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A fourteen-day Buddhist pilgrimage tour of India is the best way to follow the footsteps of Lord Buddha and trace his journey through India. The tour you are going to take will begin from Delhi, traveling to several religious and cultural sites like Vaishali, Kushinagar, and several others, which were favored by Lord Buddha and conclude in the scenic city of Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Buddhist Pilgrimage tour of India and Nepal
Arrival in Delhi
Upon your arrival in Delhi, you will be met by our company representative who will guide you to the hotel where your accommodating here has been arranged.
The city of Delhi has endless places to explore, with a blend of the historic monuments that attract the traditional tourist crowd, government buildings, and statuettes for the patriotic and wonderful food and shopping centers for those with the wandering spirits. Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Delhi include the India Gate, Qutub Minar, Parliament Building, and Chandni Chowk.
After a brief exploration of the amazing city, it is time for rest and hence the overnight stay in Delhi.
Delhi to Lucknow By train
Your second day of the tour will begin with boarding an early morning train to Lucknow, a brief journey of not more than 5-6 hours. Upon arrival, our representative will meet you and guide you to the hotel, where lunch and accommodation have been arranged.
After lunch and a brief respite, the tour continues with a half-day exploration of the city and it’s popular tourist spots including the Bara and Chota Immambara, British Residency, and the La Martiniere.
The first stop, Bara and Chota Imambara are examples of Nawabi architecture with their daring techniques displayed in the style, proportion, and symmetry of the building. The word ‘Bara’ means big and the first building is built for Azadari by the Shia Muslims. Chota Immambara contains the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah, who built it for his mother.
The second stop is the British Residency built sometime between 1780-1800 and the cannon scars on its walls are a testament to the War of Independence that took place in 1857. The last stop, La Martiniere is said to be one of the best examples of European funerary monuments in the country.
After the visit, the half-day tour concludes with some much-needed rest and dinner at Lucknow.
Lucknow to Sravasti By Road in 4 hours
The third day begins with a hearty breakfast after which we will visit the religious town of Sravasti, which is about a four-hour drive from Lucknow. After a brief respite upon reaching the town, the tour progresses with a visit to the important Buddhist sites in Sravasti.
Known for one of the greatest miracles performed by Lord Buddha, Sravasti is where he created multiple images of himself, which is featured in a lot of Buddhist art. The town is filled with mythological tales, ruins, and stupas belonging to early Buddhist sites and was said to be founded by King Sravasti.
After exploring the various buildings and ruins here, the night is spent in Sravasti.
Sravasti to Lumbini By Road in 6 hours
After a good tour of Sravasti, the next day begins with breakfast and early checkout. We now proceed further with our tour with a trip to Lumbini, a location in Nepal, and also visit Kapilavastu, en route.
Known as the former kingdom of the Sakya clan, to which Lord Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha, Kapilavastu is known as the place where he spent his childhood and youth. There are several places here significant to his life, including the two pillars dedicated to his parents in Tilaurakot.
After the exploration of Kapilavastu, we now reach Lumbini and take some much-needed rest at the hotel here.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is an extremely religious location and features several temples and monasteries. Some locations to explore here include the Sal grove, where his birth took place, the Mayadevi temple, and the Panditarama Vipassana center.
The day ends with an overnight stay at Lumbini.
Lumbini to Kushinagar
The day begins with a breakfast followed by a short visit to Ramabhar Stupa, Buddha’s birthplace.
After the short trip, we travel to Kushinagar, which is yet another short journey of about 3-4 hours.
Kushinagar is said to be the location where Lord Buddha attained Nirvana. Thousands of devotees flock here from around the world to pay respects and explore the city. Some of its main attractions include the Wat Thai temple, Matha Kuar Shrine, Chinese temple, and Meditation park.
Upon arrival at Kushinagar and checking in to the hotel, it’s time for a short respite.
The rest of the day is spent visiting the various tourist locations here including the Mukut Bandha Stupa, Buddha’s reclining statue, Nirvana temple, Ramabhar Stupa, and finally Lord Buddha’s cremation site.
The tour ends with an overnight stay at Kushinagar.
Patna - Rajgir - Bodhgaya
The day begins with breakfast followed by a road trip to Bodhgaya, which will consist of a four-hour drive. Today’s itinerary consists of Nalanda University, Rajgir, Vulture Hill, and then Bodhgaya.
The first location Nalanda is said to be one of the oldest universities in the world followed by one of Buddha’s favorite locations for a retreat, Rajgir. Vulture hill, the next location is where he gave several of his discourses to his devotees. The final destination of the road trip is Bodhgaya, the location where Lord Buddha is said to have attained his enlightenment.
After the road trip, the rest of the evening is at your leisure with the night spent at the hotel at Bodhgaya.
The eighth day of the tour begins with an early breakfast followed by visits to two famous religious sites- the Mahabodhi and the Sujata temple.
The first site, Mahabodhi temple is a very famous Buddhist pilgrimage site and is said to be the location where Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment after meditating under the Bodhi tree, which is situated here. The second site is the Sujata temple, another popular sacred location set by the holy Niranjana River.
Bodhgaya to Varanasi
The day’s tour begins with breakfast followed by a six-hour drive to Varanasi. Upon arrival, you will be checked in to your hotel for a brief respite.
Known as one of the holiest sites in Hinduism, Varanasi is on the to-do list of every religious Hindu. The city is said to be spiritual in every sense, with the presence of several holy sites and the sacred river Ganga present here, which is said to wash away all of one’s sins.
The day ends with a spiritual experience of the Aarti ceremony held at the Ganges river, after which you will retire for the day, for an overnight stay at Varanasi.
The morning starts with a drive to Daswamedh Ghat and a boat trip on river Ganga to witness the cremation Ghats. It is best to start as early as 5 a.m. to make the best out of the experience.
The best way to witness the glory of Varanasi is by a trip through the Ganga where you can start the day with a beautiful sunrise, followed by a peaceful walk along its bank to see the religious city slowly come to life. A visit to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple is next, making the start a spiritual one as well.
After a beautiful start, the day proceeds with a good breakfast at the hotel and then a visit to Sarnath. Known to be the first location where Buddha gave his sermons after enlightenment, Sarnath is famous for the magnificent stupas laid there by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The most famous attraction is the Dhamekh Stupa where the first sermon took place. Sarnath is also famous for the numerous collections of relics and antiques, along with art depicting Buddha and his devotees at the Archaeological Museum present here.
After a fruitful day of religious sightseeing, the night is spent at Varanasi.
Varanasi to Kathmandu
The eleventh day of the tour starts with a morning flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you will be escorted to the hotel by one of our representatives. The day and night will be spent at Kathmandu.
Known for its amazing architecture, diverse culture, and several religious shrines of both Hindu and Buddhist importance, Kathmandu is a must-visit tourist destination, brimming with places to be discovered. Some of the locations that will be covered during the tour include Swayambunath Stupa, Durbar Square, Bagmati River, and much more.
The day begins with breakfast followed by a full-day tour of Kathmandu.
Two important sites that will be covered today include the Swayambunath Stupa and the Pashupatinath temple.
The first location, Swayambunath Stupa is one of the oldest Buddhist shrines, known for its religious significance and its architecture. The main attractions are said to be the four stupas, each said to have carvings of Buddha and his various forms.
The Pashupatinath Mandir, one of the Jyotirlingas, whose deity is Lord Shiva, is said to be a holy site for Hindus. It is said that those who visit here are usually at the last few days of their life and after death travels through the river Bagmati to Ganga.
After the religious visit, it is time for some fun! This includes shopping for some of Kathmandu’s specialties like rice paper items or singing bowls and also looking for good souvenirs like Thangka paintings and Pashmina.
The day ends with dinner at a local restaurant filled with cultural music and dance, followed by a good night's rest at Kathmandu.
The last day of your tour begins with breakfast, followed by a religious visit to some of the popular shrines here like the Boudhanath Stupa, Durbar Square, and the holy Bagmati River.
Known as one of the biggest stupas in Nepal, the Boudhanath Stupa is a popular global tourist spot and is shaped like a mandala. Said to have been constructed after the immediate passing of Lord Buddha, the shrine is considered one of the most popular religious destinations for Buddhists.
The next destination, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stands before the royal palace of the former Kingdom of Kathmandu. Bagmati river is considered a holy river by both Hindus and Buddhists, due to the considerable number of temples standing by its banks. It also runs by the Kathmandu valley, hence separating the city from Patan.
After witnessing the religious Hindu rituals by the river in the evening, the day concludes with much-needed rest and overnight stay at Kathmandu.
Kathmandu - Delhi - Departure
The trip concludes with a flight to Delhi from Kathmandu, after which further travel can easily be booked via national or international flights at the Delhi airport.