India: Varanasi: Sarnath, Ganga Aarti, Renowned Ghats, Sun rise from the Ganga River, Bodhgaya: Mahabodhi Temple, Nalanda: Hills & caves, Kushinagar: Mahaparinirvana temple, Ranbhar Stup, Lumbini: Birth place of the Lord Buddha, Sravasti: Buddhist temple, Amanda cave, Angulimal Cave & Jetvan garden
Buddhism has the power and strength to transform the lives of people of all walks of life forever. This is beautifully illustrated in the legendary commitment to Buddhism of King Ashoka, after the bloody battle of Kalinga in Orissa. The great king was enthusiastic in spreading the Buddha’s message of peace and enlightenment across the length and breadth of his vast empire, reaching from present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Buddhism travelled to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and the countries of South East Asia, even to far-flung Central Asia, China and Japan, under the umbrella of royal patronage and the dedication of its vast community of monks, teachers and artists. The essence of Buddhism is embodied in the concept of the 4 noble truths and the 3 jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) via the 8-fold path to salvation and peace. Anticipating his death in his 80th year Buddha urged his followers, especially his chosen disciples, to continue his work after his imminent Mahaparnirvana the attaining of nirvana (enlightenment). As a reminder of his difficult journey and its ultimate goal, he prevailed upon them to visit the four important places that were the cornerstones of his great journey - Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar. The spread of Buddhism down the centuries was to leave in its wake a wealth of symbolic structures, including sculpted caves, stupas (relic shrines), chaityas (prayer halls) viharas (monasteries), mahaviharas (universities) and numerous art forms and religious literature. The arrival of Guru Padamasambhava, in the 8th century, was a major impetus in the spread of Buddhism in the Himalayan region. Today, both pilgrims and tourists can enjoy the special appeal of these myriad experiences, in Nepal and India. From the moment of his birth, his teachings, spiritual struggle, attainment of enlightenment, great meditations, and message of peace and non-violence, are as relevant to our life and times as it was in his day.
Arrival at VARANASI, meet with our representative & transfer to hotel, check in with traditional welcome. Later visit Sarnath - The holiest place for Buddhist peoples, Sarnath is the place where Lord Buddha preached first sermon after getting enlightenment. One can visit all about Buddhism like Buddhist temple, Ruins, Stupas and collection from Buddha period in Archaeological Museum. In Evening see Ganga Aarti & Dinner. Over night stay at hotel in VARANASI.
Early morning boat ride tour on River Ganges at the time of Sun rise, the morning of VARANASI is famous in the world. This is the time people come to have bath and pray and many other religious activities can be seen during the Boat ride. These rituals remind one of the nature worship prevalent in India. Back to hotel for breakfast & drive to BODHGAYA, check in there in hotel. Evening visit Mahabodhi temple under the holy Bodhi tree where Lord Buddha has enlightenment. Dinner & overnight stay at hotel in BODHGAYA.
Morning after B/fast visit BODHGAYA - As the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, BODHGAYA is the spiritual home of Buddhists. BODHGAYA situated near the river Niranjana is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centre. Since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Later visit Mahabodhi Temple & proceed to NALANDA & Rajgir. 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. 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 Upanishad 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 ovation. Have your dinner & overnight stay at hotel in BODHGAYA.
In the morning after breakfast drive to KUSHINAGAR via visiting Vaishali. A very special place to Buddhists as The Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon & announced his impending “Nirvana". See the majesty of Ashok Pillar - Lotus tank, Chaumukhi. On arrival at KUSHINAGAR, check in hotel. Have your dinner & overnight stay at KUSHINAGAR.
Morning after B/fast sightseeing of KUSHINAGAR visit Mahaparinirvana temple where Lord Buddha take his last breath, Ranbhar Stup the creamation site of Lord Buddha. Proceed to LUMBINI with packed Lunch. While going to LUMBINI, stop at India/Nepal border for Visa / Immigration formalities. Later check-in at Hotel. After noon visit LUMBINI, the Birth place of Lord Buddha.Have your dinner & overnight stay at hotel in LUMBINI.
Morning after B/fast proceed to Saravasti, visit Buddhist temple, Ananda cave, Angulimal Cave & Jetvan garden etc. Take your Lunch at Saravasti hotel, evening free. Have your Dinner & over night stay at hotel in Saravasti.
Morning after B/fast proceeds to VARANASI, check in hotel, Upaon arrival at VARANASI, checkin at hotel. Over night stay at hotel in VARANASI.