Delhi- Jaipur – Agra – Varanasi – Bodhgaya – Patna – Kushinagar – Balrampur – Lumbini – Kathmandu
Straddling two nations – India and Nepal, this 11 Nights/ 12 Days Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour is ideally suited for anyone, who wishes to take a pilgrimage to all four of the main pilgrimage spots of Buddhism. With this pilgrimage tour package from IncomingIndia, one can pay their respects to Gautama Buddha at Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Lumbini – the four places, which are highly significant in Gautama Buddha’s spiritual journey to Mahaparinirvana.
En-route, enjoy a Golden Triangle Tour of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, visiting some of the most iconic attractions of India, including the Taj Mahal. Visit Sarnath, the site where Buddha delivered his first sermon post enlightenment. Revel in the spiritual ambience of Varanasi with a visit to its ghats and famous temples, and then set out on the pilgrimage tour to Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Lumbini in Nepal. En-route, we visit Sri Patna Sahib in Patna. The tour ends with a departure from Kathmandu.
Buddhist Tours Itinerary
- DAY 01: DELHI
This Buddhist pilgrimage tour begins with your arrival in Delhi. A representative from IncomingIndia will receive you at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and escort you to your pre-booked hotel in Delhi.Check in to your rooms, and relax and refresh yourself in the hotel. The afternoon is devoted to a Half-day City Tour of Delhi, which includes a tour of important places to visit in Delhi, such as the majestic Red Fort, the historical Chandni Chowk, Raj Ghat, Qutub Minar, India Gate and a drive past landmarks such as the Rasthrapathi Bhawan. We will also visit important temples such as the Laxmi Narayan Temple and the lotus-shaped Bahai Temple.
The sightseeing tour of Delhi ends with a drop back at the hotel.Overnight in Delhi
- DAY 02: DELHI TO JAIPUR
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and embark on the drive to Jaipur, the next destination on the leisure leg of this Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour. On arrival at Jaipur, proceed to your pre-booked hotel for check-in. Rest and refresh yourself after the long journey.Overnight in Jaipur
- DAY 03: IN JAIPUR
After an early breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Amber Fort, a magnificent fortress located on the outskirts of Jaipur. After a guided tour of Amer Fort, return to Jaipur for lunch and then set out to explore the Pink City further. The afternoon half of the guided city tour of Jaipur takes you to important attractions such as the City Palace (where the Maharaja of Jaipur is still in residence), Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal.
Once the tour ends, you can opt to go either shopping in Jaipur or return to your hotel. Shopping in Jaipur is an exhilarating experience, especially for lovers of textiles, ornaments and accessories. One can browse for hours through the colourful textile shops of Bapu Bazaar, marvel at the amazing wealth of ornaments and accessories at the Gem Palace or any other jewellery shop, and even choose loose gemstones and get them made into a design of one's choice.Overnight in Jaipur
- DAY 04: JAIPUR TO AGRA
After breakfast, check out from your hotel in Jaipur and proceed to Agra by road. En-route, we will stop at Fatehpur Sikri, a ghost town built by Emperor Akbar as his capital in honour of the Sufi Saint Salim Chishti. A magnificent complex of palaces, courts, mosques, temples, imperial residences and other buildings, Fatehpur Sikri is now one of the best-preserved collections of Indian Mughal architecture in India.
After a sightseeing tour of Fatehpur Sikri, continue on the journey to Agra, where we will check in to our pre-booked hotel. After refreshing ourselves, we set out once again to enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Agra. Places we visit in Agra include the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and a magnificent marvel of white marble. The Agra sightseeing tour ends with a drop at the hotel.Overnight in Agra
- DAY 05: AGRA TO VARANASI
Today, we start on the actual pilgrimage of Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Depending upon the time of our flight to Varanasi, we check out of the hotel and proceed to the Agra Airport to board the flight. On alighting at Varanasi, we are received by another representative of Jetways Travels / Incoming India. The representative will escort us to our pre-booked hotel and assist in check-in. En-route we stop at Sarnath, our first pilgrimage spot on this Buddhist pilgrimage tour.
Sarnath :Located about 12 kilometres from Varanasi, Sarnath is the first site where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon on enlightenment. Sarnath has many legends linked to it. According to one, the name Sarnath derives from the term Saranganath, which translates to "Lord of the Deer" and refers to the Buddhist story in which the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to a king instead of the doe he is planning to kill. The King is moved by the action and ends up creating a deer park, which is now Sarnath. The deer park is still in existence in the site.Overnight in Varanasi
- DAY 06: IN VARANASI
Our day in Varanasi, the oldest surviving city in the world and the cultural and spiritual capital of India, begins with a scenic boat ride on the Holy River Ganges. There are about a hundred ghats in the city, and the city has transformed under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiative by the Indian Government. As the boat ride bypasses each ghat, we can see the city in action, with priests conducting poojas as well as the locals descending down the ghat steps into the river for a holy dip.
It is widely believed by Hindus that a dip in the holy waters of River Ganges washes away the sins of the bather.
After the scenic boat ride, we will visit some the famous temples of Varanasi, especially the Tulsi Manas Temple and the New Vishwanath Temple, which is also known as the Birla Mandir. We will also visit the Bharat Mata Temple, the only temple in India dedicated to Mother India and featuring a relief map of India and a statue of Mother India made of marble, in place of other deities.
Later, return to hotel or continue to explore the amazing maze of lanes and by lanes that make up the city of Varanasi.Overnight in Varanasi
- DAY 07: VARANASI TO BODHGAYA
After an early breakfast, check out of your hotel in Varanasi and embark on the drive to Bodhgaya, the next stop on this Buddhist pilgrimage tour in India. On arrival at Bodhgaya, proceed to your hotel for check-in.
Bodhgaya : Bodhgaya or Bodh Gaya is the most famous pilgrimage site of Buddhism. Located in the Gaya district of Bihar, Bodh Gaya marks the site, where Gautama Buddha first attained enlightenment while meditating in the shade of a tree. (That particular species of tree is now famous as the Bodhi tree.)
The site is now famous and houses the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Mahabodhi Temple with the Diamond Throne and a Bodhi Tree, which has actually grown from the original Bodhi Tree (indirect descendant) under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.Overnight in Bodhgaya
- DAY 08: IN BODHGAYA
After breakfast, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Bodhgaya. Places, we visit include the famous Mahabodhi Temple, where we gain an insight into the various phases of Buddha’s journey towards enlightenment and the different aspects of his life. Next, we visit the Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum, which houses a small collection of Buddhist sculpture from the 1st century B.C. to the 11th century A.D and the Jagannath Temple, which is famous for its four-armed statue of Shiva in black stone.
The Bodhgaya sightseeing tour ends with a drop back to the hotel.Overnight in Bodh Gaya
- DAY 09: BODH GAYA TO PATNA
After breakfast, check out of your hotel in Bodh Gaya and embark on the drive to Patna, the next stop on this Buddhist pilgrimage tour. On arrival at Patna, continue on your way to the hotel pre-booked for you in Patna. Check in and relax for a while. Later, in the afternoon, we will visit the renowned Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji, Patna Sahib, a magnificent gurudwara / Sikh place of worship built in remembrance of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Sikh Guru.
After spending some time in this holy place, the tour group continues on to Golghar, a circular dome-shaped granary built in the late 18th Century after a devastating famine resulted in the death of millions of natives across Bengal, Bihar and Bangladesh. Straddling the dome is a spiral staircase that leads right up to its tip and offers the most marvellous views of the surrounding city and the Holy River Ganges flowing alongside.
The tour ends with a drop back to the hotel, with an en-route stop at the Patna Museum, for a short tour. The Patna Museum, dates back to the early 20th Century, and houses rare artefacts such as a casket that once contained the sacred ashes of Gautama Buddha.Overnight in Patna
- DAY 10: PATNA TO KUSHINAGAR
After an early breakfast, check out of the hotel in Patna and continue on your pilgrimage tour. Our next stop is at Kushinagar, where, upon arrival, we check-in at our pre-booked hotel, refresh ourselves and then set out to visit the holy sites.
First, we will visit the Ramabhar Stupa, which marks the spot where Gautama Buddha was cremated. Our next stop will be at the Mahaparinirvana Temple, an ancient temple housing a 6.1m long massive monolithic statue of Buddha in recumbent position (Mahaparinirvana Posture). The temple rests amidst ruins of several ancient stupas. Nirvana Stupa and a meditation garden with raised platforms for meditation and lush greenery are adjacent.
Kushinagar : A town in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Kushinagar is another important pilgrimage site in Buddhism, as it was here, that Gautama Buddha attained Maha Parinirvana / Final Nirvana after his death.
The pilgrimage tour in Kushinagar ends with a drop back to the hotel.Overnight in Kushinagar
- DAY 11: KUSHINAGAR TO BALRAMPUR
After an early breakfast, check out of the hotel in Kushinagar and embark on the drive to Balrampur, where we stay for the night before continuing on our pilgrimage tour to the next pilgrimage stop - Lumbini in Nepal.Overnight in Balrampur
- DAY 12: BALRAMPUR TO LUMBINI
After breakfast, check out of the hotel in Balrampur and continue on to Lumbini. Buddha was born in Lumbini. After checking in at our pre-booked hotel in Lumbini, we will visit the Maya Devi Temple, which marks the exact spot where Gautama Buddha was born. Named after Gautama Buddha's mother, the temple complex includes the pond in which the queen mother bathed according to ritual in preparation of her childbirth and in which Gautama Buddha himself was given his first bath after being born. The pool is now considered holy. The pilgrimage tour in Lumbini ends with a drop back to the hotel.Overnight in Lumbini
- DAY 13: LUMBINI TO KATHMANDU
Depending upon the time of our flight to Kathmandu, we check out from our hotel in Lumbini and proceed to the airport. On arrival at Kathmandu, we enjoy the scenic drive to our pre-booked hotel for check-in.Overnight in Kathmandu
- DAY 14: IN KATHMANDU
After breakfast, visit Hanuman Dhoka, an ancient royal palace that is the city's oldest palace with origins dating back to the 16th Century. We will also visit the hilltop Stupa of Swayambhunath, considered 2,000 years old.
NOTE: Both these attractions have suffered considerable damage in the April 2015 Earthquake in Nepal. The earthquake destroyed several UNESCO World Heritage Monuments in Nepal, including the Kathmandu's 183-year-old Dharahara Tower and has killed thousands, and has rendered homeless several more. The itinerary for this day is yet to be re-planned and is dependent on future onsite developments in the city of Kathmandu.Overnight in Kathmandu
- DAY 15: LEAVE KATHMANDU
Check out from your hotel and proceed to the Kathmandu airport in time to board your flight back home or to onward destination, with sweet memories of your Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour with IncomingIndia.com