Buddhism Trail

Duration:

13 Nights / 14 Days

Cities to visit:

Europe - Delhi - Varanasi - Sarnath - Bodh Gaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Patna - Vaishali - Kushinagar - Lumbini - Sravasti - Lucknow - Agra - Delhi - Europe.

∈ Per person

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Day 01: Europe - Delhi

Arrival at the International airport of Delhi the national capital of India is famous for its culture, tradition and effervescent history. Delhi is the third largest city in India and now the most preferred city in terms of investments, industrialization, Information Technology, Healthcare. You will be received by our representative for assistance and transfer to your hotel. Overnight, stay at the Hotel.

Day 02  by Over Night Train

Breakfast at the hotel and depart for the visit of Old and New Delhi.Visit the JAMA MASJID – Completed in 1658 this is one of the largest Mosques in India, CHANDNI CHOWK – One of the main markets of Delhi, this ancient market which was the pride of the Mughals, and still fascinates the visitors with its colourful crowds and varied shops,the RAJ GHAT – A serene tribute to the Father of the Nation –

Mahatma Gandhi.

Later visit NEW DELHI and QUTAB MINAR – In 1199, Qutbuddin built the Qutab Minar either as a victory tower or as a minaret to the adjacent mosque. At 72.5 m, it is the highest stone tower and one of the finest Islamic structures ever built in India.

The HUMAYUN’S TOMB – Built by the wife of Humayun, Haji Begum, in the middle of 16th century, this Red sand stone structure is considered to be the predecessor of the Taj Mahal, is one of the best examples of Mughal Architecture.

INDIA GATE – India Gate is a 42m high stone arch of triumph. It bears the name of the 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the campaigns of World War One, the North – West frontier operations and the 1919 Afghan Fiasco. Below the arch is the memorial to the Unknown Soldier. Drive around the Presidential Palace.

Later in the evening, transfer to the Railway station to board the overnight train to Varanasi.

Day 03: Varanasi - Sarnath - Varanasi

On arrival at the Varanasi railway station assistance and transfer to your hotel check in to your hotel and an early morning depart for a boat ride on river Ganges to see the beautiful sunrise, visit ghats and temples and Benaras Hindu University.

Back to the hotel and after breakfast excursion to Sarnath, the principle centre of Buddhism. It was here around 530 B.C that Buddha preached his 1st sermon after gaining enlightenment.

Also visit Dhamekh and Dharmarajika stupas back to Varanasi over night the Hotel.

Day 04 : Varanasi - Bodh Gaya (260 km / 7h)

An early morning breakfast and depart for Bodhgaya by road.
Arrive by afternoon and transfer to the hotel.

Day 05 : Bodh Gaya

Breakfast at the Hotel and depart for the visit of Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centers. It was here that Gautama attained enlightenment and became Buddha under the "Bodhi" tree Satabodhi temple, Japanese and Tibetan monasteries alongwith Magadha university musuem are also to be visited.

Overnight, stay at the hotel.

Day 06 : Bodh Gaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Patna (200 km / 5h)

Breakfast at the Hotel and depart for Patna (102 kms / 2 hrs & 30 mins) capital of 6th century Magadha empire. A revered site of Buddha’s discourses, who spent many years here.

Visit Gridhrakula, Sapataparni cave, Ajatsatru fort and Venuvana. Visit Nalanda in the afternoon - the world's oldest university founded in the 5th century.

Also visit monasteries and temples with impressive Buddhist & Hindu images. The Institute for research for Buddhism and Pali literature which houses rare manuscripts is also worth visiting for the enthusiasts. Archaeological musuem is also not to be missed for the rare collections.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 07 : Patna - Vaishali - Kushinagar (340 km / 9h)

Breakfast at the Hotel and depart for a long drive up to Kushinagar - the place where Buddha passed into Parinirvana.enroute Vaishali It was here that Buddha announced the approach of his Mahaparinirvana. During one of his visits here, Buddha was offered a bowl of honey by a monkey. This incident is mentioned as one of the eight great events in his life. This city hosted Lord Buddha five years after he had attained enlightenment.

The mass induction of people into Buddhism after the Lord had shown some extraordinary and divine presentations of his spiritual superiority is the major reason for the popularity of this place. On arrival of the Lord, the then rulers, the Lichhvis offered a grand welcome to the Lord who denied all luxury offered to him.

The magnificence of his personality and the pristine values immediately started showing effect on the citizens and it is believed that at that period of time eighty four thousand people had adopted Buddhism. Vaishali is also important for the matter that here, for the first time, women were inducted into the Sangha. Gautam's (Buddha's childhood name) foster mother Mahaprajapati Gautami had also joined the order at Vaishali with other 500 Sakya women.

Over night at the Hotel.

Day 08 : Kushinagar

Breakfast at hotel and depart for the visit of Kushinagar, also known as Kasia or Kusinara. The founder of Buddhism, Lord Buddha passed away(attained Nirvana) at this place near the Hiranyavati River and was cremated at the Ramabhar stupa. It was once a celebrated center of the Malla kingdom.

Many of its stupas and viharas date back to 230 BC–AD 413. when its prosperity was at the peak. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka added grandeur to this place by getting the magnificent statue of Buddha carved on a single piece of red sandstone. The Mahaparinirvana Temple, with its world famous reclining statue of Buddha, is an important site to visit. The 20-feet-long statue is seated on a brick platform. Ruins of as many as eight monasteries are around the main site.

These monasteries have witnessed the rise and fall of a number of dynasties and the spread of Buddhism. Ruins of two monasteries—Mahaparinirvana Vihara and Makutabandhara Vihara—are especially famous. The Makutabandhara Vihara is believed to have been built by Malla kings to preserve the relics of the Buddha. Through the centuries, monuments and shrines of various types grew around these ancient sites. Overnight stay at the Hotel .

Day 09 : Kushinagar - Lumbini (170 km / 4-5h)
Breakfast at the Hotel and depart for Lumbini, situated in Nepal the place where Buddha was born. An ancient shrine with an image representing the nativity of Buddha is still preserved. Overnight at hotel.

Day 10 : Lumbini
Breakfast at hotel and depart for, Lumbini - the place where Siddhartha Gautam, the Shakya Prince and the ultimate Buddha, the Enlighted One, was born in 623 BC. The sacred place, marked by a stone pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka of India in 249 BC, is listed as one of the World Heritage Sites.

Visit Mayadevi temple, Ashokan Pillar, Buddhist temples, Pushkarni (the sacred pool), sanctum sanctorum of Buddha's birthplace and stupas. Over night at the hotel.

Day 11: Lumbini - Sravasti (180 km / 4-5h)

Breakfast at the hotel and depart for Shravasti which is intimately associated with the life of Buddha. The town located near the Rapti River in northeastern Uttar Pradesh is said to be have been founded by the mythological king Sravast. In Buddhist times (6th century BC-6th century AD), Shravasti was capital of the kingdom of Kosala and was important both as a prosperous trading centre and for its religious associations.

Buddha is believed to have spent 24 monsoons in the city. It is said that Buddha sat on a lotus with a thousand petals and multiplied his image a million times. A divine sight that silenced his critics. Age-old stupas, majestic monasteries and several temples near the village of Sahet-Mahet, highlight Buddha's association with Shravasti. An important religious site is the Jetavana Monastery, which was built in a garden outside the walls of the city and presented to Buddha by a wealthy banker, Anathapinaka. Other important Buddhist monasteries are the Rajakarama and the Purvarama.

An exquisite garden here has the famous 'Anandabodhi' tree - an offspring of one said to be planted by Buddha's main disciple Ananda. The `Sobhanath' temple is believed to be the birth place of Jain tirthankar 'Sambhavanath' making Shravasti an important centre for the Jainas.

Over night the hotel.

Day 12 : Sravasti - Lucknow – Agra (176 km / 4-5h + Train pour Agra ) 15H45 H 21H30

Breakfast at the hotel and depart for Lucknow .Lucknow first rose to prominence as the capital city of the Nawabs of Awadh and has the reputation as a city of culture and gracious living.

On arrival a short visit of Lucknow and transfar to the railway station to take the train for Agra.Assist on arrival and transfer to your hotel & check in at hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13 : Agra / Delhi (200KM)

Early morning at sunrise depart for the visit of the seven wonders of the world,surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created The Taj Mahal .The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan ruled from 1628 to 1658 and was married to Arjumand Bano Begum in 1612 A.D. He called his wife Mumtaz Mahal or Crown of the Palace, because she was so precious to him. Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan had 14 children and the queen accompanied Shah Jahan everywhere, even on military campaigns. It was on one of these campaigns, in Burhanpur in central India, that Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631, shortly after giving birth to her 14th child.

Her dying wish to Shah Jahan was that he should "build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before." The history of the Taj Mahal begins with Mumtaz Mahal's tragic end for which 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years. After the visit of the Taj Mahal, come back to your hotel for breakfast. After the breakfast depart for the visit of the Red Fort Agra Fort has a history that spans two generations of the Mughal emperors. Started during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605), the construction work on the Agra Fort continued till the reign of his grand son Shah Jahan (1627-58). Though started by Akbar in 1565, it was Shah Jahan, who constructed most of the buildings inside the fort.

Jehangiri Mahal, inside the Agra Fort is what speaks of Akbar's love for his son Jehangir. Akbar built this as a private palace for his son. Jehangiri Mahal located north of the Amar Singh Gate is a mix of Central Asian and Hindu architecture and is considered one of the important buildings constructed by Akbar. Nearby is the palace of Jodha Bhai, the Hindu wife of Akbar. Khas Mahal built in marble stones. Built by Shah Jahan in 1637, Khas Mahal is believed to be a finest example of paintings on white marble. Khas Mahal was built specially as a private palace for Shah Jahan that overlooks the Angoori Bagh (Grapes' garden). Another palace, Diwan-I-Khas, was built around the same time as the Khas Mahal as a hall of private audience and was used by Shah Jahan to receive kings, dignitaries and ambassadors.Palace built for Mumtaz Mahal, Musamman Burj offers a beautiful view of the Taj Mahal. Ironically, it was here, Shah Jahan spent the last days of his life gazing at the Taj Mahal. The Burj is an octagonal structure with an open pavilion. After the visit of Agra depart for Delhi.

Day 14 : Delhi /Europe

Transfer to the airport 3 hours prior according to schedule time of your flight.

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