HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIA
Arrive Delhi by International flight.
Meeting on arrival at the Delhi International airport by our representative & later transfer to hotel. Delhi-The capital of India, is fascinating city with complexities, beauty and dynamism, where the past co-exists with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the architecture of its monuments. Delhi is not only the present metropolis of India but also a necropolis. Located on the banks of the river Yamuna, Delhi has witnessed the rise and fall of many cities over the last five millennium.
Overnight in Delhi
After breakfast at the hotel transfer to airport time to board flight for Varanasi
Leave Delhi for Varanasi by by Air . Upon arrival Varanasi and transfer to hotel.
Varanasi is Hindus holiest pilgrimage city, also known as the “City of Light.” Ancient names for this city include Benares or Kashi. Varanasi is also the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is here that all Hindus aspire to come once in their lifetimes to bathe in the Ganges River from the ghats, or landings, all along the river.
Post lunch at the hotel, leave for an excursion to Sarnath, 13 kms from Varanasi is the place where the Buddha delivered His first Sermon and ‘Turned the Wheel of Law’. See the Chowkandi and Dhamek Stupas, the ruins of 9th and 10th century monasteries and temples and the temple built by the Mahabodhi Society in 1931.
Later in the evening, attend the `aarti' at the ghat - the waving of the oil lamps as a symbol of devotion to the river Ganges and the ceremony accompanying it. Once you will be free from taking photograph of the preparation of evening aarti of river Ganga, sail on the other side of the ghat by boat so that you can take some nice photograph of the aarti.
Overnight in Varanasi
Early Morning: Enjoy a boat ride at dawn down India's most sacred river, The Ganges. Sun rise at the holy river is a truly tranquil and breath taking sight with pilgrims standing waist deep in water, praying to the rising Sun. Past these bathing ghats, see the "burning ghats where the Hindus cremate their dead. This is done with great religious fervour which makes for a moving experience.
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Bodhgaya by car (260 kms / 5-6 hrs drive). Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel. It was at Bodhgaya that the Buddha attained enlightenment. Bodhgaya is much more of a working Buddhist centre than an archaeological site. It's one of the most important Buddhist pilgrim sites of the world. The most important places are the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bo tree. This tree is said to be a sampling of the original tree under which the Buddha sat, meditated and attained enlightenment in the 7th century BC.
Evening: Attend Arti at Mahabodhi Temple
Overnight in Bodhgaya
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for the city tour of Bodhgaya visiting Ratanaghara Chitya - The Buddha spent the 2nd week in the Ratanaghara Chaitya to attain higher modes of exposition, Abhidhama Naya (deep meditation). He emitted dazzling light from his body which can be seen incorporated in the Buddhist flag of blue, yellow, red, white and orange. Budha spent 3rd week after enlightenment at the Animeshlocha Stupa, from where he gazed at the Bodhi tree without blinking. Also visit Muchalinda lake, where the serpent king Muchalinda, dwelling at the bottom of the lake, rose out to protect the Buddha from a severe storm created by The God of Maya to disturb the meditation. Later visit the Chaukramana, the Jewel Walk, where it is believed that the Buddha strolled while in deep thought. Rest of the day free at leisure
Overnight in Bodhgaya
After breakfast at hotel transfer to Patna by car (180 kms / 6hrs drive) Enroute visiting Rajgir home to Lord Buddha and Mahavir for a considerable time. Mahavir is known to have spent nearly 14 years in Rajgir, while Buddha is known to have delivered most of his famous sermons here. The first Buddhist Council was held in the cave of Saptapami in the surrounding hills. It was in Rajgir that Magadha ruler, King Bimbisara converted to Buddhism. Sightseeing of Rajgir includes Shanti Stupa, Saptparni Cave, Ajatshatru Fort, Bhimbisara's Jail, Cyclopean Wall, and Gridhakuta Hill.
Later drive to Nalanda. Nalanda had the honor of being visited by Lord Buddha a number of times in His lifetime. Even Hieun Tsang, the famous Chinese Traveler, stayed in this village for approximately 12 years. Nalanda University founded in the 5th century BC is the oldest Universities of the world. Surya Mandir, Nalanda Museum, Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall dedicated to Hieun Tsang, a Chinese traveller. After visit of Nalanda. Proceed to drive Patna.
Patna is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar and the most populous city in Bihar. Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. Ancient Patna, known as Patalipurta, was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the Haryanka, Nanda, Maurya, Sunga, Gupta, Pala and during the Islamic period the seat of power for the Suri dynasty.The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of the Ganges. The city also straddles the rivers Sone, Gandak andPunpun. The city is approximately 35 km long and 16 km to 18 km wide. Patna is also a sacred city for Sikhs as the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here. Upon arrival Patna and transfer to hotel.
Overnight in Patna
After breakfast at hotel transfer to Kushinagar by car (340Kms / 06-07 hrs drive ) Enroute visit Vaishali sacred to both Buddhists and Jains, it is located in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Buddha preached his last sermon here. Vaishali is the birthplace of Lord Mahavira, the last Tirthankara of Jainism. Vaishali has a past that predates recorded history. It is believed that the town derives its name from King Vishal, whose heroic deeds are narrated in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Take a sightseeing tour of Vaishali visiting Ashokan Pillar, Vishwa Shanti Stupa, Stupa I & II Bawan Pokhar Temple, Raja Vishal ka Garh which is an ancient fort, Coronation Tank ¬ an excavated site believed to be the ancient parliament house of the Lichchavi government. Later drive to Kushinagar. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel
Kushinagar- One of the principal centers of Buddhist pilgrimage is the place of Mahaparinrvana. The monument of Kushinagar are situated in three distinct comprising in the main site of the Nirvana Temple houses over 6meter long statue of the reclining Buddha The image was unearthed during the excavations in 1876. An inscription below dates the statue to the 5th century BC Mathakaur shrine is black stone image of Lord Buddha in the Bhumi Sparsha Mudra (a posture showing him touching the earth) was recovered here. The credit for bringing this ancient site to light goes to General A. Cunningham and A.C.I. Carlyl, who, after excavating the site in 1861, established its antiquity for the first time. Later, between 1904 and 1912, several excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India at Kushinagar confirmed its identity.
Overnight in Patna
After an early breakfast at the hotel, leave Kushinagar for Lumbini by car (185 kms / 5-6 hrs drive). Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini located in South Western Nepal, nearly about 2500 yrs ago. Since then Lumbini has always remained the focal point of Buddhism. Today Lumbini is a small sleepy town in the South Western tarai plains of Nepal, where ruins of the old city can still be seen.
Post lunch at the hotel, explore Lumbini visiting the important place to visit is the temple of Maya Devi.
Overnight in Lumbini
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Sravasti by car (255 kms / 6-7 hrs drive) en route visiting Kapilvastu (110 kms from Lumbini) & Balrampur (130 kms from Kushinagar). Upon arrival in Sravasti, check-in at the hotel.
Sravasti or Sravasti was a city of ancient India and one of the sixth largest cities during Gautam Buddha’s life time. It is believed that Gautam Buddha had spent 24 chaturmases here.
Overnight in Sravasti
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Sravasti and later drive on to Lucknow airport by Car (175 km/ 5-6 hrs drive
Transfer from Lucknow to Delhi by Air for connect international flight for onward destination/p>
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