Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour
Places : Delhi - Agra - Varanasi - Bodhgaya - Nalanda - Rajgir -
Patna- Vashali - Kushinagar - Lumbini - Balrampur - Lucknow
Duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days
DAY 01 : DELHI
Arrive DELHI. Meet on arrival by company representatives. Proceed to
hotel and relax.
DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis
with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect
introduction to the
composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope - that
Overnight at Delhi.
DAY 02 : AGRA
Early morning proceed to Agra by Shatabdi Express Train. Breakfast to be
served in the train. Upon arrival transfer to Hotel. Afternoon sightseeing
of the Taj and Fort. Badal Singh established the city of Taj in 1475. Agra
finds mention in the Mahabharat as Agraban. This city in those days was
considered to be the sister-city of Mathura, which was more prominent than
Agraban. Agra came into its own when the Lodhi Kings chose this place
beside the RIVER YAMUNA to be their capital city. Sikander Lodhi made Agra
his capital but Babar defeated the Lodhis to capture not only Agra but
also laid the foundation of the Mughal empire. In the Mid 16th century and
earlier 17th century Agra witnessed a frenzied building activity and it
was during this time when the symbol of love Taj Mahal was built. The
buildings made during this era were purely in the contemporary Mughal
style and of very high quality. The same is still reflected in whatever
monuments remain in Agra. The narrow lanes of Agra filled with aroma of
Mughlai cuisine, the craftsman who are busy in crating master pieces with
their skill all remind of the Mughal royalty which this city had once
experienced. Today whatever remains, has become a major tourist attraction
which has taken Agra again to the heights of glory but this time as a
major tourist destination of India.
Visit the TAJ MAHAL : one of the
Seven Wonders of the World was built by Shah Jahan in 1631 AD and was
completed in 1651AD. Taj Mahal - The symbol of Love was built in the
memory of Mumtaz Mahal (Shah Jahan' s second Wife).
AGRA FORT : Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in
1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is
the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.
After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ - The interiors of which are
considered better than the Taj.
DAY 03 : AGRA - VARANASI (by AIR)
breakfast drive to Fatehpur Sikri and visit the Bulund Darwaza.
The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital
and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a
veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine
condition ... it's not hard to imagine what the court life must have been
like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the
largest gateway in the world. Transfer to airport for flight to Varanasi.
Arrive Varanasi and visit Sarnath.
Varanasi Is The World'S Most Ancient Living City. Sunrise On The
Riverfront, As Seen From A Boat, Can Be Spiritually Uplifting Sight.
Crowded With Temples, And Its Labyrinth Of Streets, The City Attracts The
Maximum Number Of Tourists. The Religious Capital Of Hinduism, Varanasi Is
The Carpet Manufacturing Place Of India. It Was Previously Known As Kashi
- The City That Illuminates. The Present Name Is Derived From The Fact
That The City Is At The Confluence Of The Rivers Varuna And Asi.
Reach and proceed to Sarnath.
Sarnath 5 miles out of Varanasi for a day excursion:
One of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, where Buddha preached his
first Sermon in 590 BC. Witness the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist
monastery and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent
collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site. Overnight at
DAY 04 : VARANASI - BODHGAYA.
Morning boat ride on the Sacred River Ganges to rituals performed by
priests and devotees. Half day guided tour of Varanasi including the Kashi
Vishwanath Temple, Gyanvapi Mosque and Benaras Hindu University. After
lunch proceed for Bodhgaya.
Bodhgaya is one of the sacred places for the Buddhists as well as for the
Hindus. Here under the Bodhi Tree, Gautama attained supreme knowledge to
become Budhha, the `Enlighted One'.
"The Buddha once lived here "
Lord Buddha the gentle colossus who founded the first universal religion
of the world, worked and lived much of his life in Bihar though he was
born in Kapilavastu, now in Nepal. Most of the major events of his life,
like enlightenment and last sermon happened in Bihar. Significantly. the
state's name originated from 'Vihara' meaning Buddhist and Jain
monasteries, which abounded in Bihar.
Though the Buddha was born as a Sakya prince in the Terai foothills of
the Himalayas, Buddhism as a religion was really born in Bihar and evolved
here through his preaching and the example of his lifestyle of great
simplicity, renunciation and empathy for everything living. Perhaps the
present day life of trauma and tension reminds us of the other alternative
that was always available to us, the Buddha's way of life, gentle and
simple.Several centuries after Buddha's passing away, the Maurya emperor
Ashoka (234-198 BC) contributed tremendously towards the revival,
consolidation and spread of the original religion. It is the monasteries
Ashoka built for the Buddhist monks and the pillars erected to commemorate
innumerable historical sites associated with the Buddha's life, mostly
intact to this day, that helped scholars and pilgrims alike to trace the
life events and preachings of a truly extraordinary man.
The Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, under the Bodhi tree, 10
km from Gaya. the ancient Hindu pilgrimage centre. The tree from the
original sapling still stands in the temple premises. It is the most
important Buddhist pilgrimage centre as Buddhisrn was born here.
The magnificent Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya is an architectural
amalgamation of many centuries cultures and many heritages that came to
pay their homage here. The temple definitely has architecture of the Gupta
and later ages, inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka,
Myanmar and China between 7th and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the
same temple Hiuen Tsang visited in 7th century. Overnight at Bodhgaya.
Morning after an early breakfast proceed to Bodhgaya. Packed lunch to be
DAY 05 : BODHGAYA
Sightseeing of Maha Bodhi Temple and Tree. Visit the Chinese Temple. In
the afternoon visit Niranjana Temple and River. Visit the school of the
destitute. Lunch and dinner at Bodhgaya. Overnight at Bodhgaya.
DAY 06 : BODHGAYA - NALANDA - RAJGIR - PATNA
morning proceed to visit the historical towns of Nalanda & Rajgir.
Have lunch at Rajgir. Proceed to Patna after lunch. Overnight at Patna.
NALANDA : Nalanda, where ruins of the great ancient
university have been excavated, is situated at a distance of 90 km. south
east of Patna by road. It falls on way to Rajgir. It is also linked by
rail with Patna, Rajgir and Bakhtiyarpur (on Delhi-Howrah main track).
Hieun Tsang, the renowned Chinese traveller of the seventh century, says
that according to tradition the place owed its name to a Naga of the same
name which resided in a local tank. But he thinks it more probable that
Lord Buddha, in one of his previous births as Bodhisatwa, became a king
with his capital at this place and that his liberality won for him and his
capital the name Nalanda or "Charity without intermission". The
third theory about the name of the place is that it derived from Nalam
plus da. Nalam means lotus which is a symbol for knowledge and Da means
given the place had many lotuses.
Nalanda has a very ancient history. It was frequently visited by Lord
Vardhamana Mahavir and Lord Buddha in the 6th century BC. during his
sajourns, the Lord Buddha found this place prosperous, swelling, teeming
with population and containing mango-groves. It is also supposed to be the
birth place of Sariputra, one of the Chief disciple of the Lord Buddha.
RAJGIR : The Buddha lived in the
sixth century BC. Mahavir was born in 567 BC and the traveller in Bihar
will encounter them both constantly. Rajgir is 10km south of Nalanda and
sacred to the memory of the founder of both Buddhism and Jainism. Lord
Buddha spent many months of retreat during the rainy season here, and used
to meditate and preach on Griddhkuta, the 'Hill of the Vultures'. Lord
Mahavir spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda. It was in
Rajgriha that Lord Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and
converted king Bimbisara of the Magasha Kingdom and countless others to
his creed. Once a great city, Rajgir is just a village today, but vestiges
of a legendary and historical past remain, like the cyclopean wall that
encircles the town and the marks engraved in rock that local folklore
ascribes to Lord Krishna's chariot. This legend, like many others
associates Rajgir to that distant time when the stirring events recorded
in the epic Mahabharata were being enacted. Rajgir is located in a verdant
valley surrounded by rocky hills.
An aerial ropeway provides the link with a hill-top stupa "Peace
Pagoda" built by the Japanese. On one of the hills in the cave of
Saptparni, was held the first Buddhist Council. The Saptparni cave is also
the source of the Rajgir Hot Water Springs that have curative properties
and are sacred to the Hindus.
Patna, the capital city of Bihar, is a historical city, which has like
Delhi, experienced the trauma and pain of being conquered. The heritage of
Patna or Pataliputra as it was known, goes back to two millennia. This
city was the seat of administration for many rulers and each of them
ascended with a new name for their capital.
Kusumpura became Pushpapura, Patliputra, Azeemabad and now Patna.
Pataliputra was the capital of Magadha, a kingdom, which dominated and
influenced the politics of India for a long time. Located on the banks
where rivers Sone and Ganga merge, this city has witnessed the rules of
Chanakya, Chandragupta, Ashoka and the Nanda rulers
DAY 07 : PATNA - VAISHALI - KUSHINAGAR.
Explore the side where Buddha was cremated and visit Mahaparinirvana
Temple. Overnight at Kushinagar.
: Vaishali has a past that pre-dates recorded history. It is held that
the town derives its name from King Vishal, whose heroic deeds are
narrated in the Hindu epic Ramayana. However, history records that around
the time Pataliputra was the centre of political activity in the Gangetic
plains, Vaishali came into existence as centre of the Ganga, it was the
seat of the Republic of Vajji. Vaishali is credited with being the World's
First Republic to have a duly elected assembly of representatives and
The Lord Buddha visited Vaishali more than once during his lifetime and
announced his approaching Mahaparinirvana to the great followers he had
here. Hundred years after he attained Mahaparinirvana, it was the venue of
the second Buddhist Council. According to one belief, the Jain Tirthankar,
Lord Mahavir was born at Vaishali. The Chinese travellers Fa-Hien and
Hieun Tsang also visited this place in early 5th and 7th centuries
respectively and wrote about Vaishali. While talking of the famous men and
women associated with Vaishali, Amrapali was the cynosure not only of
Vaishali but of the neighbouring kingdoms as well.
Therefore, to avert bloodshed, the parliament of Vaishali declared her to
be a Court dancer besides consigning her to lifelong spinsterhood. Later
she became a devout Buddhist and served the Lord Buddha.
KUSHINAGAR : The Buddha is believed
to have breathed his last in this land with pastoral surrounding, the
small hamlet of Kushinagar, 53 km west of Gorakhpur. The land is venerated
as the site of the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, his death and cremation, that
marked his final liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth. This
small town in the former kingdom of the Mallas was surrounded by dense
forest. It remained oblivous to the outside world until it was
rediscovered by the archaeologists in the nineteenth century.
The modern Indo-Japan-srilanka Buddhist centre, Kushinagar is
rediscovering its roots, and is home to many viharas, including a Tibetan
gompa devoted to Sakyamuni, a Burmese vihara, and temples from China and
DAY 08 : KUSHINAGAR - LUMBINI BY ROAD Proceed after breakfast.
Reach and sightseeing.
The birthplace of the Gautama Buddha, Lumbini, is the Mecca of every
Buddhist, being one of the four holy places of Buddhism. Buddha himself
identified four places of future pilgrimage: the sites of his birth,
enlightenment, first discourse, and death. Hence the birth of Gautam
Buddha makes it one of the most sacred places in the world. The Sal tree
where Siddhartha was born is difficult to locate now. But Ashoka, in the
21st year of his reign visited the forest and raised a pillar on the spot
where Siddhartha was born.
Mayadevi Temple : This Mayadevi temple dedicated to the mother of the
Buddha has been digged out and restored. The temple has a stone artifact
depicting the nativity of the Buddha. Maya Devi, his mother, gave birth to
the child on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha while taking rest in
Lumbini under a Sal tree in the month of May in the year 642 BC. The
beauty of Lumbini is described in Pali and Sanskrit literature.
Maya Devi : it is said was spellbound to see the
natural splendor of Lumbini. While she was standing, she felt labor pains
and catching hold of a drooping branch of a Sal tree, the baby, the future
Buddha, was born.
Overnight at LUMBINI - NIRVANA / PAWAN
DAY 09 : LUMBINI - BALRAMPUR
by road, Sight seeing of Shravasti visit : Saheth & Maheth BALARAMPUR
LOTUS NIKKO During the time of Sakyamuni, a rich and pious merchant named
Sudatta lived in Sravasti. While on a visit to Rajgir, he heard the
Buddha's sermon and decided to become the Lord's disciple. But he was
caught in a dilemma and asked the Lord whether he could become a follower
without forsaking worldly life. To his query, the Buddha replied that it
was enough that he followed his vocation in a righteous manner.
Sudatta invited the Buddha to Sravasti and began to look for a suitable
place to build a vihara. A beautiful park at the southern edge of Sravasti
attracted his attention. The park belonged to Jeta, son of King Prasenjit
of Sravasti. Jeta demanded that Sudatta cover the entire park with gold
coins. Sudatta painstakingly paved every inch of the land with gold. Then
Jeta said that since the trees were left uncovered they belonged to him.
But finally, he had a change of heart and donated valuable wood to build
the vihara. The park came to be known as Jetavana Vihara in recognition of
Prince Jeta's donation to the sangh.
Buddha spent 25 years living in the monastery of Jetavana. Many
Vinaya rules, Jatakas and Sutras were first discussed at this place.
The Buddha is supposed to have astonished rival teachers by performing
miracles at Sravasti. It is said that it was in Sravasti that the
Buddha transformed Angulimal from a dacoit into a Buddhist monk. He
also delivered many important sermons here. King Ashoka erected two
pillars 21 meters high on either side of the eastern gateway of the
Jetavana monastery. Sravasti was a flourishing center of learning
during the Gupta period. When the famed Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang
visited this site, he found several damaged stupas and ruins of
monasteries and a palace.
Sravasti has two villages, Sahet and Mahet. From the
Balrampur-Sravasti road one can enter Sahet, which is spread over an
area of 400 acres and has a number of ruins. A little north of Sahet,
towards the Rapti River, is the ancient fortified city of Mahet. The
entrance to the mud fortification of Mahet is constructed in a
beautiful crescent shape. Though an ancient structure, its five gates
and walls are still visible. Pakki Kuti, Kuchhi Kuti and many other
stupas tell the story of the great monasteries that once stood here.
Remnants of Jetavana, a splendid monastery with inscriptions dating
back to the 12th century, is thought to be one of the favourite sites
of the Buddha. Emperor Ashoka is also said to have visited this site.
There is a sacred pipal tree here, which is a sapling from the
original Maha Bodhi tree under which the Buddha had attained nirvana.
Today, Jetavana has two monasteries, six temples and five stupas. One
temple was built by the monk Ananthapindika and called Gandhakuti.
This is the most sacred temple in Jetavana since the Buddha is
believed to have lived at this spot.
Sravasti was also under the influence of Lord Mahavira the last Jain
Tirthankar, and the splendid Shwetambara temple here attracts
thousands of Jain pilgrims. The Sobhnath Temple is believed to the
birthplace of the Jain Tirthankar Sambhavnath.
DAY 10 : BALRAMPUR - LUCKNOW
Reach and sight Seeing : explore this royal city of Nawabs.
Lucknow is caught in a time warp. It exists in an in-between land of
the past and the present looking back constantly to the memories of a
colonial-Nawabi past. There is at the same time a sense of pride at
the thought of being after Delhi, the most important center of power
in free India. Politics has indeed been Lucknow's forte but culture
has been its historical identification.
Despite the Indo-Persian legacy, Lucknow has a composite Indian
culture. The welding of various cultural strains nurtured by centuries
of Mughal and later Delhi Sultanate rule, to the folk traditions of
the Indo-Gangetic plains has produced a complex, yet rich synthesis.
The Urdu language acquired its baffling phonetic nuances and suave
perfection here. It was in Nawab Wajed Ali Shah's court that the most
advanced of all classical Indian dance forms, the Kathak, took shape.
The popular Parsi theatre originated from the Urdu theatre of this
city. The tabla and the sitar were first heard on the streets of
Lucknow. LUCKNOW - PARK PLAZA
DAY 11 : LUCKNOW - DELHI - by Shatabdi Express Arrive Delhi
and check in at hotel.
DELHI : Full day tour of Old & New Delhi, Visit
Raj Ghat, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate,
Parliament House, Lotus Temple, Shantivan, Laxmi Narayan Temple. Relax
in the evening. Proceed for day tour of Old & New Delhi. (0900
OLD DELHI :A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would
entail visiting the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi
was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India and the Red
Fort - once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire.
Cycle rickshaw ride from Jama Masjid to Chandni Chowk.
NEW DELHI : An extensive sightseeing tour of New
Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar, a
drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India
Gate, Parliament House, the President's Residence and would end with a
drive through the Diplomatic Enclave. Overnight at Delhi.
DAY 12 : DELHI - PARK
DELHI - Free to explore city and last minute shopping. Check out in
the evening and proceed for The Dances of India Show. Have dinner then
transfer to Airport for flight home.
Cost Per Person(on twin sharing - minimum 2 persons travelling
|Valid till Sept 2018
* Please request for rate for the period X'Mas - New Year Period
||Land Cost Excludes
- Room on twin sharing basis at each place as per itinerary for
total 11 nights (01 Night on train and 10 Nights at hotels). Hotel
check in / out 12:00 hrs.
- Daily buffet breakfast at hotel.
- Aircon Standard Car for all transfer and sightseeing as per
- English speaking guide during sightseeing tour as per itinerary.
- Train Tickets : Aircon Chair Car for Delhi / Agra & Lucknow /
Delhi, 2 AC Sleeper Class for Agra / Varanasi
- Early Morning boat ride at Varanasi.
- Expenses of personal nature
- Any air fare
- Airport Tax
- Any Monument entrance fee (to be paid directly at the monuments).
Please find below list.
Monument Entry Fee List (per person per visit in Indian Rupees)
|Qutab Minar - 250
Red Fort - 100
Humayun Tomb - 250
|Taj Mahal - 750
Agra Fort - 300
Itmad-Ud-Daula - 110
|Sarnath - 100
Hotel used will be as under or equivalent category
||Hotel 87 / Pablas Int'l
||Hindustan Int'l / Meradan Grand
||Hotel Mahamaya / Hotel Mahayana /
||Hotel Lumbini Int'l
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