Footsteps of Buddha Tour

  11 Days / 10 Nights

   Delhi - Agra - Lucknow - Sravasti - Lumbini (Nepal) - Kushinagar - Vaishali - Patna - Rajgir - Nalanda - Bodhgaya - Varanasi

11 Days North India Buddhist Tour is highly cherished and most opted Buddhist tour in India. It encompasses the holiest pilgrimages of the Buddhist- Lumbini (birthplace of Buddha), Bodhgaya (the place where Buddha attained enlightenment), Sarnath (the place where Buddha delivered first sermon, began ‘dharmachakrapravartana’and established ‘sangh’) and Kushinagar (where Buddha attained ‘mahaparinirvana’). In the course of visiting these four holiest sites, the itinerary takes you to some other prominent destinations related with Buddha, like Shravasti, Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda etc. In addition to prominent Buddhist places, you happen to visit Taj Mahal in Agra and India’s cultural capital Varanasi.

Day 1

Arrival in Delhi

North India Buddhist Tour commences as you land in Delhi, the capital city of India. After landing in New Delhi, you will be met by our representative in the arrival hall at the airport of Delhi and transferred to pre-booked Delhi hotel. During the course of reaching hotel, on the way, you will get the first impression of the bustling capital. Delhi, situated on the banks of River Yamuna, was formerly called Indraprastha and offers innumerable evidences of its highly developed existence since the time of Mahabharata. Later, Delhi was ruled by various dynasties of Hindu rulers. Islamic rulers captured and annihilated traditional Delhi in 12th century and rebuilt several buildings, inspired by Islamic architecture. After Mughals, the Delhi again was conquered by the Hindu rulers, especially Marathas. But this reign didn’t last long and the British annexed it and established it as capital of modern India. Delhi has several holy temples of Hindus & Jains, gurudwaras of Sikhs, mosques & tombs of the Muslim, churches of the Christian, forts, places, museums, parks and cultural centres. Overnight stay has been planned in Delhi.

Day 2

Delhi – Agra arrival- Agra sightseeing

Today you will travel to Agra. Having relished scrumptious breakfast in New Delhi hotel, depart for Agra, a historical city that is world over famous for three UNESCO World Heritage, including gracious monument of love-the Taj Mahal. On arrival at Agra, directly check in at the pre-booked Agra hotel. After a brief respite, explore the city. You start your tour with a visit to the majestic fort on the banks of river Yamuna. Get to know the imposing buildings, immerse yourself in the world of the Mughal kingdom and marvel at his chambers and Peacock Throne. Before retiring, visit the highlight of every India tour of the North- the world famous Taj Mahal at sunset. Featuring an unrivaled perfection and beauty, Taj Mahal is the most expensive monument. It shines today in white marble - especially in the early morning hours before onslaught of tourists. Mughal king Shah Jahan built this mausoleum in 1631 in fond memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. 20,000 workers have it built in 22 years: a dream of white marble, which rises in perfect proportions amidst an elegant garden with a fountain. Use the evening then to visit the colorful markets. Late evening, post dinner, you will be transferred to Agra railway station to board train for Lucknow. Overnight journey will be by Train.

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Day 3

Lucknow arrival – Sravasti (by car-160 kms/ 4 hrs)- Sravasti visit

Early in the morning, you will be received by our representative at Lucknow railway station. From Lucknow railway station, you will be directly driven to Sravasti (near Balrampur). The ride in a private air-conditioned vehicle is a comfortable experience. Sravasti has been one of the most visited places by Buddha. At Sravasti, Lord Buddha spent 24 “Baisakh” (Chaturmases) of his life. Here, Buddha delivered most of his sermons and accomplished the status of a legend by many miracles. Shravasti was one of the six largest cities of Buddhist era.

Founded by Vedic era king Shravasta, present day Sravasti is home to ancient stupas, majestic viharas and several temples at and nearby village of Sahet-Mehet. Sravasti, as Nagarjuna mentions, was a great centre of trade and learning and was inhabited by more than 900000 people during Buddha’s time. All these monuments, related to Buddha and ancient Hindu culture were built within a fortification that is is available to be seen in the form brick and mud built ramparts.

In the historic town, visit the Jetavana Monastery, Sahet Mahet, the remains of the ancient city of Sravasti of the Buddhist period, and the Stupa of Angulimala. The rest of the day is free. Overnight stay in Sravasti hotel.

Day 4

Sravasti – Lumbini (by car-250 kms/ 05 hrs)- visit Lumbini

Have breakfast in Sravasti hotel and depart for Lumbini, the birth place of Siddharth (later known as Buddha). Lumbini is in Nepal. Being birth place of Buddha, Lumbini holds special salience in Buddhism and is one of the four pilgrimages of the Buddhist across the globe. Lumbini had been granted UNESCO World Heritage Sites status in 1997. On arrival at Lumbini, you will be transferred directly in pre-reserved hotel. Refresh, relax and move for visiting holy and historical places, having association with Lord Buddha. Asokan Pillar in Lumbini is one of the historical monuments. Asokan Pillar holds attraction for the Buddhists as Ashoka proselytized into Buddhism. Mayadevi Temple is another holy place for the Buddhist pilgrims. The temple has been dedicated to and named after Mayadevi, mother of Siddhratha (Lord Gautam Buddha). A holy dip into sacred pond named Puskarni is a must-do religious activity to be performed. It was the pond where Buddha's mother Mayadevi took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he, too, had his first bath. Also visit several monasteries and birth place of Gautam Buddha. Overnight stay has been planned in Lumbini.

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Day 5

Lumbini – Kushinagar (by car-175 kms/ 04 hrs)- visit Kushinagar

After enjoying delicious breakfast in Lumbini hotel, depart for Kushinagar, the next stop of your trip is back in India. It takes about four hours to reach Kushinagar. You will be directly transferred to pre-reserved hotel to relax and refresh.

Kushinagar is situated in Northeaster Uttar Pradesh and is considered to be the place where Lord Buddha attained ‘Parinirvana’ after his death. The place has many ancient monuments associated with Lord Buddha. It is said that the town derives its name from the name of Kusha, the son of Lord Ram of the ancient kingdom of Ayodhya. According to historical records, Mallas held the reigns of the kingdom during the time of Lord Buddha and it was their capital city. A number of ancient stupas dating back to the time of ancient kingdoms, including many associated with Lord Buddha, dot this town and the surrounding landscape. Today, many temples built by the ardent devotees of different nationalities – Indian, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Thai, Burmese, South Korean, Tibetan and Japanese – also are part of Kushinagar. Some of the most important and major places for a visitor to see in Kushinagar are Nirvana stupa – which contains a copper vessel said to contain Lord Buddha’s remains, Mahaparinirvana temple – which houses a very long statue of Lord Buddha in the reclining position which was unearthed during the excavations of 1876, Mathakuar shrine, Ramabhar stupa – the site of Lord Buddha’s cremation, etc. Kushinagar is thus among the most sacred and important places associated with Lord Buddha and his life and constitutes a prominent part of the itinerary of any visitor on the Buddhist circuit. It is also a must visit destination for any visitor exploring religion, history, culture, civilization, heritage, etc.

On a tour you will see the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which sits at the place where Buddha died and got cremated. Nearby is a 1,500-year-old image of Buddha. The Mahaparinirvana stupa is surrounded by the ruins of ancient monasteries. Go here on a small archaeological discovery tour and enjoy the very special atmosphere at this location. Overnight stay has been planned in Kushinagar.

Day 6

Kushinagar – Vaishali (240 kms/ 5 hrs) – Patna (60 kms/ 2 hrs)

Having delicious and timely breakfast in Kushinagar hotel, depart for Patna, visiting Vaishali on the way. Vaishali, founded by king Vishal, finds mention even in Mahabharata and was one of the prominent metropolis of Buddhist era. Vaishali has been the first republican state of the world, several centuries before Sparta. Visit the Ananda Stupa and Asokan Pillar at Kolhua and Vaishali where Lord Buddha after his enlightenment spent the first five years. He also gave his last sermon here. After exploring Vaishali, move for Patna, erstwhile Pataliputra. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Patna hotel.

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Day 7

Patna – Rajgir (85 kms/ 02 hrs) – Nalanda (15 kms) – Bodhgaya (95 kms/ 02 hrs)

On your way to Bodhgaya visit two other important places related to the life of Buddha. The first destination on the way to Bodhgaya is Rajgir.

Modern-day Rajgir is a small place and town which lies in Nalanda district in Bihar state, but it is a historical and ancient place and its history dates back to the ancient times. It is believed that references to the place have been made in the epic, the Mahabharata. Historical accounts show that it served as the capital city of the Magadha kings – hence the name, ‘Rajgriha’ or the ‘residence of the royals’ – before one among their lineage, Ajatashatru, moved the kingdom’s capital to Patliputra (or modern-day Patna). Historical records show that the place was also closely associated with major events in Lord Buddha’s life and the path that he founded. It is recorded that he stayed in Rajgir and delivered sermons at that place and also converted emperor Bimbisar who became one of his ardent followers. It is also the place where the first Buddhist council was formed. Rajgir also has many Hindu and Jain temples and draws devotees of these two faiths. The place Rajgir besides being imbued with so much history and tradition is also a very scenic place with thick vegetation, hills and a valley. It also has warm water ponds whose water is said to have therapeutic and medicinal benefits. The list of places to visit when at Rajgir is very long. The list includes Jarashand ka Akhara, Jivakameavan Gardens, Ajatshatru Fort, Cyclopean Wall, Shanti Stupa, Venu Vana, Bimbisar Jail, Jain Temples and Swarn Bhandar.

After visiting famous Buddhist places and monuments of Rajgir, drive to Nalanda. Lying only 15 kms from Rajgir, Nalanda is an historical site, probably the oldest and largest Buddhist teaching center of the ancient world.

Nalanda, is a site in Bihar about 88 kilometers from Patna, which was an ancient and one of the earliest centers of higher learning and was patronized by royal dynasties, until it declined because of factors including its ransacking and destruction by a Turkish invader Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193. This center of learning was founded in the 5th century AD and during its prime attracted students, scholars and visitors from as far away as China, Persia and Greece. It was a residential center of learning and had facilities for housing student-scholars, as also halls where learning was imparted and also had a very large library. It is believed that the university was set up and established in 5th century AD, but it is not certain who exactly founded it, even though it is known that it was set up under royal patronage. It is believed that the courses and learning taught at this university were all inclusive and the whole knowledge available at the time was sought to be imparted to the student-scholars of the university. Travelers and scholars from around the world visited the university and their chronicles are good sources of information regarding this famed ancient seat of learning. Present-day Nalanda is being maintained by government departments and a visitor to the site can see and explore the archeological complex and museum.

Visiting Nalanda, proceed to Bodhgaya ("place of enlightenment") - the international Buddhist pilgrimage center. On arrival at Bodhgaya, you will be transferred to pre-reserved hotel for overnight stay.

Day 8

Explore Bodhgaya

The whole day is meant to explore Bodhgaya and visit various temples and monasteries, in addition to Mahabodhi Temple.

Bodhgaya which is in proximity to modern-day Gaya town in Gaya district of present-day Southern Bihar is considered to be among the holiest and among the most revered sites and places for Buddhists, as it is said that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree located here. That very site at which he is said to have attained enlightenment and the areas nearby are what constitute modern-day Bodhgaya today. According to Buddhist tradition, Lord Buddha who was a wandering monk with a quest for discovering the ultimate truth reached Bodhgaya after having traversed diverse lands, undertaking many spiritual practices in the wilderness and sat in meditation under the Bodhi tree and attained the blessed and blissful state of enlightenment. He continued to meditate at a few other spots in the vicinity where he first attained enlightenment and received the confirmation of having indeed attained enlightenment and the final answers to all his questions and the ultimate truth. After this, it is said Lord Buddha then travelled to Sarnath where he began to preach and teach the principles that he had realized. At the very site where the Bodhi tree existed, emperor Ashoka – 250 years later to the date considered to be the day of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment – and then other famous kings of different dynasties after him, built ornate temples to mark and commemorate the event. Modern-day Bodhgaya now has a number of temples built by Buddhist followers from Bhutan, China, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam.

You will also see the village Sujata and the monasteries from different countries that emerged around the city. Take the rest of the day for your own explorations. Overnight stay has been scheduled at Bodhgaya.

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Day 9

Bodhgaya – Varanasi (265 kms/ 05 hrs)- Sarnath visit

Check out a bit early in the morning from Bodhgaya hotel, after having enjoyed delicious breakfast. Your chauffeur will bring you to Varanasi. The city on the Ganges has a long religious tradition and is considered a sacred place of Hinduism. For over 3000 years, the faithful make pilgrimages here. To bathe in the Ganges is to cleanse from sins. Dying in Varanasi and to be burnt here imparts salvation (‘moksha’), meaning escape from the constant cycle of rebirth as per the Hindu mythology. On arrival at Varanasi, check in at the pre-booked hotel. Having relaxed for a while, move for one of the four pilgrimages of the Buddhist- Sarnath. Sarnath located in southern Uttar Pradesh, in close proximity to Varanasi (or, Benares) is a historical place and site and closely associated with Buddhism and also with Jainism. According to Buddhist tradition, the two major events of Buddhism, the ‘first sermon’ i.e. ‘the preaching of Dharma’ of Lord Buddha and the establishment of Buddhist Sangha were at Sarnath. And, according to the Jain tradition, Singhpur, a village one kilometer away from Sarnath, is the birth place of Shreyansanath, the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism. As Sarnath is believed to be the site of Buddha’s first sermon after he had attained enlightenment, it is among the most sacred places for Buddhists and is considered to be one of the four places – the other three being Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Kusinara (or Kushinagar), of any devout Buddhist’s pilgrimage circuit. The many monuments that stand witness and are testimony to the age and times of that period include Dhamek Stupa, Dharmarajika Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, Mulagandhakuti Vihara, Ashoka Pillar, etc. The Sarnath museum houses many other sculptures, artworks, etc. of these periods and is a treasure trove for the pilgrim and the interested alike. Present-day Sarnath also has many modern temples built by devout Buddhists and Buddha worshippers of diverse nationalities. Sarnath epitomizes and showcases the spirit and times of an important ancient period in Indian history as also of human civilization itself.

After exploring and visiting Sarnath, return to Varanasi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 10

Varanasi exploration – Delhi (by air)

Today you will be exploring various aspects of the cultural capital of India- Varanasi. Varanasi (or, Benares) which lies on the banks of the river Ganga (or, river Ganges) in the south-eastern part of Uttar Pradesh is considered to be among the holiest and the most ancient places of Hinduism. It is also said to be among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India. The great old religions traditions of India – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism – ascribe the town and the city with great religious significance and thus it occupies a prominent position in each of these religious traditions. But the most prominent position for the holy river is among the Hindus for whom just a bath in the holy Ganga washes, purifies and purges them of all the sins committed in the past, just as does the worship of the presiding deity, Lord Shiva, in the holy Vishwanath temple there. References to the city of Benares, or Kashi (as the town was and is most popularly referred to), abound in almost all of the scriptures of Hinduism and the city is considered to be among the holiest and among the most sanctified by divinity and divine powers. Recorded history does show that at different times, the city and the region surrounding it were under the rule of different kings and ruling clans, but for longer periods were under the suzerainty of a few single dynasties. Varanasi today offers not just something, but a lot to every kind of visitor and tourist. From the student-scholar, the serious, the arty and artistic, the simply curious, to the one out to shop for the most traditional of items, and to, of course, the religious and pious pilgrim, Varanasi offers and opens up. The devout have the traditional ghats of the river in which they can undertake their purificatory rituals and bath before the traditional worship at the temple. The shopper can select and choose from an assortment of wares – silk items, handicrafts, brassware, etc. As also can the inquisitive and the serious-minded from the numerous scholarly centers and scholars who abound in this traditional and modern learning center. Indeed, Varanasi is a place with a difference and more so a distinguished place.

Welcome the morning in Varanasi with a boat ride on the Ganges. Thousands of believers come every morning to the bank s the Ganges to bathe and pray. Before the silhouettes of the temples and palaces in the morning, the faithful light candles those float on banana leaves over the river. Let the magical atmosphere engulf you. Then return for a leisurely breakfast in your hotel. After relaxing a bit, proceed for a guided tour of Varanasi visiting the Bharat-Mata Temple, Durga Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple ( where a large monkey population lives), Tulsi Manas Temple, the university campus with its Art Gallery and the Vishwanath Temple galis (narrow alleys). The day ends with a flight to Delhi. On arrival at New Delhi, you will be transferred to hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 11

Transfer to the airport

On the last day of North India Buddhist Tour, you will be transferred to Indira Gandhi International Airport to board flight for your onward destination.

  1. Accommodation in the hotel on double occupancy basis at all places.

  2. Daily breakfast basis at all places.

  3. Meet & assist at the airport on arrival & departure.

  4. Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur.

  5. Manual rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk market of New Delhi.

  6. English speaking and destination specific guide for all sightseeing tours.

  7. English speaking driver for the full tour.

  8. Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary.

  9. All prevailing taxes like luxury tax, service tax, interstate road tax, toll tax, parking etc.

  10. All transfers, city tours, excursions & drives by air-conditioned transport.

  11. Fuel charges, driver’s daily allowances, driver’s meals and stay.

Destinations 3* 4* 5* Luxury
Delhi Regent Intercontinental Holiday Inn Radisson Blu Leela Palace
Agra Seven Hills Tower Mansingh Palace Trident Oberoi Amar Vilas
Jaipur Hotel Paradise Mansingh Palace Trident Oberoi Jai Vilas
  • Above rates are based on current exchange rate, fuel price, entrance fee, hotel rates and tax structure as applicable on the date of mailing the package proposal, however any change in these components beyond our control shall affect the cost accordingly.

  • Our Above all cost is based on good combination of Heritage & star hotels. All the hotels are neat and clean, tastefully decorated air-conditioned rooms and of international standards with all modern facilities. We have been using these hotels regularly for our various overseas clients with excellent report in respective categories.

    In case you are particular to stay with any preferred hotels, please do let us know and we will revise our cost accordingly.

  • If a particular hotel is stated in this travel proposal is not available, we will book you at an alternative hotel in the same category as the one stated with your consent and agreement.

  • We shall not be responsible for any delays & alterations in the programme or expenses incurred – directly or indirectly – due to natural hazards, flight cancellations, accident, breakdown of machinery or equipments, breakdown of transport, weather, sickness, landslides, political closures or any untoward incidents.

  • We do not have any insurance policy covering the expenses for accident, sickness, loss due to theft, or any other reasons. Visitors are advised to seek such insurance arrangements in their home country.

  • Please contact your health department or the nearest Indian consulate for more information on recommended vaccinations and medical precautions.

  • You will need a tourist visa to visit India . Please contact the nearest Indian consulate in your country of residence for more information.

  • In India, hotel check in time is 14:00 hrs & hotel check out time is 10:00 hrs, until specified otherwise.

  • Our cost doesn’t have any hidden taxes/charges.

Payment Terms:

We would require 50% advance payment to secure your bookings and process the file. We accept bank transfers and payment by credit cards through PAYPAL international payment gateway only. Balance amount needs to be paid on arrival in India by cash, Traveller’s Cheques or credit cards. All credit card payments are subject to 4.88% bank fees.

Cancellation Terms:

50% cancellation if cancelled within 45 days.

75% cancellation if cancelled within 30 days.

100% cancellation if cancelled 15 day or less.

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