Buddhist India and Nepal
13 Days / 12 Nights
Delhi - Varanasi - Bodhgaya - Vaishali - Khushinagar - Sravasti - Lumbini - Kathmandu
Follow the trail of Buddhism. Start with a Delhi sightseeing then fly to Varanasi and take part in an Aarti ceremony, then continue to Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Vaishali, Kushingar, Sravasti, Lumbini - all famous stops in Lord Buddha's life, then end the tour in Kathmandu.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience India with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Delhi (-/-/-)
Meeting and assistance on arrival at Delhi airport.
Our representative will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Delhi is so modern, on the other hand so ancient, as you can only wish: The Delhi of today is cosmopolitan, modern & also shows the epic of heritage. With its art, festivals and theater performances, concerts for the musically interested and a cuisine that leaves nothing to be desired, Delhi is a place with bustling streets and some narrow lanes that has something to offer to everyone.
In the afternoon sightseeing in Delhi.
Visit the Lotus Temple, also called Bahai Temple (closed on all Mondays). This distinctive lotus shaped marvel in marble is surrounded by a landscaped garden and is a symbol of peace. Similar in style to the Sydney opera house is this white marble and concrete structure in the shape of a lotus flower. This is the Asian headquarters of the Bahai faith. Visit India Gate (war memorial dedicated to the lives of laid down by the Indian soldiers), drive by the president's residence - formerly the Viceroy's Palace, Parliament House and the Secretariat buildings - an interesting blend of the Victorian and 20th century architecture.
Day 2. Delhi - Varanasi (B/-/-)
After breakfast continue your sightseeing in Delhi. Visit Raj Ghat, set in the midst of deep green lawns, Raj Ghat is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. A memorial to the father of the nation, Raj Ghat is a simple square platform with a black memorial stone with "Hey Ram" inscribed on it. Also visit Jama Masjid (Mosque) –
the largest mosque in India.
Afternoon transfer to the airport, and catch your flight to Varanasi. On arrival at Varanasi transfer to your hotel.
In the evening enjoy a boat ride while exploring the Ghats and temples situated on the banks of the Ganga River & also Participate in an Aarti ceremony (collective prayer) on the river Ganges.
Day 3. Varanasi - Bodhgaya (B/-/-)
After breakfast, early morning boat ride on the Holy River Ganges, then return to your hotel for breakfast. Continue with an excursion to Sarnath (Sarnath is the place where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya).
Sarnath is home to perhaps the most interesting landmark on India's religious and historical landscape. This remarkable structure honoring Lord Buddha was built by Ashoka. Visit the Deer Park, where Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Towards the southern fringes of the Deer Park are the Mulgandha Vihar, the Dhamek Stupa and the Ashoka Pillar. The 34-metre-high Dhamek Stupa towers over the gardened heart of Sarnath and marks the spot where Buddha is said to have preached the famous first sermon. The majestic Ashoka Pillar to its east records the visit of Emperor Ashoka to Sarnath and was originally adorned by a capitol of four lions. Now, the four lions have been adopted as the National Emblem of India.
In the afternoon transfer to Bodhgaya (250 km / 5 hours drive). On arrival at Bodhgaya, check in to your hotel.
Day 4. Bodhgaya (B/-/-)
After breakfast proceed to full day of sightseeing of Bodhgaya, visiting Mahabodhi Temple (World heritage site), Sujata Village, Nirajana River, 80 feet statue of Lord Buddha and various monasteries. Mahabodhi Temple is the place where Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained Supreme Enlightenment at and became the Lord Buddha in the 6th century B.C. The Mahabodhi Mahavihara has now been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO on the 27th June 2002.
Bodhi Tree (Mahabodhi Temple) : The sacred Bodhi tree - the shades under which the Siddhartha Gautama meditated and attained enlightenment on the full Moon day of Vaisakh Purnima (May month). This peepal tree’s botanical name is Ficus Religiosa. It was under this tree that Buddha spent the first week in meditation after attaining enlightenment. The present tree is probably the fifth succession of the original tree.
Day 5. Bodhgaya (B/-/-)
Today continue your sightseeing of Bodhgaya and enjoy some free time in the afternoon. In the evening return to Mahabodhi Temple.
Day 6. Bodhgaya - Nalanda - Rajgir - Vaishali (B/-/-)
After breakfast, excursion to Nalanda & Rajir.
Nalanda (90 km – 2.5 hours). On arrival at Nalanda visit ruins of the famous Nalanda University and also visit The Museum. Then continue to Rajgir. Gridhkuta (Vulture Peak), Venuvana Vihar and Bimbisara Prison.
Then later in the afternoon transfer to Vaishali (175 kms – 03 hrs). Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.
Day 7. Vaishali - Kushinagar (B/-/-)
After breakfast sightseeing in Vaishali. Vaishali is well known for its close association with the Buddha. After leaving Kapilavastu for renunciation, he came to Vaishali first and had his spiritual training from Ramaputra Udraka and Alara Kalama. After the enlightenment the Buddha frequently visited Vaishali. He organized his Bhikshu Sangha on the pattern of Vaishalian democracy. It was here that he established the Bhikshuni Sangha, initiating his maternal aunt Maha Prajavati Gautami into the order. In the afternoon transfer to Kushinagar (181 kms / 3 hrs).
Upon arrival at Kushinagar transfer to hotel.
Day 8. Kushinagar - Sravasti (B/-/-)
After breakfast visit Mahaparinirvana Temple and Rambhar Stupa (Cremation centre).
In Kushinagar, after teaching Dhamma for 45 years, Lord Buddha entered into Mahaparinirvana (passed away) under a sala tree at the age of 80 years on a full moon day. It is here Lord Buddha announced the four holy places to be visited by every Buddhist pilgrim that is Lumbini- Birth place, Bodhgaya- Enlightenment place, Sarnath- First Sermon place & Kushinagar - Mahaparinirvana place.
It is here in Kushinagar after his entering into Mahaparinirvana his body was cremated and the ashes were divided into eight parts and distributed among eight claimants who enshrined the remains in their kingdoms and built Stupas.
Continue to Kesaria, famous for the tallest sputa in the world. It has five terraces & each terrace is adorned with a life size statue of Buddha.
Later, transfer to Sravasti (240 kms – 5 hrs). Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.
Day 9. Sravasti - Lumbini (B/-/-)
After breakfast, sightseeing in Sravasti - visit Saheth and Maheth.
Saheth is one of the most visited cluster of shrines in the Buddhist tourism circuit. Saheth covers an area of around 35 square kilometres and is located in the very heart of Sravasti. The site falls on your right when you move nearly a kilometer southwest from Maheth. The place rose to prominence when excavation works revealed that Saheth was the original site of once magnanimous Jetavana monastery.
Maheth is another important cluster of shrines in Sravasti. Though not as famous as Saheth, Maheth also has a cluster of shrines that are very popular among tourists visiting Sravasti. In fact, Maheth was the actual site of the erstwhile Sravasti city. Spread across an area of nearly 400 acres, Maheth was the site of numerous shrines and Stupas.
Later in the afternoon transfer to Lumbini (188kms – 4 hrs). Upon arrival transfer to hotel.
Day 10. Lumbini - Kathamandu (B/-/-)
After breakfast sightseeing in Lumbini. It is the place where, according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 563 BCE. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi Temple and several others which are still under repairing. Many monuments, monasteries and a museum, the Lumbini International Research Institute, are also within the holy site. Also there is the Puskarini, or Holy Pond, where the Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he had his first bath.
In the afternoon transfer to Gautama Buddha Airport (66kms / 2hrs) and fly to Kathmandu. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.
Day 11. Kathmandu (B/-/-)
After breakfast in the hotel visit Patan and Bakhtapur.
Bhaktapur is an ancient Newar town in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is located in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone. It is the third largest city in Kathmandu valley and was once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century. Bhaktapur is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artwork.
Patan, once a fiercely independent city-state is now almost a suburb of Kathmandu, separated only by the murky Bagmati River. Many locals still call the city by its original Sanskrit name of Lalitpur (City of Beauty) or by its Newari name, Yala. Almost everyone who comes to Kathmandu also visits Patan’s spectacular Durbar Sq – even after the 2015 earthquake, this remains the finest collection of temples and palaces in the whole of Nepal.
Day 12. Kathmandu (B/-/-)
After breakfast full day sightseeing in Kathmandu. Visit Swayambhunath – a 2500-year old site where, it is believed, the Radiant Lotus of the valley-mythology, settled when the water was drained by Manjushri, the god of Wisdom. The 5 dhyai Buddhas attended by their consorts are enshrined at the base of the stupa.
Pashupatinath temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The temple served as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath. The temple is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square held the palaces of the Malla and Shah kings who ruled over the city. Along with these palaces, the square surrounds quadrangles, revealing courtyards and temples. It is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace.
Day 13. Departure (B/-/-)
Transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule for your flight back to the UK.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS FROM £1,650 per person
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Domestic flights and train tickets according to the itinerary.
Medium range hotel accommodation on a twin-shared basis including breakfast.
Quality private air-con vehicles & experienced drivers for all transfers and sightseeing.
Experienced English-speaking local guides throughout the tour.
Entrance fees for all listed attractions.
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK
Anything not specifically mentioned above
Visa fees for India and Nepal
Tips to the guide and driver
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
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