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east india buddhist tour

Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour East India

Tour Duration : 15 Nights / 16 Days
Places Covered: Delhi - Varanasi - Bodhgaya - Patna - Calcutta - Dajeeling - Kalimpong - Gangtok - Kolkata
The glorious sun of Buddhism rose up in the east of India 2,600 years ago. Here only, Lord Buddha alleviated the sufferings of life and set himself as a practical example for an enlightened life. Buddhist tour to East India is an attempt to map the temples, stupas, pagodas, monasteries in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, besides the Gompas and Mahayana Buddhist influences in the extreme eastern corner of West Bengal and Sikkim. From Delhi, the tourists are taken to the site of Buddha’s first sermon, Sarnath near Varanasi and then transferred to Bodhgaya, the site of prince’s enlightenment and attainment of awareness or Bodha. From there, the tour moves towards Kolkata, the gateway to the extreme east and its unique Buddhist heritage in Darjeeling in the form of Gompas amidst the backdrop of serene hill station charm and rugged essence of Kalimpong monasteries. Later, the tour intricately moves towards Sikkim and its Buddhist cultural legacy and aura present in its 200 monasteries, devoted Lamas in maroon robes and numerous arrays of prayer wheels.
Day 1, Arrival Delhi

Upon arrival in Delhi International Airport, meet Buddhist Train Tour representative who will assist your transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 2, Delhi

Next morning, begin a full day sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi via a visit to the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Parliament House, Birla Mandir, Memorials on the cremation grounds of Nehru and Gandhi. Later visit Qutab Minar and Humayuns Tomb post lunch etc. Overnight in Delhi.

Day 3, Delhi / Varanasi

In morning, transfer to airport to board connecting flight to Varanasi IC 806 dep. 11:00 hrs. / arr. at 12:15 hrs. On arrival, check into the hotel. In afternoon begin the excursion to Sarnath; where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Return to Varanasi for overnight stay.
Day 4, Varanasi

Next morning, embark on a mesmerizing boat ride on the Holy River Ganges. Spot the sunrise and the traditional rituals and religious rites being performed on the sacred Ghats of Varanasi. After breakfast, leave for full day Varanasi City tour visiting Bharat Mata Temple where relief map of India symbolizing the motherland is worshipped; Durga Temple a 500 year old temple built by Emperor of Banaras, Tulsi Manas Temple dedicated to Lord Rama and the largest residential campus of Banaras Hindu University. Overnight in Varanasi.
Day 5, Varanasi / Bodhgaya

In morning, depart by surface for Bodhgaya (243 km / 7 hr) the place where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became Buddha the awakened. On arrival, check into the hotel. In afternoon, visit Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, and other attractions in the temple complex including Chankramana, Animesh Lochan Chaitya, Muchalinda Lake and most importantly the Bodhi Tree, under the serene shade of which Lord Buddha gained enlightenment. Overnight in Bodhgaya.
Day 6, Bodhgaya / Patna

Morning depart by surface for Rajgir city tour (70 km / 2 hr). Closely related with the life of Lord Buddha, Rajgir was ancient Rajagriha, the ancient capital of Magadha Empire is dotted with many attractions that are still untouched from the ravages of time. Visit Vulture’s Hill or Griddhakutta, where Lord Buddha preached many sermons to his followers; World Peace Stupa, Saptaparni Caves where first Buddhist council after Buddha’s Parinirvana took place. Later drive to Nalanda (14 km) and visit one of the oldest universities of the world & an International Centre of Buddhist Studies. Continue drive to Patna (145 km / 4 hr). Check into hotel for overnight in Patna..
Day 7, Patna / Calcutta

In morning, visit the Patna Sahib, the gurudwara in remembrance of the tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh’s birth and Patna Museum where many archaeological objects and art objects, instruments, coins, paintings, textiles, thankas, bronze images and sculptures and terra cotta works are displayed. The prized possessions of this museum are associated with the daily life during the British times, a rare collection of the first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and a cannon used in world war I. Later transfer to airport and board the connecting flight to Kolkata. Upon arrival, relax in the hotel at leisure and enjoy overnight in Kolkata.
Day 8, Kolkata / Darjeeling

Early morning visit Kolkata’s flower market on the riverbanks in Howrah. This magical experience is followed by a boat-ride on the Hooghly. In afternoon, continue the sightseeing of Kolkata including the iconic Victoria Memorial, St Paul's Cathedral and the Indian Museum featuring one of the best collections of Indian art. In the evening, transfer to Sealdah Railway station to board Train # 2343 Darjeeling Mail and spend the night in the comfort of air-conditioned sleeper.
Day 9, Darjeeling

Arrive at New Jalpaiguri Railway Station at 08:40 hrs. Check in at the hotel. Later board "toy train", (Train # 1D - dep. 09:00 hrs arrive Darjeeling at 15:30 hrs) and romance the mesmerizing hills during this exciting journey in this timeless steam engine trail. There is an old world charm in Darjeeling that attracts tourists to this scenic and wonderful paradise of this hill station. The green countryside, acres of tea estates and magnificent snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga make it a surreal destination. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 10, Darjeeling

Early in the morning drive towards Tiger Hill (9000 ft.) and witness the spectacular sunrise over Mt. Everest and Kanchenjunga. After this out of the world experience, visit the Ghoom Monastery on return drive. Later visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and a local tea garden and feel the soothing aromatic wafts here. Tea tasting can also be availed here. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 11, Darjeeling - Kalimpong

Morning depart for Kalimpong (51 km / 1 ½ hr). On arrival, check in the hotel. In afternoon, visit local monasteries and orchid and gladioli nurseries. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 12, Kalimpong - Gangtok

In the morning after breakfast visit Dello Hills and Dr. Graham`s Home and a Flower Nursery in this quaint hill station. In the afternoon, three hour drive from Kalimpong takes tourists to Gangtok (85 km). Visit Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, a Buddhist state tucked in the extreme east of India. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 13, Gangtok

Next morning continue Buddhist Tour to East India with a sightseeing tour covering Rumtek Monastery, Deer Park, Droul Chorthen, Research Institute of Tibetology, Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom and Enchey Monastery displaying the Buddhist essence of this exciting state. This city in the heart of Sikkim is a center of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning and offers endless glimpses of Buddhist heritage ingrained here. Afternoon is free to explore Gangtok on your own. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 14, Gangtok

Broaden your horizons in Gangtok with a visit to the sacred and serene Tshangu Lake. Located at an altitude of 12400 ft, this lake remains frozen most of the year, except during May to August, when the lake’s banks bloom with colourful rhododendrons, iris, primulas, and poppies. After this enchanting excursion return to Gangtok for overnight stay.
Day 15, Gangtok- Bagdogra - Calcutta

Morning depart by surface for Bagdogra (115 km / 4 ½ hr) and connect flight for Calcutta. On arrival, transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 16, Depart Calcutta

Transfer to the airport for departure for onward destination (hotel check out 12:00 hrs)
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