Type of Journey
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India, being the place where Buddhism first originated, is the country that still adheres to the valuable memories of the great Buddhist legacy. This itinerary will take participants through the path of truly experiencing the legendary life of the Lord Buddha. The Buddha led and preached a life of self-discipline and determination. And, while everyone hopes to gain at least a drop out of this vast sea of lord Buddha’s knowledge, the one thing that they will undoubtedly take away from this Buddhist pilgrimage, is serenity and satisfaction.
This Buddhist pilgrimage can help followers walk the footsteps of Lord Buddha, when they visit Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar; the places where he was born, gained enlightenment, first taught and attained nirvana, respectively.
All there is to do is commence this journey, and the passage to enlightenment awaits.Come, witness the substantial virtuosity that the Stupas (stone cased molds that commemorated relics of the Buddha), the Chaityas (prayer halls), and the Viharas (cells for the monks) have got to offer.
Delhi to Gaya (990 km)
The first day of this pilgrimage starts at 1 PM. All the participants assemble at the Delhi Safdarjung railway station and aboard the journey to a beautiful week that awaits them. Departure for Gaya will be at 2:30 PM. There is a long way to go, where the participants get introduced to everyone in the group, chat, share, and move towards their first destination - Gaya, with curiosity and anticipation for their forthcoming journey. As the evening progresses, a delicious dinner is served on board at 8 PM.
Gaya to Bodhgaya (16 km)
The second day starts onboard, with early morning tea. The participants freshen up, change, and get ready for breakfast onboard before arriving at Gaya, where they then change to coach, to reach Bodhgaya. Upon arrival, they will then check into their hotel rooms and relax for a bit, post-lunch. After they are well relaxed and freshened up, they will then proceed to sightseeing at the attractions of Bodhgaya, which includes the Mahabodhi Temple, also called the Bodhgaya Buddha temple. This temple is considered very prestigious because of the presence of a stone with Lord Buddha’s footsteps. It also has a standing figure looking upon and blessing worshippers on Bodh Gaya Pilgrimage as they pray in the Bodhgaya Buddha temple. Another place to sightsee at Bodh Gaya is the Niranjana river, now famously known as the Falgu river. This is a must-see place in a Buddhist pilgrimage, as legend says that Lord Buddha often used to sit to meditate on the banks of this river. Few other places to see are the Thai Temple, the Japanese Temple, and the mighty Buddha Statue. After the participants are done with seeing all these mind pleasing sights, they finally call it a day after having a delicious dinner at the hotel.
The participants will start their third day with a filling breakfast at the hotel. After which they will check out from the hotel and proceed towards Rajgir by coach. On arrival, they will then start their day at Rajgir with sightseeing. The first location will be the Bimbisara Jail which is a ruin of King Bimbisara’s ancient kingdom, who was one of the people who converted to Buddhism upon hearing the teachings of Lord Buddha. This was named after the king, where he was put in jail by his son and finally passed away. The other places to see in Rajgir will be the Gridhakuta hills and the Venuvana monastery where sits a beautiful golden statue of Lord Buddha, blessing his followers. After seeing these historic places in the city, participants will have lunch at the hotel.
Post lunch, the participants will proceed to Nalanda for sightseeing the famous Nalanda Ruins, which are exceptionally history-rich and get a chance to see one of the largest monasteries ever made by humankind. Nalanda museum can not be forgotten to visit especially for the antiques it showcases like the inscriptions, coins, sculptures, and seals which were undiscovered until the excavation of the site in the 19th century. After this highly educational museum tour, the participants will proceed to the Gaya railway station to depart for Varanasi. Dinner will be served on board and that will mark the end of day-3
On the fourth day, after freshening up, and having tea and breakfast on board, the participants will disembark the train and proceed to visit Sarnath (about 10 km) to sightsee Dhamekh Stupa, one of the most prominent Buddhist structures in India, the Sarnath Museum, one of the oldest site museums of the Archaeological Survey of India and houses few of the finest illustrations and scriptures of the Buddhist art. They will then move to see the Ashokan Pillar and Mulgandha Kuti Vihar, an ancient pilgrimage site that attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. After this, the participants will check into the hotel and have lunch and freshen up. In the evening, they will all visit the Ganga Ghat for the sacred evening Aarti and rejoice in the feeling of peace on the river bank. Then the participants will leave for the railway station, board the train to proceed to Nautanwa for a visit to Lumbini, Nepal; have dinner on board, and end the day in peace.
Early morning tea and breakfast onboard will be the first task of day five, followed by arrival at the Nautanwa railway station and then proceeding to Lumbini, Nepal, by coach for which the tourists will have to keep their passports and visa ready beforehand (they will need to keep visa fees and a few passport size photographs also ready in case they don’t have their visa). Upon arrival, hotel check-in and lunch at the hotel will be the next steps and then everyone will proceed to visit the Maya Devi Temple and the Ashokan pillar in all their glory, and then have dinner at the hotel and retire to their rooms and end this quite eventful day.
On the sixth day, after having breakfast at the hotel, they will check out and proceed to go to Kushinagar by coach. Upon arrival, they will go to the hotel, have their lunch, and move to sightsee Mahaparinirvan Temple, Rambhar stupa, Mata kutir Temple, and other sites. After finishing the sightseeing, they will leave for Gorakhpur by coach. Arrival at Gorakhpur station and departure for Balrampur to visit Sravasti by Buddhist Train will be the next tasks on the list.
Before arrival at Balrampur Railway station, early morning tea will be served on board and then the participants will depart by coach to Sravasti. After arriving at the hotel and after everyone is freshened and ready to go, the sightseeing for the day will be done at Jetavana vihara, Pakki Kuti, which are the excavated remains of a stupa, and Sehat Mahet. After the seeing of these beautiful sights, lunch will be served at the hotel, and participants will now have free time at their hands and after a while will leave for the railway station to depart for Agra and have dinner on board.
The last day of the tour will start with breakfast, tea, and freshening up on board before arriving at the Agra station. They will then proceed to sightsee and witness the beauty of the world-famous Taj Mahal. After the sightseeing, they will go to the Agra Railway station to board the train to Delhi. And have lunch on board. This being the last time left on the tour, the participants will chat the time away about everything they experienced and liked about this whole journey. In the evening they will have tea on board and finally arrive at the Delhi Safdarjung railway station.