs ago to the Queen Mayadevi and King Suddodhana of Sakyan Dynasty. This newly born Prince named Siddhartha had supernatural birth & signs, which indicated that the newborn child will bring deliverance to the world. After visit of the Pangeran, Siddhartha Born place. Later leave by surf for Kushinagar. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DAY 06 KUSHINAGAR-VAISHALI-PATNA
Early morning proceed with the sightseeing tour of Kushinagar, Buddha’s last journey led him to Kushinagar. Here at the age of 80 Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana. Buddha was finally freed from the eternal cycle of re-birth leaving with us all the wisdom and knowledge of his remarkable life. The famous sites are Mahaparinirvana temple and Ramabhar Stupa where Buddha was cremated. After breakfast at hotel, depart by coach en route visiting Vaishali with packed lunch. Vaishali holds an important place in the life of Lord Buddha. He visited Vaishali on three occasions. It was here that he announced his approaching Nirvana to his disciples. The famous lion pillar erected by the Emperor Ashoka to mark this portentous event still stands today. During the second great Buddhist council held at Vaishali about 100 years after Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana, a Stupa was erected to house one eighth of the enlightened urn’s funeral visited Vaishali in the 5th & 7th centuries respectively. At Vaishali Museum, you will see figures, old coins and photographs of the excavations. After visit depart by surface for Patna. Arrive in Patna and check-in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
After breakfast depart by surface for Nalanda. Nalanda. Nalanda founded in 5th century BC, was one of the world’s great universities and the Afghans attacked an important Buddhist center until it in the 12th century. Visit the remains of the brick built Great Stupa, the Archeological museum. Arrive in Rajgir and check-in at your hotel. Later proceed to Rajgir which was the capital of Magadh Empire until Ajatshatru moved to Pataliputra (Patna) in the 5th century BC. Rajgir is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site since Buddha spent 12 years here, and the first Buddhist council after the Buddha attained Nirvana was held here. Visit Ajatshatru’s fort, Venuvana, Swarna Bhandar, the Cyclopean wall. Visit the Peace Pagoda on chair lift. Afternoon, depart by surface for Bodhgaya. Upon arrival in Bodhgaya, check-in at your hotel. Later proceed with the sightseeing tour of the religious town revered both by the Buddhists and Hindus alike. Visit the Mahabodhi Temple, known for its Bodhi tree, Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha. The tree stands today is believed have grown from the original Pepal tree under which lord Buddha meditated. After tour return to your hotel and check-in. Afternoon visit the various monasteries like Thai, Korean, Japanese and the Sri Lankan. Also visit the Tibetan Monastery built in the style of Tibet with slopping tiled roofs. Dinner and overnight hotel.
DAY 08: BODHGAYA-VARANASI. 240 KMS.
After breakfast depart by surface for Varanasi. Arrive in Varanasi and check-in at your hotel. Later proceed with tour of Sarnath. it is here that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. At the deer park he disclosed the truth to his first five disciples. Dhamek Stupa marks the spot of the Buddha’s first sermon. Here one can see chankrama where Buddha walked in meditation. The ruins date back to the time of Emperor Ashoka, as does the lion headed pillar nearby. At the Sarnath Museum, there is a remarkable statue of Buddha setting the wheel of law in motion. The Tibetan Buddhist vihara enshrines sacred relics and is decorated with frescoes by the Japanese artist Kosetsu-Nosu. After the visit return to hotel in Varanasi. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
DAY 09: VARANASI-DELHI
Early morning proceed with boat cruise on river Ganges. The western banks of Ganges has a string of Ghats – the chain of stone steps, all built with pavilions, palaces and terraces, most of which are mainly used as Dharamsalas where the pilgrims stay during their visit to the holy city. At dawn, the Ghats are buzz with activity of the devotees performing their ablutions in the river or offering prayers to the rising sun and performing other religious rituals. A boat ride along the Ghats gives you vantage views of this activity. The sunrise on the Ganges is a soul-lifting experience. Later, visit the Vishwanath temple, also called the golden temple because of the gold plating on its roof. After breakfast at hotel proceed with the sightseeing tour of city situated on the banks of the Ganges, the city of Learning and Burning (because of the almost continuous cremations of the dead) from time immemorial has been the religious centre of Hindus. All Hindus want to be here at least once in their lifetime. Visit some of the important temples. Bharat Mata Mandir – a unique temple inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi houses one of the most perfect relief maps of India and is dedicated to Mother India. Durga Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga consort of Lord Shiva. Drive past the beautiful Tulsi Manas Temple. Later drive through the largest Residential University of Asia – Banaras Hindu University founded by Pundit Madan Mohan Malviya. Visit the New Vishwanath temple in the University Campus, (Option: one can also visit Bharat Kala Bhavan which houses some of the finest Miniatures). Later in time transfer to airport to board flight for Delhi. Met upon arrival in Delhi and transfer to hotel for dinner and later in time transfer to airport to connect flight for onwards destination on