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Footsteps of Buddha Tours

 

Buddha’s Footsteps tour

Tour Duration : 08 Nights / 09 Days
Places Covered: Kolkata - Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Varanasi – Sarnath - Kushinagar - Lumbini - Sravasti – Lucknow / Agra – Delhi
Buddha left his indelible footprints in various sites of India which have become the showcase of Buddhist heritage for the whole world. Buddha Footsteps tour is an attempt to walk through the path to Nirvana. From Kolkata, the city of joys, the tourists / pilgrims will be transported to the world heritage site of Bodhgaya, known as the site of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. Next site in this itinerary is Rajgir where Lord Buddha delivered many discourses. Nalanda, the next destination in Buddha’s footsteps tour was the site of the oldest university of the world. Later, visit the site where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon at Sarnath, near Varanasi. Continue the journey towards Kushinagar, where Buddha left the mortal world. Lumbini, the next destination contrastingly presents the site of Lord Buddha’s birth to elevate the humanity with his noble truths. Last Buddhist destination during Buddha’s Footsteps tour is the Sravasti, where Buddha after enlightenment, spent most of the monsoon retreats at Jetvana monastery.

Optional extension of Buddha’s Footsteps tour takes a detour from Lucknow, the city of etiquettes to the city of love Agra, representing the blend of emotions and beauty in the form of Taj Mahal.
Day 1. Arrival - Kolkata - Bodhgaya

Arrive Kolkata International Airport and meet Buddhist train representative for Kolkata city tour by visiting Victoria Memorial, the iconic structure of Kolkata. Continue the journey where you will be transferred to Howrah Railway Station to board the connecting train to Gaya near Bodhgaya. Overnight journey
Day 2. Arrive Bodhgaya

Arrive Gaya Railway Station early morning and you will be transferred to Bodhgaya, one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres. It was here that Gautama attained enlightenment and became Buddha the awakened under the "Bodhi" tree. After relaxing for awhile, visit Mahabodhi Temple, the third century temple built by Emperor Ashoka which is one of the foremost attractions of Bodhgaya. Walk through the different spiritual attractions of Bodhgaya, i.e. Bodhi Tree under the shade of which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, Animeshlochana Chaitya where Lord Buddha gazed the revered Bodhi tree with gratitude in his heart without blinking the eyes. Continue exploring Bodhgaya with a visit to various monasteries established by Buddhist nations.Overnight in Bodhgaya.
Day 3. Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Bodhgaya

After breakfast, begin a full day excursion to Rajgir, the ancient capital of 6th century Magadha Empire. It was visited by Buddha many times and witnessed many enlightening discourses by Lord Buddha atop the Griddhakutta hill. Opposite to the hill is Bimbisara Jail, where the king was jailed by his own son, Ajatshatru. Continue discovering the marvels of Rajgir in the form of Saptaparni Cave, where first Buddhist council took place and Venuvana vihara, one of the favourite resorts of Lord Buddha.

Later proceed to Nalanda, the world's oldest university equipped with multidiscipline subjects. Also visit monasteries and temples with impressive Buddha & Hindu images during Buddha’s footsteps tour. Archaeological museum is also not to be missed for the rare collections in Nalanda. Return back to Bodhgaya for overnight stay.
Day 4. Bodhgaya - Varanasi

Early morning after breakfast, proceed for Varanasi. On arrival, check into hotel. Afternoon continue the excursion to Sarnath, the principle centre of Buddhism. It was here in 530 B.C, that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after gaining enlightenment to the first five followers.Overnight stay in Varanasi.

Day 5. Varanasi - Kushinagar

Early morning cherish the excursion aboard the boat ride on river Ganges to see the beautiful sunrise. Later, check out Varanasi and drive towards Kushinagar. On arrival in Kushinagar, check into the hotel. Afternoon continue the Kushinagar Tour with a motive to discover the Buddhist heritage ingrained in the region. Visit Ramabhar Stupa, built on the cremation site of Lord Buddha and Mahaparinirvana Temple showcasing his statue in reclining posture. Also visit Matha Kuar Shrine enshrining the large recumbent figure of Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra (Nirvana Posture). Overnight stay in Kushinagar.
Day 6. Kushinagar - Lumbini - Sravasti

After breakfast, proceed for Lumbini, the sacred shrine where Buddha was born. Located in Rupandehi district in Nepal, this pilgrimage site enshrines the place where Siddhartha Gautama was born to Queen Mayadevi in this divine forest. Visit Mayadevi Temple, built on the actual site where Tathagata was born. Nearby this area is Pushkarni pond, believed to be the pond where the queen took bath before delivery. Later this day return to India through a drive towards Sravasti.
On arrival check into Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 7. Sravasti - Lucknow - Departure

Morning visit Sravasti, the site where Lord Buddha spend most of the monsoon retreats in Jetavana. It was the ancient capital of Kosala kingdom and now it is visited for the number of stupas and other monastic ruins at Sahet and Mahet in Sravasti. Later drive to Lucknow railway station and board train # 2003 Lucknow Shatabdi Express dep.15:35 hrs. arr. Delhi at 22:00 hrs. On arrival, transfer to Airport to connect Flight back to home.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION

Day 07. Sravasti - Gonda - Agra

Morning visit Sravasti (Sahet-Mahet), capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kosala which was and still is an active centre for Buddhism. After sightseeing, proceed to Gonda Railway Station (40 km) to connect train # 9038/40 Avadh Express dep. 16:30 hrs. Overnight on board.
Day 08. Agra - Delhi Departure

Arrive Agra at 04:50 hrs. After breakfast, visit Taj Mahal, the monument testifying the spirit of love of Emperor Shah Jahan who dedicated this massive marble monument as a tribute to his wife in 16th century. Later visit Agra Fort, which served as the final living quarters for the Emperor to live in imprisonment. Proceed for Delhi Airport (203 km / 4 hr) to connect flight back to home as a part of concluding this enriching Buddha’s Footstep Tour.

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