India & Nepal!
In the Footsteps of the Buddha!
This tour is designed as a spiritiual journey through North India and Nepal, with a strong focus on the sacred sites of Buddhism.
We will visit the place of Lord Buddha’s birth (Lumbini, Nepal), where he attained Enlightenment (Bodh Gaya), where he gave his first sermon (Sarnath), where he lived and taught (Rajgir and Shrivasti), and also where he left his physical body and attained Mahanirvana (Kushinagar). We will also see the Taj Mahal, take a boatride on the River Ganges in Varanasi, and view numerous historical monuments in Delhi, Agra, Lucknow and Patna.
“Siddhartha Gautama, who eventually became known far and wide as Lord Buddha, took birth approximately 2500 years ago. His father, Suddhodana, was the governor of a small kingdom in Kapilavatthu, an area now known as Lumbini, located at the foot of the Hilamayas in Nepal, near the border with India. Scholars calculate that Buddha’s life lasted between 563 and 483 B.C.”
Our journey will bring us first to Delhi, the capital of India, and then on to the many historical sites associated with Buddha’s life.
Available all year round!
Point of arrival:
Point of departure:
Day 1: Arrival in Delhi International Airport.
We will meet you and escort you to your hotel.
Day 2: Delhi.
We will have the whole day to tour India’s capital city, this amazing mixture of the ancient and the new, ever vibrant, chaotic and alive, a living mixture of exotic images, colors and sounds. We will see of the most important historical places in the city, such as the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in Raj Ghat, the Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India), the Red Fort, the Q'tub Minar (the tallest minaret in Asia), and also walk a bit through the markets and tiny lanes of Old Delhi.
Day 3: Delhi – Patna.
In the morning we will drive to Delhi’s national airport to catch a flight to Patna, the capital city of Bihar. We will then drive to our hotel for lunch and a bit of rest. In the afternoon we will take a short tour of Patna, one of the most ancient cities in India, where we will see the famous Golghar (an enormous storehouse for grains), and also the Har Mindir Sahib, one of the most sacred sanctuaries of the Sikhs, and a museum.
Day 4: Patna – Nalanda – Rajdir – Bodhgaya.
Today we leave by road for Bodh Gaya, and en route we will visit Nalanda, the great Buddhist University founded in the Fifth Century, where we will find an amazing collection of ruins of ancient stupas, as well as many thriving temples and monasteries. We continue on towards Rajdir, a place held sacred by both Buddhists and Jains, since both Buddha and Mahavir (founder of the Jain religion) spent time here. We’ll then continue on to Bodh Gaya, the holy place where Buddha attained Enlightenment.
Day 5: Bodh Gaya.
Today we will visit one of the most sacred sites of Buddhism, the Mahabodhi Temple, where we will find the sacred Bodhi Tree under which Buddha meditated until attaining Enlightenment. We will also visit numerous other temples and monasteries contructed by Buddhists of numerous nations, including the Karmappa’s temple.
Day 6: Bodh Gaya – Benares (Varanasi).
After breakfast we will drive to Benares, one of the most ancient and sacred cities of India, known by the Hindus as ‘Kashi, the city of Light,’ said to be founded by Lord Shiva. Varanasi is built on the banks of the holy river Ganges, and we will take a boat ride on the sacred river, and view the evening ‘Arati ceremony,’ where burning camphor is waved in adoration of the Goddess embodied in the Ganges.
Day 7: Benares- Sarnath - Benares.
Today we’ll take another ride on the Ganges, and view the numerous ghats, or bathing areas which line the riverbank. These are stone stairways leading down into the water where Hindus take their holy baths, with palaces and temples of various kinds towering above them. We will also drive to Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon, and visit the many temples and monasteries there. We’ll also view the museum of ancient artifacts in the area.
Day 8: Benares – Kushinagar.
Today we leave for Kushinagar, the place where Buddha left his mortal body and attained Mahanirvana. Among other sites, we will visit the Mahanirvana Temple, where we will find the famous large statue of reclining Buddha.
Day 9: Kushinagar – Lumbini.
Today we drive to Lumbini, the place of Lord Buddha’s birth, across the Indian border into Nepal. We will visit the temple of Maya Devi, built on the exact place of Buddha’s birth, and also numerous temples and monasteries in the area.
Day 10: Lumbini - Sravasti.
Today we return to India, and drive to Sravasti, one of the most important cities of India in the Buddha’s day, and where Buddha passed the monsoon season for 24 years in the monastery of Jetavana.
Day 11: Sravasti – Lucknow.
Today we depart for Lucknow, capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, an important cultural center in the 18th Century, which witnessed the final Muslim government of India. We will visit some of the principal monuments, such as the Qaiser Bagh palace, the gardens of Sikander Bagh, The Residency, which British citizens took refuge during the uprising of 1857.
Day 12: Lucknow – Agra.
Today we leave by car for Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, and ancient seat of the Mogul court, situated on the banks of the Yamuna River.
Day 13: Agra.
We will spend the full day touring this city, including a long visit to the world-famous Taj Mahal. We will also visit the great Red Fort of Agra, and walk a bit through the amazing market areas.
Day 14: Agra – Delhi.
We depart by road for Delhi, and upon arrival, we will accompany you to the Delhi International Airport for your return flight home.
END OF TOUR
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