In the footsteps of Buddha

Trip Overview In the footsteps of Buddha

Day 01: Arrival Delhi
Day 02: Delhi to Varanasi  
Day 03: Varanasi   
Day 04: Varanasi – Bodhgaya
Day 05: Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Bodhgaya  
Day 06: Bodhgaya – Patna   
Day 07: Patna – Vaishali – Kesaria - Kushinagar  
Day 08: Kushinagar - Lumbini
Day 09: Lumbini – Shravasti
Day 10: Shravasti - Lucknow
Day 11: Lucknow – Sankisa – Agra
Day 12: Agra – Delhi 
Day 13: Evening Departure  

Day 01: Arrival Delhi 
On arrival, traditional welcome & transfer to hotel in Delhi. Overnight at Hotel in Delhi.  

Day 02: Delhi to Varanasi
Morning after breakfast check-out and drive to board the flight for Varanasi. On arrival meet & greet and transfer to the Hotel. Check-in Hotel at Varanasi. Afternoon excursion tour to Sarnath where Buddha delivered his first sermon. Evening attend Aarti ceremony at the Ghats of River Ganges. Overnight in hotel at Varanasi. 

Varanasi is one of the religious places in India. Hindu Pilgrims come to bathe in the water of the Ganges. The city is an auspicious place of cremation among Hindus. It's a magical city where the most intimate rituals of life and death take place in public on the city's famous Ghats. In past, the city has been known as Kashi & Benares, but its present name is a restoration of an ancient name meaning the city between two rivers - Varuna and Assi.  

Day 03: Varanasi   
In the morning, rise before dawn to go for a boat ride on the river Ganges. As the boatman starts rowing the boat the daily activities at the Ghats unfolds which can be very interesting for a new visitor. Later we explore the city by foot to get the feel of this ancient city. Also visit Banaras Hindu University, Tulsi Manas temple & Bharat Mata temple. Return to hotel. Overnight in hotel at Varanasi. 

Day 04: Varanasi – Bodhgaya
Morning drive to Bodhgaya. By late afternoon arrive Bodhgaya and check in Hotel. Rest of the time free for leisure in Bodhgaya. Overnight in hotel at Bodhgaya. 

Bodhgaya is the place where 2500 years ago in the 6th century BC, Siddhartha attained enlightenment under a banyan tree to become the Buddha.  Bodhgaya is also the spiritual home of the Buddhists. 

Day 05: Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Bodhgaya
After breakfast, make the sightseeing of Bodhgaya. Later visit of the Mahabodhi temple built to mark the spot where Buddha attained enlightenment. The famous Mahabodhi temple, which stands in the center of the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, has been restored and rebuilt over the centuries. A large circular stone with the Buddha's footprints is kept in a small shrine on the left.  In the same temple complex is the Bodhi Tree, which is said to be the descendent of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. Then visit to Bodhgaya museum which houses antiquities excavated in and around Bodhgaya. Also visit the Buddha statue and Buddhist temples from various countries which are located there.  Overnight in Hotel at Bodhgaya. 

Day 06: Bodhgaya – Patna   
Morning drive towards Patna. After around 2.5 Hrs. of drive arrive at Rajgir. During the lifetime of the Buddha, Rajgir was the capital of the Magadha Empire. In the rock cut caves here the Buddha spent many rainy seasons, meditating and preaching. Then a cable car ride to visit World Peace stupa on a top of hill. The teachings of the Buddha was penned down at Rajgir and it was also the venue for the first Buddhist council. 
Just 15 Kms away you can arrive Nalanda which is the location of the ancient Buddhist University built in 5th Century AD. This great seat of learning flourished until 12th Century AD.  Later continue drive to Patna.  Arrive Patna and overnight in Hotel. 

Day 07: Patna – Vaishali – Kesaria - Kushinagar
Early morning drive to Kushinagar.  En route stop at Vaishali.  Buddha is believed to have preached his last sermon here. A life size-pillar beside a brick stupa at Vaishali commemorates Buddha's last sermon. The lion faces north, the direction Buddha took on his last voyage. At Vaishali, there is the shaded stupa which is supposed to have housed the casket relic with the ashes of Buddha.
 
Continue drive to Kushinagar and on arrival check in hotel. Overnight in hotel at Kushinagar.

Day 08: Kushinagar - Lumbini
After Breakfast visit we visit the Rambhar Stupa that marks Buddha's cremation ground. 
And the beautiful statue of the reclining Buddha.    

Later drive to Lumbini via the Indian border of Sunauli.  On arrival check in hotel.  This afternoon visit the holy birthplace of the Buddha.  Lumbini was located in 1890 after being untraced for around 1500 Years. 
Overnight at Hotel in Lumbini.  

Day 09: Lumbini – Shravasti 
Morning after breakfast visit some of the Buddhist temples located in the Lumbini Development park area. Drive to Shravasti.  On arrival check-in Hotel. Visit Shravasti‘s temples, monasteries and ruins. The town played host to Lord Buddha for 27 years and was his annual rainy season retreat. The sites of Shravasti holds ruins of many ancient Stupas, monasteries and temples. This place also has an Anand Bodhi tree, which is the Offspring of the original Bodhi tree, planted by Buddha’s main disciple Anand. Overnight in hotel at Shravasti. 

Day 10: Sravasti - Lucknow
After a leisurely morning breakfast. Free leisure time. Later by noon drive to Lucknow. On arrival transfer visit some of the attractions of Lucknow like The Residency which was one of the locations of Indian first freedom struggle. Overnight in hotel.
  
Day 11: Lucknow – Sankisa – Agra
Post breakfast drive to Agra. En route stop at Sankisa. It is the place where the Buddha has descended upon the earth .Continue onto Agra, home to the Taj Mahal - undoubtedly the most extravagant monument for love ever built. Upon arrival check into hotel. Overnight in hotel at Agra, 

Day 12: Agra – Delhi 
Morning after leisurely breakfast. City tour of Agra visiting world famous Taj Mahal- (closed on Fridays) built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the memory of his beautiful wife Mumtaj. Continue onto Agra Fort-built by Mughal emperor Akbar to commemorate his victory in war. Later Drive to Delhi.  On arrival check in Hotel.  Overnight at Hotel in Delhi. 

Day 13: Departure
After breakfast, full day combined city tour of Delhi. Take a guided tour of 17th Century Old Delhi. The attractions include Red Fort built in the year 1646.  Jama Masjid which is the largest mosque in India built in the year 1656.  Afternoon, explore two world heritage sites of New Delhi- first The Humayun Tomb which is a memorial of The Mughal Emperor Humayun’s and, second Qutub Minar. It was built in the 12th Century, and the tallest brick Minaret in the world with 72 Meters of Height. The afternoon sightseeing also includes the visit of the President House and the India Gate. In time transfer to the International Airport to board flight for onward destination.