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Buddha’s Gift -- Incredible India

Delhi /Gorakhpur /Lumbini / Kushinagar / Vaishali / Patna / Nalanda / Rajgir / Bodhgaya / Varanasi /Delhi (11 nights / 12 days)

Day 1: Arrive Delhi 
Welcome to India. On arrival, you are received and transferred to your hotel. Hotel check-in time is 12 noon. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Delhi. 

Day 2: Delhi to Gorakhpur  by train

Embark on a morning combined sightseeing tour of the famous historical sights in Old and New Delhi. Visit Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Raj Ghat and the 72 m high Qutub Minar  tower. Drive past the Red Fort, Jama Mosque, Rajpath, India Gate, Parliament House and the Presidential Estate. This evening you are transferred from the hotel to the Railway Station in time to board your train to Gorakhpur. Overnight on board the train.

Day 3: Gorakhpur / Lumbini

On arrival at the Gorakhpur Railway Station, you are met and drive to Lumbini (135 kms / 4 hours). On arrival at your hotel, check-in and enjoy lunch. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Lumbini.

Day 4: Lumbini

Visit the birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini with its ruins of many ancient stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar erected by the Indian emperor Ashoka in 250 BC bears an inscription about the birth of the Buddha. Visit the temple of Maya Devi which has a stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds onto a branch. Also visit the sacred Pond and the Temple of Lord Buddha. Lunch, dinner and overnight at your hotel in Lumbini.

Day 5: Lumbini / Kushinagar

Drive to Kushinagar (195 kms / 6 hours). On arrival, check-in at your hotel. The day is at leisure. Lunch, dinner and overnight at your hotel in Kushinagar.

Day 6: Kushinagar

Today is earmarked for a full day visit Kushinagar where Buddha breathed his last. Pay your respects at the remains of his brick cremation Stupa. Also see the large, reclining Buddha figure in Mahaparinirvana temple, the modern Indo/Japan/Sri Lanka Buddhist centre and the monasteries. Lunch, dinner and overnight at your hotel in Kushinagar.

Day 7: Kushinagar / Vaishali / Patna

Depart early this morning from Kushinagar to Patna (225 kms/8 hours) en route visiting Vaishali. At Vaishali see the Ashoka Pillar; Anand Stupa, the first discipline of Lord Buddha; and the Monkey tank. On arrival at Patna, check-in at your hotel. Overnight in Patna.

Day 8: Patna / Nalanda / Rajgir / Bodhgaya

Drive from Patna to Bodhgaya, en route visiting Nalanda and Rajgir. Nalanda is a celebrated monastic establishment visited by Buddha, Mahavira and later by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. By the 7th century, Nalanda became the outstanding centre of Mahayana Buddhist learning, a famous university, with shrines and monasteries that attracted scholars from all over India, South East Asia and China. By the 12th - 13th centuries, as Buddhism declined in the region and Muslim influence increased, Nalanda fell into disuse and was eventually abandoned. Visit the archaeological Museum which has an invaluable collection of sculptures and bronzes.  

About 10 kms from Nalanda is Rajgir, the ancient capital of the Magadha kingdom, which was frequently visited by Buddha. Rajgir is also sacred to the Jains as Mahavira, a contemporary of Buddha, spent many rainy seasons here. The Japanese-made Vishwa Shanti Stupa atop a hill is worth seeing. On arrival at Bodhgaya, check-in at your hotel. Overnight in Bodhgaya.

Day 9: Bodhgaya - Gaya

Embark on a full day visit to Bodhgaya and Gaya. Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha attained enlightenment is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the world. The focal point of this place is the Mahabodhi tree, the tree under which Buddha attained wisdom' while the Temple marking the sacred spot is known as Mahabodh Temple.

Gaya was closely associated with Buddhism being in close proximity to Bodhgaya. But since 10th century, Gaya has been an important Hindu religious centre, where Hindu pilgrims come from all over India to offer 'Pindas' or funeral cakes for the peace of the departed souls. Visit the Sikharn style Vishnupad Temple with its 40 cm long footprint of Lord Vishnu, imprinted in solid rock and surrounded by a silver plated basin. Overnight in Bodhgaya.

Day 10: Bodhgaya / Varanasi

Post breakfast, drive from Bodhgaya to Varanasi (270 kms / 9 hours). Varanasi, located on the banks of the River Ganga, is one of the oldest living cities in the world and also the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages. Sarnath, located close by, is where Buddha preached his first sermon. Lord Mahavir also revealed his Jain Philosophy at nearby Kasi. On arrival, check-in at your hotel. Overnight in Varanasi.

Day 11: Varanasi – Sarnath - Varanasi

Enjoy an early morning boat ride on the river Ganges. After breakfast at your hotel, proceed for a city tour of Varanasi visiting to the numerous temples and the bazaars. In the afternoon, visit the buried city of Sarnath, north east of Varanasi. After attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the way to Nirvana. Later, Ashoka, erected magnificent Stupas and monasteries at Sarnath. See the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and a fine museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures. Overnight in Varanasi.

Day 12: Varanasi / Depart Delhi

The morning is free at leisure. In the afternoon you are transferred from your hotel to the airport in time for your onward flight to Delhi. On arrival at Delhi airport, you are met and transferred to the international airport for your flight onward. 

Package Rates are available on request.

Buddhist Travel ( 09 nights / 10 days )

Day 01 / Arrival Delhi
Arrive Delhi, meet assist at the airport and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi.

Day 02 / Delhi 
After breakfastproceed for sightseeing tour of Old&New Delhi :
OLD DELHI -A sight-seeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat - thememorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largestmosque in India, Red Fort.
NEW DELHI - An extensive sight-seeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple, the QutubMinar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue – Rajpath , pass the imposing IndiaGate, Parliament House, the President's Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave, Rail Museum. Night stay in Delhi. 

Day 3 / Delhi - Lucknow ( By fast air-conditioned train Dep. 06 :15 hrs. Arriv. 12 :30 hrs. ) Lucknow - Sravasti ( By road ) Approx. 06 hrs. drive 
Sravasti Morning transfer to railway station to board Shatabdi exp. for Lucknow , Arrive Lucknow , After lunch leave for Sravasti by road , Arrive Sravasti & transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel at Sravasti. 

Day 4 / Sravasti - Lumbini ( By road ) Approx. 06 hrs. drive Lumbini - Gorakhpur ( By road ) Approx. 02 hrs. drive 
After breakfast visit Sahet Mahet. Later leave for Lumbini with packed lunch, the birth place of Buddha. Visit Lumbini and drive to Gorakhpur. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel at Gorakhpur. 

Day 5 / Gorakhpur - Kushinagar ( By road ) Approx. 01 hr. drive Kushinagar - Vaishali - Patna ( By road ) Approx. 07 hrs. drive 
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Kushinagar where the Buddha finally attained Mahaparmirvana. Visit Mukutbandhan Stupa and a beautiful statue of the reclining Buddha. Lunch at Kushinagar. After lunch drive to Patna enroute visiting Vaishali . Diiner and overnight stay at hotel at Patna. 

Day 6 / Patna - Nalanada - Rajgir - Bodhgaya ( By road ) Approx. 06 hrs. drive
Breakfast at hotel. Later Drive to Bodhgaya enroute visiting Nalanda and Rajgir. Rajgir -The picturesque Rajgir, or Rajagriha as it was known in the past (literally, the abode of kings) is surrounded by the meandering river Banganga and 5 hills. During the lifetime of the Buddha this was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous King Bimbisara. The hills and caves surrounding Rajagriha were home to spiritual teachers, ranging from the materialism of the early Charavaka school to the metaphysics of Upanishadic philosophers. Like many others in search of truth, Prince Siddhartha, after he renounced his royal heritage came to this city to seek the path of vation. Nalanda -Nalanda was the most renowned university in ancient India. It derived its name from Na-alam-da, meaning Insatiable in Giving, one of the names by which the Lord Buddha was known. Lunch at Rajgir. On arrival at Bodhgaya transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel at Bodhgaya. 

Day 7 / Bodhgaya 
After a leisurely breakfast Bodhgaya - As the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buhddhists. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Later visit Mahabodhi Temple, Niranjana River, Sujata Village. Lunch and dinner at hotel. Night stay in Bodhgaya. 

Day 8 / Bodhgaya - Varanasi ( By road ) Approx. 05 hrs. & half drive 
Breakfast at hotel. Morning leave for Varanasi, carrying box lunch. On arrival transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit Sarnath - where the Buddha preached his first sermon in the Deer Park, contains the most impressive remains, as well as a modern temple. Dinner and overnight at hotel. Night stay in Varanasi.

Day 9 / Varanasi - Delhi ( By flight ) 
Morning boat cruise at the river Ganges to observe the way of life of pilgrims by the Ghats. Later after breakfast transfer to the airport to board flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi meet assist and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi. 

Day 10 / Delhi - Departure
Transfer to airport to board the flight for onward destination.

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