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Spiritual Holidays – Buddhist Pilgrimage


Varanasi - Bodhgaya - Nalanda - Rajgir - Kushinagar - Lumbini - Sravasti - Agra - Delhi


07 Nights / 08 Days

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Embarking on a cultural odyssey through Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi promises a journey through India’s diverse tapestry of spirituality, art, history, and grandeur. Varanasi, or Benares, offers a spiritual immersion along the Ganges River, with its sacred ghats and profound religious rituals. The intricately carved temples of Khajuraho showcase exquisite medieval artistry and depict a harmonious blend of spirituality and sensuality. Agra unfolds the iconic Taj Mahal, a testament to eternal love, while Jaipur’s vibrant markets and majestic forts provide a glimpse into Rajasthan’s regal heritage. Concluding in Delhi, the capital city, the journey encapsulates the nation’s historical narrative, from ancient traditions in Varanasi to the grandeur of modernity in Delhi, creating a memorable exploration of India’s cultural kaleidoscope.

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    Day 01 : Arrive in Delhi

    Collect your luggage and change to domestic departure to connect to Varanasi.

    You are welcomed at airport/rail station and transferred to the hotel.

    Varanasi – amongst the oldest living cities in the world, is also the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages. Thousands of devotees come here daily to the banks of River Ganges to take a ritual dip and cleanse their souls and to worship at its many temples. It is not just important for Hindus but has links with Buddhism and Jainism as well. It was at Sarnath that Buddha preached his sermon and Lord Mahavir revealed his Jain Philosophy at Kashi-nearby. Varanasi is to Hindus is what Bethlehem to Christians.

    Afternoon, you are driven to visit the buried Buddhist city of Sarnath, northeast of Varanasi. Lord Buddha having achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya, came to Sarnath to preach his message of the way to nirvana. Later, Ashoka the great Buddhist emperor erected magnificent stupas and monasteries at Sarnath. What is visible today are the ruins of the once flourishing Buddhist monastery; the museum here houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures.

    Day 02 : Varanasi – Bodhgaya
    Early morning, you are driven to Dashawamed Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges. The best time to visit the ghats is at dawn, when pilgrims take their morning dip in the river. There are over 100ghats in all, but Dashawamed Ghat is probably the most convenient place to begin the boat ride. Varanasi’s principal attraction is the long string of bathing ghats, which line the West Bank of the Ganges. At the “burning ghats” bodies are cremated. Enjoy the sunrise boat cruise while looking out for people on the ghats – the wormen bathing discreetly in their sarees, the young men displaying prowess in yogic postures, the Brahmin priests offering prayers for one and all. Return to hotel for freshens up and check out and proceed to Bodhgaya. Evening, visit to Maha Bodi Temple and the Bodhi tree. The magnificent Maha Bodhi temple is an architectural amalgamation of many cultures. A colossal Buddha is seen in the sanctum sanctorum, which has great mythological importance to followers of Buddhism. There are inscriptions about the visits of Chinese, Sri Lankan, and Myanmar pilgrims and Hieun Tsang – Chinese traveler during 07th to 10th centuries.
    Ganga ghat, varanasi
    Day 03 : Bodhgaya – Rajgir
    Visit the temple again the morning and then proceed to Rajgir; en-route visiting Nalanda, which was a seat of Buddhist learning. According to the Chinese traveler Xuan Zang who taught at this university between 685-762AD there were 10,000 monks and professors residing here. You are then driven to Rajgir, the capital of the Magadha kingdom and a pilgrimage for Jains and Hindus as well. Buddha spent many years in Rajgir and delivered sermons here. It was here the first Buddhist council held. Overnight in the hotel.
    Day 04 : Rajgir – Kushinagar

    Proceed to Kushinagar, where Lord Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana at the age of 80.
    Stop en-route, believed to be the first republic of the world. Vaishali was the center
    of 2nd Buddhist Council held to discuss the ten points of rules of conduct. It was here Amrapali, a beautiful dancer, after she was impressed by Buddha’s teaching became a
    Buddhist nun. Continue to Kushinagar and check into hotel.

    Afternoon, tour Kushinagar; it was here Lord Buddha breathed his last, after uttering
    “Behold now, brethren, I exhort you, saying, decay is inherent in all component things! Work out your salvation with diligence!”. Important sites of Kushinagar are Rambhar Stupe which is supposedly the spot where Buddha was cremated and the Mahaparinivana Temple dedicated to the great incident.

    Day 05 : Kushinagar – Lumbini - Bhairawa

    You are driven to Lumbini on the Indo-Nepal border. 

    parinirvana stupa temple, kushinagar
    Visit the birthplace of Siddhartha. Buddha was born on a full moon day in the month of Baisakh in 623BC under the Sal tree while Mayadevi was going to her parents. Pay reverence & return to Indian side for overnight stay.
    Day 06 : Bhairawa – Sravasti – Lucknow
    Proceed to Sravasti, the capital to ancient Kingdom of Kosala. Buddha visited Sravasti for 24 rainy seasons. This place has the famous Anand Bodhi tree, planted by Buddha’s main disciple Anand. Continue to Lucknow and Check into hotel.
    Day 07 : Lucknow – Agra - Delhi

    Board your (0545-1100Hrs) express train to Agra with packed breakfast from the hotel. You are picked up from Tundla railway station and driven to Agra. Lunch in a quality restaurant and then proceed for sightseeing tour of Agra. Visit the red sandstone fort – Agra Fort built in 1565 by Mughal ruler Emperor Akbar and then visit one of The Seven Wonders of World – The Taj Mahal, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taj Mahal was completed by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 as a memorial to his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. Explore this beautiful mausoleum in pure white marble which took 22 years and 22000 craftsmen to build.

    Board your (2115-2350Hrs) express train to Delhi, after your sightseeing tour of Agra. Our representative will greet you and transfer to your hotel.

    Day 08 : Delhi - Onward Journey

    Post breakfast, check out from your hotel. Proceed to explore Old & New Delhi the capital city of India. Drive past the Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan (1639-48), the creator of The Taj Mahal.

    Human, person, building and architecture | HD photo by Sylwia Bartyzel
    Taj Mahal, Agra

    Then visit Raj Ghat – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Continue to the Qutab Minar (1193 AD), a striking medieval 73 m. high tower of victory built by the slave dynasty. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque stands the Iron pillar which has stood the vagaries of weather and has not rested over 1500 years. Later visit the Mughal emperor Humayun’s tomb followed by a photo shoot at the India Gage and a drive through the New Delhi area – through the diplomatic enclave, Government buildings – Parliament House, India Gate. Later you are dropped off at Delhi airport to commence your onward journey.

    We end our services in Delhi airport.

    Inland travel by air: Delhi – Varanasi.

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