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Taj Mahal with Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour
 

Buddhist Pilgrimage and Taj Mahal Tour

Tour Duration : 10 Nights / 11 Days
Places Covered: Delhi - Patna - Nalanda - Rajgir - Bodhgaya - Varanasi - Kushinagar – Lumbini - Sravasti - Lucknow - Agra - Delhi
Buddhist Pilgrimage and Taj Mahal Tour is a unique journey back in time conjoining the two different sides of life. One side, i.e. Buddhist Pilgrimage in the beginning teaches us to elevate from the pains and suffering of life through treading the path walked by Lord Buddha. This includes the place of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment, Bodhgaya; the place where he delivered numerous discourses, Rajgir; the place of his first sermon, Sarnath; the site of his final Mahaparinirvana, Kushinagar and the site of his birth, Lumbini.

Other side of the journey allows tourists to witness a marvel that rose out of grief of an Emperor for his wife, Taj Mahal. This is one of the great tourist attractions often considered identical to India and its inimitable architectural heritage. Visit the world heritage site, Taj Mahal and witness the marvel erected Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to enshrine the mortal remains of Queen Mumtaz Mahal as a perfect conclusion to the Buddhist Pilgrimage and Taj Mahal Tour.
Day 1, Arrival Delhi

Upon arrival at Delhi International Airport, meet the Buddhist Train Representative who will assist your transfer to the prebooked hotel for overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 2, Delhi

After breakfast, begin the sightseeing tour of Delhi including a visit to the old Delhi constructed in 16th century by Mughal masters of India. Discover the secrets of Old Delhi by visiting Red Fort, the citadel of Mughal capital, Jama Masjid (the largest mosque of Asia), Raj Ghat (Cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation). Continue the journey of exploring the early medieval structures of Delhi via Qutub Minar. Begin the tryst with 101 year old New Delhi erected and planned by Edward Lutyens, the greatest British architect through India Gate (War Memorial), President House & Parliament House. Overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 3,Delhi - Patna - Nalanda - Rajgir - Bodhgaya

After breakfast, transfer to the Airport to board the flight for Patna by IC # 409 dep. 06:55 hr and arr. 08:20 hr. Upon arrival, drive to Bodhgaya (130 km / 04 hr) drive where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi Tree. Enroute visit Nalanda and Rajgir, another Buddhist sites closely related with Lord Buddha. The ruins of Nalanda showcase one of the oldest universities in the world diversified with multidisciplinary subjects. This was also an international center for Buddhist learning.

Rajgir was once the ancient capital of the powerful kingdom of Magadha. The outskirts of Rajgir take a tourist to a historic road towards Gridhakuta or Vulture’s peak where the Buddha preached many discourses. Here at Saptaparni Caves, the first Buddhist council took place after the Lord's Mahaparinirvana. Return for Overnight stay in Bodhgaya.
Day 4, Bodhgaya

After breakfast, begin the sightseeing of Bodhgaya. Here under the sacred Bodhi Tree, Shakyamuni Gautama attained supreme knowledge and became Buddha the awakened one and the founder of Buddhism, the fourth largest followed religion in the world. Visit the various sites at Mahabodhi Temple Complex – Bodhi Tree, Animesh Lochana Chaitya where Lord Buddha gazed the revered Bodhi Tree in gratitude and Muchalinda Lake, where meditated Buddha was protected by a snake king Muchalinda from heavy rains and storm.

Chankramana is another sacred spot in Mahabodhi Temple Complex symbolizing Buddha’s meditative perambulations during the third week after enlightenment. According to legends, it is believed that where Buddha placed his feet, a lotus sprang up. In the evening, visit the famous monasteries of Bodhgaya. Overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 5, Bodhgaya - Varanasi

After breakfast, drive to Varanasi, the city of lights and learning i.e. 247 km or 6-7 hr drive. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. In evening, visit River Ganga Ghat to attend the magical Aarti where the river is worshipped. Overnight stay in Varanasi.
Day 6, Varanasi

Early morning, begin the boat tour on River Ganges, visit Bathing Ghats and observe the rituals alongside the mighty river. Return to hotel for breakfast. Continue exploring Varanasi, the city as old as time. This city is dotted with numerous temples, famous among them is Vishwanath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Manikarnika Temple dedicated to Goddess Sati and Bharat Mata Temple, devoted to the motherland of India. Instead of an idol, the temple worships a physical relief structure of Map of India. Afternoon continue excursion to Sarnath, one of the destinations of the four fold pilgrimage. Here only, Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon and set in motion the wheel of law of Buddhism after enlightenment. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 7, Varanasi - Kushinagar

After breakfast in Varanasi, begin drive to Kushinagar (265 km or 07 hr). Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 8, Kushinagar - Lumbini

In morning, visit Mahaparinirvana Temple and Rambhar Stupa, symbolizing the chapter of Lord Buddha’s ultimate nirvana. Proceed the day with a drive to Lumbini in Nepal (170 km or 4 hr drive). Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later begin the sightseeing of revered Lumbini, the site of Prince Siddhartha’s birth. The sacred sites here include Mayadevi Temple, Pushkarini Pond and the inscribed Ashokan Pillar commissioned in the twenty first year after his coronation at Lumbini. Overnight stay in Lumbini.

Day 9, Lumbini - Sravasti

After early breakfast, drive to Sravasti (170 km and 04 hr). Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later, proceed for the sightseeing of Sravasti, the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom, an active centre for Buddhism since time immemorial. The famous Jetavana Monastery is there in Sravasti, where Lord Buddha spent maximum monsoon retreats and delivered numerous discourses. The capital of Sravasti in present times is visible as ruins under the name of Sahet and Mahet. Overnight in Sravasti.
Day 10, Sravasti - Lucknow - train to Agra

Morning is free at leisure. Later drive to Lucknow (195 km / 5 hr) and board train # 9038 / 9040 Avadh Express dep. 16:30 hrs. Overnight on board.
Day 11, Agra - Delhi / Out

Arrive Agra at 04:35 hrs. After breakfast, proceed to visit the marvel in marble, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, the citadels of Mughal majesty in Agra. Later drive to Delhi airport (203 km / 4 hr) to board your international flight.
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