Footsteps of The Buddha- This sample 14-Day tour offers you the opportunity to enjoy this authentic experience as a pilgrammage with a private guide and luxury accommodations throughout. Yet, as we prepare your customized journey, we can add private yoga training, mediation training, and wellness treatments. See the journey of Siddartha Gautama and how he achieved enlightenment to became a "Buddha" - an enlightened one.
This in-depth itinerary takes you to:
Delhi – Varanasi – Bodhgaya – Patna – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Sravasti – Lucknow - Agra
> Bodh Gaya, where he attained enlightenment
> Sarnath where he preached his first sermon
> Kushinagar where he attained Parinirvana in 486 BC.
Six, nine, and twelve day itineraries are available.
This experience is 100% customizable for 2 or more persons.
14-day luxury experience $4560 pp
CALL to BOOK DIRECTLY >> 1-866-269-2659
Your trip includes a private guide for the duration of your trip. We will customize your experience to include sacred yoga, authentic meditation practice, spa and wellness treatments, and adhere to any dietary requirements you may have.
All of our trip itineraries include: Meet and Greet services upon arrival, all transfers needed for your journey, and all taxes and fees.
Day 1: ARRIVE DELHI
On arrival in Delhi, meet your representative, who will transfer you to your hotel in Delhi. The evening will be free for leisure.
Day 2: DELHI
After breakfast proceed for a full day sightseeing tour of Old Delhi & New Delhi. Old Delhi - visit the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; and Juma Masjid, the largest mosque in India.
New Delhi - Visit to the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar, and a drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, and the President's Residence and end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.
Overnight Delhi (B)
After breakfast transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi. Upon arrival transfer to hotel.
Varanasi, known to the devout as Kashi, is said to have been founded by Shiva, Lord of the Universe. One of the oldest living cities in the world, and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India, situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, the city has been a center of learning and civilization for over 2000 years.
Evening visit Dashaswamedh Ghat for glittering “aarti” ceremony of the holy river Ganges. Huge lamps are set ablaze and the priest holds forth the lamp as the multitude chants the hymns. You will be driven to a place called Beniabagh and from there walk to Dashaswamedh Ghat amidst crowded local market famous for spices, local shops, cloths and daily vendors selling fruits, pickles, vegetables etc on hand pulled carts.
Overnight Varanasi (B)
DAY 4: VARANASI
This morning you will enjoy the unique experience of a pre-sunrise ritual, followed by one hour yoga session at the rarely explored North of the riverside. Your experience ends with ritual worship at a hidden Surya sun temple, followed by sunrise boat ride on River Ganges to see people praying and bathing and to witness burning ghat. Later a walk through the mystical landscape of poets, sacred temples, holy ponds near Assighat, the southernmost embankment of the holy Gangas river.
Walk in the footsteps of 16th century Banaras poet and mystic Pandit Goswami Tulsidas, translator of the sacred Ramanyana text. You will aslo hear about the history and special culture of Varanasi while visiting the Southern Temple established by Tulsidas! The walk ends with a special darshan, meaning 'taking sight' of a hidden sun temple behind his home. Visit the small alleys surrounding the Ghat for photography. Return to hotel for breakfast.
Afterwards continue you city tour of Varanasi visiting Bharat Mata Temple, Tulsimanas temple, and Benaras Hindu University.
Afternoon excursion to Sarnath, one of the most sacred places for Budhhist, where Lord Buddha gave first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Sarnath has previously been known as Mrigadava, "deerpark," and Isipatana, meaning the place where holy men fell to earth. The latter name is based in the legend that when the Buddha was born, devas announced the news to 500 holy men. The holy men rose into the air, disappeared, and their relics fell to the ground.
Overnight Varanasi (B)
DAY 5: VARANASI- BODHGAYA
Leisurely breakfast, then private car drive to Bodhgaya, about 6.5 hours. Upon arrival check in at the hotel, and enjoy a late lunch.
Afternoon visit Bodhgaya with private guide. Mahabodhi Temple- Known to the world as a heritage site, Mahabodhi Temple is the spiritual centerpiece of Bodhgaya which is deeply connected to Lord Buddha’s life and teachings. Apart from its religious associations, the temple is a great example of Asokan architecture. Built entirely in brick, the temple’s sculpted stone balustrades are an outstanding early example of sculptural reliefs.
Mahabodhi Tree - Almost every Buddhist devotee wants to sit under the shade of Bodhi Tree. Just to experience the spiritual calm, surrender and awakening as Buddha himself experienced 2600 years ago. Botanically a Banyan Tree, Mahabodhi Tree shelters every spiritual soul under its soothing shade. Presently, the fifth generation of the original tree blesses the center of spirituality.
Vajrasana - Vajrasana is another sacred site in Bodhgaya where Lord Buddha sat in meditation and achieved enlightenment. In the evening join with large numbers of monks and devotees at at Mahabodhi Temple (UNESCO world heritage site) chanting of hymns.)
Overnight in Bodhgaya
DAY 6: BODHGAYA
After breakfasts proceed for city tour of Bodhgaya...
Monasteries - Monasteries or Viharas form an important base to explore unique traditions of Buddhism uniquely associated with the different countries. Almost all Buddhist countries have their representative monasteries built in their own distinctive styles enshrine their presence in this holy land.
Wat Thai (Thai Temple)
In the year 1957 the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru invited the Royal Government of Thailand to build a monastery in Bodh Gaya to commemorate the 2500 years of Buddhism and strengthen Indo-Thai friendship. The king responded by constructing a temple which is a classic specimen of Thai architecture. Considered as one of the most beautiful monasteries in Bodh Gaya it has a large ‘ashtadhatu’ statue of Buddha inside the Temple.
One of the oldest monasteries built in Bodh Gaya it was constructed in the year 1945 CE in traditional Chinese style. It was later renovated in 1997. This monastery has three, elegantly carved, Buddha statues in three contrasting patterns. It is located at a very short distance from the Mahabodhi Temple.
Burmese Vihara ( Myanmar Buddhist Temple)
Built in 1936 CE this monastery was established by the Venerable Nandamala, and its construction reflects Myanmar’s culture. Located less than a kilometer from the Mahabodhi Temple, it has two prayer halls, a meditation hall and a guest house for the convenience of pilgrims.
Vien Giac Instituteiac (Trung Tam Vien Giac) Viatnam Temple
Located very close to the Mahabodhi Temple the Vien Giac Institute was constructed in the year 2002 CE. The temple architecture reflects the Vietnamese culture and traditions. The temple houses a statue of Avalokiteswara (in a relaxed form). The temple has a prayer hall and a library.
In the evening join with large numbers of monks and devotees at at Mahabodhi Temple (UNESCO world heritage site) chanting of hymns.
Overnight in Bodhgaya
DAY 7: TRANSFER TO PATNA
After breakfast, you are taken by private car to Patna. Enroute visit Rajgir and Nalanda.
Rajgir just 15 kms from Nalanda is located the complex of temples and monasteries. It is one of the most important tourist places in India. Being located in a valley, Rajgir is a very scenic place. The small hill grit town is covered with lush green forest which add to the beauty of the place. Rajgir was the capital of the Magadh Mahajanpad (State) when Patliputra was not formed. In those days it was called Rajgrih. Rajgir or Rajgrih means the home of Royalty.
This place has been associated with Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Buddha not only spent many years in Rajgir but also delivered sermons here and proselytized Emperor Bimbisar at the Griddhakoota hill. The Jivekarmavan monastery was the favorite residence for Buddha. Even Bimbisar gave Venuvan Vihar to Buddha for his residence. It is said that it was at Rajgir that physician treated Buddha, Jivak after he was injured by his cousin Devdatta. The teachings of Buddha was penned down at Rajgir and it was also the venue for the first Buddhist Council.
Today Rajgir has come up as one of the most important pilgrimage for the Buddhist. Rajgir also has some very beautiful Hindu and Jain temples which attracts Hindus and Jains also to the place. Not only as a place for worship, Rajgir has come up as health and winter resort with its warm water ponds. These ponds are said to contain some medicinal properties which help in the cure of many skin diseases. The added attraction of Rajgir is the Ropeway which takes you uphill to the Shanti Stupa and Monasteries built by the Japanese Devotees on top of the Ratnagiri hills.
Later visit Nalanda, founded in the 5th century AD, is famous as the ancient seat of learning. The ruins of the world's most ancient university lies here which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous center of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th-12th centuries. Hieun Tsang stayed here in the 7th century AD and left detailed description of the excellence of education system and purity of monastic life practiced here. He also gave a vivid account of both the ambiance and architecture of this unique university of ancient times. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. Later, continue on to Patna. Upon arrival check in at the hotel.
Overnight in Patna
DAY 8: PATNA- VAISHALL- KUSHINAGAR
After breakfast drive to Kushinagar, a day trip of about 7 hours.
En route we will show you the vivacious capital of the Lichhavi republic in ancient times, Vaishali was named after King Vishal. This city has been mentioned in mythological scriptures such as the Mahabharata. Mythological and historical records have mentioned Vaishali in their scriptures various times. The city is surrounded by groves of mango and banana as well as extensive rice fields.
A Buddhist monastery is found at the edge of the city, the edifice being a proof of the spread of Buddhism in this area. You will be visiting Ashoka Pillar and Vishwa Shanti Stupa.
Later continue your drive to Kushinagar. Upon arrival check in at the hotel.
DAY 9: KUSHINAGAR- LUMBINI
After breakfast city tour of Kushinagar.
Kushinagar is another principal center of Buddhism, worth a sincere admiration, is the place where Lord Buddha passed away at this place near the Hiranyavati River and was cremated at the Ramabhar stupa. It was once a celebrated center of the Malla kingdom. Many of its stupas and viharas date back to 230 BC-AD 413, during its peak era. In 543 BC, on a full moon night of Magh the legend delivered lecture to his Sangha and declared that he is going to leave the mortal world soon enough.
Your private guide will take you to Nirvana Stupa, Mahaparinirvana temple, Wat Thai temple, Ramabhar Stupa & Japanese temple.
Later drive to Lumbini. Upon arrival check in at the hotel.
Overnight in Lumbini
DAY 10: LUMBINI - SRAVASTI
After breakfast city tour of Lumbini. The Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal. Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centers from as early as the 3rd century BC. You will be visiting Maya Devi Temple, Ashokan Pillar, Myanmar Golden Temple, World Peace Pagoda, Lumbini Museum, and the China Temple.
Later drive to Sravasti. Upon arrival check in at the hotel.
Overnight in Sravasti
DAY 11: SRAVASTI - LUCKNOW .
Morning after breakfast city tour of Sravasti.
The ancient city of Shravasti, a flourishing habitation that is an important landmark in the history of Buddhism and Jainism alike, is at present but a collection of ruins called Sahet-Mahet. This twin name has been given to two distinct groups of remains, Sahet and Mahet. Sahet is the site of the famous Buddhist monastery known as Jetvahana Vihar, which lay outside the limits of the Shravasti city proper. Mahet on the other hand is identified with the city of Shravasti. The ruins at Sahet consist mainly of plinths and foundation of Buddhist monasteries and stupas, and Mahet, situated about 500m from Sahet denotes the ancient city proper. Both Sahet and Mahet are now popular tourist attractions in Shravasti Uttar Pradesh. Very little is known of the city of Shravasti until it rose to fame during the Gupta period owing to its association with Buddha and Mahavira in sixth century B.C.
At the time of Buddha, King Presanajit ruled Shravasti. The site of Sahet is said to be the recreational park of prince Jeta, son of Presanajit, after whom the Jetavan Monastery was named. Legend has it that Sudatta (also known as Ananthapindika), a wealthy merchant of Shravasti, bought this park from prince Jeta in exchange for enough gold pieces that could cover the park. The earliest structural activities at Sahet are attributed mainly to Suddatta, Prince Jeta and his father King Presanajit. You will be visiting Miracle Stupa, Sravasti Stupas & Angulimal Stupa.
Afternoon drive to Lucknow. Upon arrival check in at the hotel.
Overnight in Lucknow
DAY 12: LUCKNOW- AGRA
Morning and late afternoon of leisure.
Later in the afternoon transfer to railway station to board train for Agra. Upon arrival transfer to hotel.
Overnight in Agra
DAY 13: AGRA
After breakfast city tour of Agra.
Taj Mahal- Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder, which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Afternoon visit Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty till 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. The Agra fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.
Afternoon visit Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri is a fascinating ghost city built in the 16th century between 1569 and 1585, it was intended to be the joint capital with Agra, but was soon deserted because the water system could not support any residents. It remained untouched for over 400 years now and its palaces are a remainder of the extravagance of the Mughals Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture. Note: Taj Mahal remains closed on every Friday.
Overnight in Agra
DAY 14: DELHI AND DEPARTURE
After breakfast drive to Delhi. Upon arrival transfer straight to International airport to board flight for onward destination.
• Traditional Indian welcome
• Assistance at airport & Railway station
• Accommodation for Thirteen (13) nights on shared accommodations.
• All meals are included in Bodhgaya, Patna, Kushinagar, Lumbini & Sravasti and rest other places only breakfast is included.
• All transfers, city excursions and intercity transfers by air-conditioned vehicle.
• Services of English speaking local Guide during city tour. Accompanying escort guide will be provided in Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Patna, Kushinagar, Lumbini, Sravasti & Lucknow.
• One time Monument Entry fee as per the itinerary
• Rickshaw ride during visit to Old Delhi.
• One hour yoga session with yoga matt at Varanasi.
• Sunrise boat cruise in Varanasi
• Train fare for the sector Lucknow – Agra in air-conditioned chair car
• Bottle water during travel
• All present applicable taxes
• International Airfare
• Any kind of personal expense such as tips, laundry, table drinks, telephone etc.
• Any kind of insurance against natural calamities
• Any Expense not mentioned in the list of inclusions.
• Camera fee / tips / portage.
From $4560 pp, based on shared accommodations, customized for 2 travelers.
Have a group of 6 or more? Contact us for discounted pricing.
CONTACT US TO CUSTOMIZE THIS EXPERIENCE >> 1-866-269-2659