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Buddhist Circuit Tour

Duration

13 nights / 14 days

Places Covered

Mumbai - Aurangabad -Jalgaon- Bhopal - Agra - Varanasi -Sarnath- Bodhgaya - Patna -Kushinagar-Lumbini-Saravasti-Lucknow- Delhi

Overview

Buddhist Circuit Tour

Gautam Buddha laid the foundation of Buddhism. It was in India where he found enlightenment and India boasts of having beautiful Buddhist monasteries and Stupas. One of the most popular religious tours of India, Buddhist Circuit tour takes a devotee to various Buddhist destinations across the country. The various Buddhist pilgrimages in India attract a huge number of devotees from all round the world. Get suffused in a spiritual journey that will take you to some of the prominent Buddhist sites in India. Most of the destinations covered in this journey stands as a testimony to the various events that occurred in the life span of Lord Buddha. In this packages we re-trace the steps of the Buddha from the place where he meditated, to where he attained enlightenment, to where he gave his first sermon, to where he donated his begging bowl before his death, and finally, to where he breathed his last.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Mumbai

Begin your Tour.
Arrive into Mumbai
Welcome to Vardhman's "Buddhist Circuit Tour"!
On arrival in Mumbai, you will be met and transferred by Vardhman's representative to your hotel. Relax for a while and later proceed for the city tour of Mumbai.
Visit Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill offering a panoramic view of Marine drive, Chowpatty Beach, Prince of Wales Museum, Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India & drive through the Crawford Market, Marine Drive & Flora Fountain.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 2 Mumbai - Aurangabad

Morning transfer to airport to board flight for Aurangabad.
On arrival at Aurangabad airport, you will will be met and transferred by Vardhman's representative to your hotel.
Relax for a while and later visit Ellora caves. (Caves closed on Monday)
Ellora Caves (29 kms) encompassing 34 rock cut shrines representing Buddhist,Hindu & Jain art dating from the 4th to 9th century A.D. The most remarkable among them is the Kailash Temple, meant to be a replica of Lord Shivas celestial abode - Kailash is the best example of Rock cut architecture and an engineering marvel.
Return back to the hotel for an overnight rest.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 3 Aurangabad -Jalgaon- Bhopal

Visit Ajanta Caves.(Caves closed on Monday)
Ajanta Caves are 106 kms from Aurangabad and date back to the 2nd century BC. The 30 rock hewn caves are adorned with Buddhist sculpture and the frescoes portray in epic form the religious and secular life through eight centuries.
Later in the evening transfer to Jalgaon railway station to board overnight train to Bhopal.
Arrive Bhopal and you will be transferred to your hotel by our representative.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 4 Bhopal - Agra

Sightseeing tour of Sanchi Stupa.
A lot of Buddhist travellers across the world visit this serene hill crowned by a group of stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from 3rd century BC to 12th century AD.
In the afternoon transfer to Bhopal railway station to catch train to Agra.
Arrive Agra and you will be transferred by our representative to your hotel for overnight stay.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 5 Agra - Varanasi

Early in the morning visit the magnificent Taj Mahal (closed on every Friday) during Sunrise.
Taj Mahal is entirely made of white marble and its walls are decorated with exquisite Pietra Dura (stone inlay) work.
Return to the hotel for breakfast and later visit Agra.
Visit Agra Fort - built of red sandstone and marble is a hilltop citadel with fabulous courtyards, fountains and gates.
Later in the evening transfer to the Railway station to board overnight Train for Varanasi.
Overnight: Train

Day 6 Varanasi

Arrive Varanasi and transfer to hotel.
Relax for a while and later visit Varanasi.
Visit 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. A walk through the old centre ("golden" temple, ghats...), Bharat mata temple, Kashi Viswanath temple.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 7 Varanasi-Sarnath-Bodhgaya

Half-day tour of Sarnath, the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, Sarnath was a renewed school of learning from 6th Century B.C. to 12th Century A.D. Visit the ruins, the stupa, the Buddhist Temple and the Museum.
Later drive to Bodhgaya and check in at hotel for an overnight stay.
Bodhgaya is the most sacred place for Buddhists as it has a Peepul tree under which Gautama the Buddha attained enlightenment some 2500 years back.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 8 Bodhgaya

After breakfast embark on a sightseeing tour of Bodhgaya.
Visit Mahabodhi Temple - depicting the various phases of Buddha's journey towards enlightenment, showing different aspects of his life; Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum - houses a small collection of Buddhist sculpture from the 1st century B.C, to the 11th century A.D; Jagannath Temple close by has a four armed statue of Shiva in black stone.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 9 Bodhgaya - Patna

Early in the morning drive to Patna, enroute visit Rajgir & Nalanda.
Rajgir is 70 kilometres away from Bodhgaya. Lord Buddha spent many months of retreat during the rainy season here, and used to meditate and preach on the Griddakuta, he hill of the Vultures. It was in Rajgir that Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and converted King Bimbisara of the Magadh Kingdom and countless others top his creed.
The places of interest are the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (built by the Japanese and can be reached by a chair lift rope way), the Griddakuta (where Lord Buddha used to preach and alongside is the cave of his most devoted disciples Ananda), Ajatashatru's fort (built by Ajatashatru's, king of Magadh), Bimbisara's Jail (where the king Bimbisara was imprisoned by his impatient son Ajatashatru), Swarna Bhandar (the treasury of Bimbisara) and then there are the Hot springs and more than 26 Jain temples around Rajgir.

Continue drive to Nalanda (14 kms), founded in the 5th century BC, Nalanda was one of the worlds greatest universities, and an important Buddha centre until it was sacked by the Afghans in the 12th century. When the Chinese scholar and traveller, Xuan Zhang, was here in the early 7th century AD, there were 10,000 monks and students in the residence. The brick-built remains are extensive and include the Great Stupa, which steps, terraces and a few intact votive stupas around it, and the Monks cells. There is also an interesting archeological museum housing the Nalanda University seal, scriptures and other remains found on the site.

Upon arrival in Patna, check - in to your hotel.
Later visit Har Mandir Sahib - also known as Patna Sahib consecrates the place where the 10th Guru of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1776; Golghar - is a large dome-like structure from where one can have a fine view of the Ganga and the surroundings of the city; Patna Museum - has a rich collection of Mauryan and Buddhist sculptures, terracotta and other interesting items.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 10 Patna - Kushinagar

After breakfast at the hotel drive to Kushinagar enroute visiting Vaishali.
Vaishali - It was one of the important Buddhist destinations in ancient India. The Buddha preached his last sermon and proclaimed of his Parinirvana, near Vaishali. It was the venue of the 2nd Buddhist Council, which was held almost after 100 years of Buddha's parinirvana (passing away). In Vaishali, visit the Ashokan Pillar and Shanti Stupa.
On arrival at Kushinagar, check into the to hotel for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 11 Kushinagar - Lumibini

After an early breakfast visit all the places of tourist interest in Kushinagar.
The two places most frequently visited in Kushinagar are the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which is built on the place of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana (Great Nirvana or passing away), and the place of his cremation, which is 1.6 km away. Close to the Mahaparinirvana Stupa is located a 1500 year old Buddha-image of the Buddha as he attained Parinirvana. The Mahaparinirvana Stupa is surrounded by ruins of ancient monasteries.
Later drive to Lumbini.
On arrival check into the hotel.
Lumbini - The birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Evening sightseeing tour of Lumbini including a visit to the birth Place of Lord Buddha.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 12 Lumbini - Saravasti -Lucknow-Delhi

After breakfast at the hotel drive to Lucknow airport to catch flight for Delhi. Enroute visit Saravasti.
Saravasti - Saravasti,the capital of Kosala Mahajanapada was the biggest town in the Gangetic plains during the Buddha's lifetime. Saravasti was host to the Master for 25 years during the annual vassavasa (rain retreat) when the Sangha congregated at one place.
On arrival at Delhi, you will be met and transfered to your hotel by our representative. Relax for the remaining part of the day.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 13 Delhi

This morning after breakfast at the hotel proceed for the sightseeing of Delhi.
Combined city tour of Old Delhi & New Delhi.
Visit Qutab Minar, Humayun's tomb, Lakshminarayan Temple, a modern Hindu Temple, Parliament House, Government Secretarial Building and Connaught place, the shopping centre of New Delhi.
Visit Red Fort, built in 1648 by Mughal Emperor Shahjehan, Jama Masjid, one of the largest Mosque of India, Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana, the cremation sites of Mahatama Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
Also drive past Chandni Chowk, shopping centre of Old Delhi.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 14 Delhi

This morning after breakfast transfer to the airport to catch flight for your onward destination with sweet and unforgettable memories of your "Budddhist tour with Golden Triangle" escorted by Vardhman Vacations.

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