DURATION: 12 NIGHTS / 13 DAYS
Buddhism is a World religion, which arose in and around India. The man who was became the Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama in 5th century BC as a Prince of a small territory near what is now the Indian-Nepalese border. When he was twenty-nine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After six years, on the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star he gained the supreme Enlightenment experience and from that time Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one. The main three teaching of the Buddha’s were, (1) to do no evil, (2) to cultivate good & (3) to purify one’s mind.
Come & joins us on this spiritual awakening journey through the Buddhist Heartland, to feel the flavour of the Buddhism with its splendid beauty and great appeal.
DETAILED TOUR PROGRAMME
DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHIArrive New Delhi airport and meet Royal Classic Tours representative with garland welcome & transfer to your hotel & relax. Later enjoy , half day sight of New Delhi with Qutab Minar (this Minar is UNESCO World heritage & has five distinct storeys with the height of 72.5 m & also the World’s tallest free standing minaret & each marked by a projecting balcony); also enjoy the excursion of Lutyens buildings Parliament house, President house & India Gate. Overnight in Hotel at Delhi. (Room will be available from 12:00 hrs)
DAY 2: DELHI - VARANASI BY FLIGHT
Morning transfer to airport to board flight for the holy city of Varanasi. It is one of the oldest extant cities in the world; its name derived from its position on the banks of the Ganges, at the confluence of two legendary rivers, Varuna and Assi. On arrival, pick-up & transfer to Hotel. Evening enjoy the Aarti Ceremony at the Ghats. Overnight in Hotel at Varanasi.
DAY 3: VARANASI
Enjoy an early morning boat ride along the river Ganges and see the famous bathing 'ghats' & other panoramic views in Sunrise & also visit the Temples like Vishwanath Temple, the Bharat Mata Temple, the Tulsi Manas Temple & Ashrams on the ghats. We return to hotel & in the afternoon after Lunch take a guided tour to Sarnath, 10km from Varanasi. It is said that Buddha preached his first sermon here, setting in motion the Wheel of Law. Pilgrims from around the world come to Sarnath, and there are monasteries here constructed by Buddhists from several countries including China, Burma, Tibet and Japan. Evening free for own activities. Overnight in Hotel at Varanasi.
DAY 4: VARANASI – SASARAM - BODHGAYA (250 Km / 7-8 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast, drive to Bodhgaya, enroute visit an ancient city Sasaram to see impressive 122 ft high Mausoleum of Afghan King Sher Shah, built of red sandstone. Sasaram is on the Grand Trunk Road, the famous Indian highway that was built by Sher Shah in mid 16 century. Later drive Continue to Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya - stands on the banks of the Niranjana River now called Lilanjan. It's a very serene & peaceful place & also is one of the sacred Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was under the Bodhi tree here that Gautama, the prince attained supreme enlightenment some 2500 years back to become "The Buddha". Arrive Bodhgaya and check into the hotel. Overnight in Hotel at Bodhgaya.
DAY 5: BODHGAYA
Morning after breakfast start your sightseeing tour of Bodhgaya including Mahabodhi Temple – declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, depicting the various phases of Buddha’s journey towards enlightenment, showing different aspects of his life. The great temple is built of brick and is among the oldest brick structures to have survived in eastern India. Later visit Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum – houses a small collection of Buddhist sculpture from the 1st century B.C to the 11th century A.D & Jagannath Temple close by has a four armed statue of Shiva in black stone. Later back to hotel for overnight.
DAY 6: BODHGAYA - RAJGIR (70 Km / about 2 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast drive to Rajgir. Rajgir, "House of the King", is an important religious place for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Rajgir located in a very scenic valley & it is a most popular winter health resort with number of hot water springs. On arrival check into the hotel & relax. Later enjoy the sightseeing to Rajgir, visit Griddhakuta Hill – A Place where the lord Buddha delivered many important sermons & it’s also called as Vulture’s Peak. The Buddha Sangha of Japan have constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), at the top of the hill in commemoration. Later visit Bimbisara Jail -Where king Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajatshatru, Saptaparni Cave -On the northern cave of the Vaibhara hill, is a series of six caves contained in natural bend of rock, Ajatshatru stupa, Sone Bhandar and Maniar Mat. Overnight in Hotel at Rajgir.
DAY 7: RAJGIR – NALANDA - PATNA (105 Km / about 3 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast drive to Patna enroute visit Nalanda, ruins of one of the world's great universities founded in the 5 th century B C. and an important Buddhist centre until it was sacked by the Afghans in the 12th century.
Drive continue to Patna. On arrival, check into the hotel & relax. Evening free. Overnight in Hotel at Patna.
DAY 8: PATNA
Morning after breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing of Patna visiting Har Mandir Sahib, also known as Patna Sahib, consecrates the place where the 10th Guru of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1776; Golghar – is a large dome-like structure from where one can have a fine view of the Ganga and the surroundings of the city. Built in July 1786 by captain John Garstin of the Bengal Engineers, Who planned this grain store for the army in case of a repeat of the 1770 famine. Golghar is a 96 feet high structure of Unique beehive shaped architecture. It has a base 125 m wide where the wall is 3.6 m thick. Patna Museum – has a rich collection of Mauryan and Buddhist sculptures, terracotta and other interesting items of the items. Overnight in Hotel at Patna.
DAY 9: PATNA – VAISHALI - KUSHINAGAR (230 Km /6-7 hrs drive)
Morning drive to Kushinagar. Kushinagar, one of the principal centres of the Budhist piligrime, is the place where Lord Buddha left his corporeal self and attained Maharparinivana. Enroute visit Vaishali. Arrive Kushinagar and check – in at hotel. Later visit the Rambhar Stupa, a large Stupa rises to a height of 15 meters. It marks the site where the Lord Buddha was cremated. Also visit the Mahaparinirvana temple, which houses a 6.10 meter long statue of the reclining Buddha. Later visit the Watthai Temple, Chinese Temple & Japanese Temple. Overnight in Hotel at Kushinagar.
DAY 10: KUSHINAGAR - LUMBINI (250 Km / 7-8 hrs drive)
Morning drive to Lumbini. Lumbini is the place where Buddha was born 2500 years ago & is the Mecca of every Buddhist. Arrive Lumbini and check – into the hotel & relax. Evening visit & attend the Buddhist pray at Maya Devi Temple, which enshrines the traditional site of the Buddha's birth. The current temple stands on the site of earlier temples and stupas, including the stupa built by Ashoka. A huge pipal tree is gradually tearing the temple apart-Some believe this is the tree that Maya Devi held while giving birth to Siddhartha. You can visit Ashoka pillar also just near to Maya devi temple. The pillar at Lumbini commemorates Ashoka's pilgrimage to the birthplace of Buddha. It is six meters high, although half of it is underground. Overnight in Hotel at Lumbini.
DAY 11: LUMBINI – BERDPUR - SRAVASTI (252 Kms/ 8 hrs drive
Morning after breakfast drive to Sravasti. Sravasti is situated on the banks of the river Rapti. Sravasti also claims the glory of Lord Buddha being was born, brought up, attained enlightment & performed the greatest of his miracles, enroute visit Berdpur , ruins of convent and stupa. Drive continue to Sravasti (Balrampur). On arrval check into the hotel & relax. Overnight in Hotel at Sravasti.
DAY 12: SRAVASTI - DELHI BY OVERNIGHT TRAIN
Morning after breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing Sravasti including Maheth- covers an area of about 400 acres, and has been identified with the remains of the city & have exposed the massive gates of the city, ramparts and also the ruins of other structures which testify to the prosperity of ancient Sravasti. Later visit Saheth - covers an area of 32 acres, and lies about a quarter of a mile to the south - west of Maheth. This was the site of the Jetavana monastery. It became an important place of pilgrimage, adorned with numerous shrines, stupas and monasteries. In the last visit the Sobhanath Temple - believed to be the birthplace of Jain Tirthankar Sambhavnath. It is revered by Jain pilgrims. Later drive to Balarampur railway station 19 Km from Sravasti to connect overnight train to Delhi