Footsteps of Buddha

Footsteps of Buddha

Delhi - Patna - Bodhgaya - Varanasi - Kushinagar - Lumbini - Kathmandu

Buddhist religion is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautam born as a prince of kapilavastu located in Lumbini, Nepal. Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment sitting under the tree of Pipal (known as Bodhi tree).

This Buddhist tour will take you to the many important Buddhist sites of India and we refer this tours as footsteps of Buddha. The significant sites to be visiting during this tour are Vaishali, Nalanda, Rajgir, Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Lumbini (birth place of Lord Buddha).

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Flight to Delhi. Arrival in Delhi and transfer to the hotel. Check in at the hotel.

Day 02: Delhi

On arrival, assistance and transfer to hotel.

Day 03: Delhi

In Delhi's 3000 years of existence, seven cities stood where the present capital of India stands. Here you'll encounter a fascinating blend of the ancient and the contemporary - where government buildings, medieval palaces and bazaars exist besides a modern metropolis. Delhi is a city waiting to be explored.

After breakfast sightseeing of Old and New Delhi.

Visit the 7th city of Delhi, Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) which was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1639-48 AD) afterRed Fort he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi. Red Fort – the 17th century imposing fortress built in red sandstone is surrounded by a huge boundary wall 33m high. Inside are exquisite palaces and beautiful gardens. Opposite the Red Fort lies Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) made of red sandstone and white marble, completed in 1656. It is India's largest mosque where more than 20.000 people can kneel in prayer. Visit Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna, Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial, where he was cremated following his assassination in January 1948. The memorial lies in the midst of landscaped gardens and made of a simple square platform of black marble inscribed with his last words "Hey Ram". An eternal flame burns 24 hours.

Afternoon visit New Delhi.

Visit the Humayun's Tomb, built by his wife Haji Begum in the 16th. Century. An early example of Mughal architecture considered Humayun Tombthe predecessor of the Taj Mahal. The Qutub Minar – the landmark of Delhi, a huge tower of victory started in 1199 and completed in 1368. The minar is 72.5m high with a diameter at the base 14.4m and 2.7m at the top. Proceed to the Rashtrapati Bhawan once the Viceroy's residence is now the official residence of the President of India. Designed by Lutyens, it combines western and eastern styles – the dome reflects the Buddhist stupa, the chattris Hindu and the graceful colonnades very British. It has 340 rooms. The Government Buildings designed by Baker, are topped by baroque domes and decorated with lotus motifs and elephants, while the north and south gateways are Mughal in design. The northern building has an inscription with "Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty. It is a blessing which must be earned before it can be enjoyed". The Parliament House, designed by Baker is 173m in diameter. Inside is the library and chambers for the council of state, chamber of princes and legislative assembly. The India Gate (42m), commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the 1st world war. 13516 names of British and Indian soldiers killed in the Afghan War of 1919 are engraved on the arch and foundations. Under the arch, the Amar Jawan Jyoti commemorating Indian armed forces' losses in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.

Overnight stay at the hotel in Delhi.

Day 04: Delhi - Patna

Transfer to airport to connect flight for Patna . On arrival, assistance and transfer to hotel. Afternoon excursion of Vaishali - known for Buddha Stupas, Ashoka Pillar and Bawan Pokhar Temple . This is the place where Buddha announced his Mahaparinirvana and happens to be the birthplace of Lord Mahavira.

Day 05: Patna - Nalanda - Rajgir - Bodhgaya

Morning drive to Bodhgaya enroute visiting Nalanda and Rajgir. Rajgir, the place where Buddha meditated and preached; first Museum PatnaBuddhist Council was held here and further is known for Hot Springs, which have curative powers, and is sacred to Hindus. Nalanda is known for its Archaeological Complex and Museum.

On arrival, check in at hotel.

Day 06: Bodhgaya

Full day visits - Bodhgaya, in the state of Bihar , reckoned as the most important Buddhist pilgrimage center, is the place where Lord Sakyamuni (Gautam Buddha) entered into meditation after being moved by the sufferings of mankind. The giant Bodhi Tree (Peepal) that we see today is believed to have grown from the original Bodhi Tree under which, sitting on the raised platform, Prince Siddharth meditated and finally attained Nirvana. Then there is Chaukramana, the jewel Walk, where it is believed that the Buddha strolled while in deep thought.

Also visit Shaivite Monastery and famous Jagganath Temple .

Day 07: Bodhgaya - Varanasi

Drive to Varanasi and check in at hotel.

Day 08: Varanasi

Early morning boat excursion on the river Ganges , a ferry pilgrimage from ghat to ghat. People bathe early in the morning to offer Ghats Varanasithe prayers to the rising sun. The two cremation ghats are Manikarnika & Harishchandra where funeral pyre burns day and night. Every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi and to be cremated on banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death.

Morning sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Bharat Mata Temple with a big relief map of India in marble, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, Banaras Hindu University which has an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Moghul Emperor Aurangazeb built on the site of an ancient Hindu Temple.

Afternoon excursion of Sarnath - visit the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century B.C. to 12th century AD. Visit the ruins, the stupa, the Buddhist temple and the Museum.

(Museum closed on Fridays).

Day 09: Varanasi - Kushinagar

Drive to Kushinagar and check in at hotel. Afternoon visits - Kushinagar, one of the principal centres of Buddhist pilgrimage, is the place of Mahaparinirvana. The monuments of Kushinagar are situated in three distinct comprising the main site of the Nirvana Temple , the central stupa and surrounding monasteries.

Day 10: Kushinagar - Lumbini

Drive to Lumbini and check in at hotel. Afternoon visits - in the village of Lumbini in Nepal , the Queen Mahamaya gave birth to Prince Siddhartha who later became the Buddha. Over 2000 years ago the Emperor Ashoka set up a commemorative pillar here. The pillar carries the inscription - Here the Buddha was born-. Another shrine preserves an ancient image depicting the nativity of the Lord.

Day 11: Lumbini - Kathmandu

Drive to Kathmandu and check in at hotel.

Day 12: Kathmandu

Visit Bodhnath, Pashpatinath and Bhadgaon. Bhadgaon is a Newar city of 9th century. Visit the ancient gateway, Durbar Square , royal residential quarter of Bhupendra Malla, temple of Nytapole in pagoda style and other temples. Bodhnath - visit the temple of Bodhnath, the colossal 2500 years old Stupa, one of the largest in the world.

This Stupa has the all seeing-eyes of the Buddha by king Mana Deva in expiation of his sins of the advice inset with prayer wheels. Also visit the Pashupatinath Temple which is noted for its erotic woodcarvings of the struts.

Day 13: Kathmandu

Morning city and Swaymbhunath tour - visit the Durbar Square , Hanuman Dhoka, the ancient royal residential quarter, Swayambhunath TempleMahadev and Parvati Temple and other temples. Also visit Swayambhunath, the 2000 years old site with 5 dhyani Buddhas enshrined at the base of the Stupa.

Afternoon visit Patan - visit the Old Newar City - the historic Durbar Square, see the Golden Gate, the sky piercing temple of Teleju and the statue of Yogendra Malla, other temples and old windows and carved balconies of wood, curio shops and bazaars.

Day 14: Kathmandu - Delhi - Departure

Morning free. Transfer to airport to connect flight for Delhi .

On arrival, wait in the transit and later connect flight back home.

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