12 Day Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour of India
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- An insightful journey through life story of the most amazing and fabled Prince, Gautama Buddha, later founder of the world's youngest religion
- Visit to Ajanta and Ellora, the fascinating cave art of India
- Buddhist pilgrimage destination Sanchi Stupa
- Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri in and around Agra
- Varanasi, the oldest surviving city of the world, and also called Kashi, the City of Light
On arrival at Mumbai, our representative will receive and transfer to the hotel.The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands came under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the British with large-scale civil engineering projects, and emerged as a significant trading town. It was renamed Mumbai in 1996.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 2: Mumbai - Aurangabad
Morning transfer to the airport to take the flight to Aurangabad. Arrive & transfer to hotel. Afternoon visiting Ajanta caves 2000 year old 30 rock-hewn caves where paintings recount the life of Lord Buddha and the tales of this prince's earthly experiences.The beautiful murals and the frescoes still retain their colour and charm, which attracts thousands of tourists to this place every day.
Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 3: Aurangabad
Morning after breakfast visit Ellora caves. Ellora's shrines are not exclusively Buddhist, but of the Hindu and Jain faiths as well.These monolithic carvings are intricate and are carved from top to bottom. The most famous amongst these is the Kailash cave dedicated to Lord Shiva.Afternoon visit Daulatabad Fort Just 13 km from Aurangabad,we can see a massive hill fortress,the Daulatabad fort.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 4: Aurangabad-Mumbai-Bhopal
Morning after breakfast take flight for Mumbai. Upon arrival, take a small city tour visiing the Gate Way of India, Elephanta Caves and the Prince of Wales Museum. Drive pass the Marine drive and the Victoria Terminus.
Evening board train for overnight journey to Bhopal. Overnight on board.
Day 5: Bhopal
Morning arrive & transfer to hotel. Afternoon excursion of Sanchi stupa. Sanchi is a place of Buddhist Piligrimage.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 6: Bhopal - Agra
Morning after breakfast go for local sightseeing. Afternoon departure transfer to railway station to depart for Agra. It remains a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Arrive Agra and transfer from railway station to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 7: Agra - Varanasi
After breakfast visit Fatehpur-Sikri (40 kms. from Agra)-once the capital of Mughal Empire and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. Its fortifications and Palaces are in a wonderful state of preservation. Afternoon half day city tour visiting the World famous Taj Mahal built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in the year 1652 as a memorial for his beloved wife MumtazMahal. The grandeur called the Taj is perhaps the most photographed, filmed, described and sketched building of the world. Agra Fort built and renovated over the centuries, this massive fort gained recognition only during the Mughal reign. Tomb of Itmad-ud-daullah- built by Empress Noorjehan in the memory of her father.Late evening departure transfer to railway station for overnight train to Varanasi.
Board on train.
Day 8: Varanasi
Morning arrive and check in at hotel. After breakfast visit the temples of Varanasi.Varanasi is said to be the oldest surviving city of the world. Varanasi is also called as Kashi or Benaras. Being the most venerated pilgrim place in Hindu religion, Varanasi is said to be a museum of temples. Also called the city of temples, Varanasi is home to about 2,000 temples. People from all parts of India as well as the world come to Varanasi to visit these temples, making the holy temples of Varanasi amongst the most visited temples in India. Many important and famous temples are located at Ganga Ghats (river front), adding to the religious value of the holy river, Ganges.
Most of the temples that are located on the Ganga Ghats are old and date back to the medieval period. According to legends the first Siva Jyotirlinga, the fiery pillar of light, came through the earth here and flared into the sky. Therefore Varanasi is also called Kashi, "the City of Light." The Kashi Vishwanath temple, located near the Ganga Ghats, is the most famous and important temple of Varanasi. In this temple resides the guardian of the holy city, Lord Shiva. Other important temples of Varanasi are the new Vishwanath temple, the Sankat Mochan temple, the Durga temple, the Kal Bhairav temple and the Mritunjaya temple.
Afternoon visit to Sarnath- the holy shrine of the Buddhist where LORD BUDDHA preached his first sermon after he had gained Enlightenment. Sarnath, located just 12 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. The other three sites are: Lumbini (birth); Bodh Gaya (enlightenment); and Kushinagar (death).
Sarnath has previously been known as Mrigadava, "deer park," and Isipatana, meaning the place where holy men (Pali: isi) fell to earth. The latter name is based in the legend that when the Buddha was born, devas came down to announce it to 500 holy men. The holy men all rose into the air and disappeared and their relics fell to the ground.
The current name Sarnath, from Saranganath, means "Lord of the Deer" and relates to another old Buddhist story in which the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to a king instead of the doe he is planning to kill. The king is so moved that he creates the park as a sanctuary for deer.
All of the ancient buildings and structures at Sarnath were damaged or destroyed by the Turks. However, amongst the ruins the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive at 128 feet high, and 93 in diameter. This dates from around 200 BC and is the spot where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon.
Only the foundations remain of the Dharmarajika Stupa, but it is notable as a rare pre-Ashokan stupa.
The decaying ruins of the Mulagandhakuti Vihara mark the place where the Buddha spent his first rainy season in meditation. In the 7th century, a writer described it as 200 feet high and containing 100 niches containing a Buddha carving along each wall. A life-sized statue shows the Buddha turning the wheel of the law.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 9: Varanasi - Bodhgaya
Morning Ghat tour of Varanasi.Varanasi or Kashi is older than traditions. Varanasi presents a unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi liberates soul from human body to the ultimate. It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that complement the concept of divinity. Ghats of Ganga are perhaps the holiest spots of Varanasi. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins.
There are number of temples on the bank of the Ganga river in Varanasi. It is believed that people are cleansed physically, mentally and spiritually at Ganga Ghats. It is at the Ganga Ghats where we see life and death together. For thousands of years people have been thronging these Ghats to offer their morning prayers to the rising sun. There are more than 100 ghats along side Ganga in Varanasi. Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, Kabir Ghat and Assi Ghat.
After early lunch drive down to Bodhgaya.On arrival check in at hotel. Dinner & overnight stay at hotel.
Day 10: Bodhgaya
Morning after breakfast full day sightseeing of Bodhgaya.
Here under the Bodhi tree (Tree of Awakening).Shakyamuni Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha,the "Enlightened One",the propounder of one of the great religions of the world.The tree that stands today is believed to have grown from the original Peepal tree under which Lord Buddha meditated. River Niranjana in which the Buddha bathed after attaining enlightenment flows quietly outside the tiny hamlet where the story of Prince Siddhartha ended and the saga of the Buddha began.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11: Bodhgaya-Rajgir-Nalanda-Patna
Morning after breakfast drive to Patna. Enroute lunch in Rajgir via Nalanda unversity ruins.Rajgir is 12 kms south of Nalanda on the road to Bodhgaya and is located in a verdant valley surrounded by rocky hills. It is sacred to the memory of founders of both Buddhism and Jainism. Lord Buddha spent many months of retreat during the rainy season here and used to meditate and preach on the Griddhankuta, the hill of the Vultures. An aerial ropeway provides the link with a hilltop stupa built by the Japanese. One one of the hills is the cave of Saptparni, the first Buddhist Council was held. The Saptparni cave is also the source of the Rajgir hot water springs that have curative properties and are sacred to Hindus.Nalanda is famous as an ancient seat of learning and has the ruins of one of the world's most ancient university. Founded in the 5th Centuary AD, this great seat of learning flourished until the 12th Century. Both the founders of the two religions Buddhism and Jainism, the Buddha and Parsvanath Mahavir, visited Nalanda. The Chinese chronicler Huien Tsang spent many years here both as a student and as a teacher.
Arrive Patna and check-in at hotel for overnight stay.
Day 12: Patna-Delhi
Early Morning after breakfast transfer to airport to take the flight to Delhi. Upon arrival transfer to city for sight seeing of the city. Drive past President House, Parliament House (House of Representatives) and India Gate- War Memorial (stop for photography). You may visit the Qutab Minar and the Lotus Temple.
Later transfer to airport for onward destination.
- 11 Nights of hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis.
- Breakfast during the stay.
- Air Conditioned vehicle as per the itinerary.
- Local English Speaking Guide for the sightseeing places.
- Assistance on arrival & departure transfers.
- All applicable taxes included.
- Air fare and Train fare.
- Personal expenses like Laundry, Portage, Extra meals etc.
- Guide & Driver tips & gratuities.
- Accompanied language guide.
- Entrance fees for the monuments mentioned.
- Anything not mentioned in "Cost Included".
Mumbai International Airport
Product ID: 29973