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Buddha with India Tour

Tour Duration : 13 Nights / 14 Days
Places Covered: Delhi - Gaya - Bodhgaya - Nalanda - Rajgir - Gaya - Varanasi - Mumbai - Aurangabad - Delhi - Agra - Jaipur – Delhi
Buddha with India tour is another unique extension tour allowing the visitors to discover the best of both worlds. The first par of the journey aboard the Mahaparinirvana Express takes them through Bodhgaya and Sarnath near Varanasi, the two important sites that changed the life of Lord Buddha and led him to live in accordance to a mission of preaching wisdom to the world. The second part of Buddha with India tour takes allows tourists to experience a unique perspective towards the Indian heritage. Here, they revisit the iconic tourist attractions of India including Mumbai, Ajanta, Ellora caves near Aurangabad, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Truly, it is a comprehensive journey illustrating the rich heritage of Buddha etched in India.
Day 1. Delhi - Gaya (990 km) (Mahaparinirvana Train Tour)

17:30 hrs - Reach Delhi Safdurjung Railway Station and amidst traditional welcome, board the respective coaches in Mahaparinirvana Express Train, the solitary Buddhist train in India.

19:00 hrs - Depart Delhi via the Buddhist train for Bodhgaya, famous worldwide as the site of Lord Buddha’s spiritual enlightenment.

20:00 hrs - Dinner and overnight stay onboard the Buddha tour with India.

Day 2. Gaya – Bodhgaya (16 kms) (Mahaparinirvana Train Tour)

06:30 hrs – Wake up early morning and get prepared with tea, wash, change & breakfast on board to witness the site where Lord Buddha found his awakening and enlightenment.

08:30 hrs - Arrive at Gaya; disembark the train and assemble to board the coaches for road journey to Bodhgaya. Here, the spiritual experience awaits you in the form of world heritage site in Bodhgaya, Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhi Tree and other prime attractions associated directly with Lord Buddha.

12:30 hrs – After visiting Mahabodhi Temple, check in at hotel for lunch and rest till tea time.

16:00 hrs – After evening tea, proceed towards Thai Temple sightseeing, Japanese Temple and Buddha Statue. Optionally, one can visit the monasteries in the Buddhist city of Bodhgaya.

19:30 hrs – Return to hotel for dinner and overnight in Bodhgaya.

Day 3. Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda - Gaya – Varanasi (Mahaparinirvana train Tour)

05:30 hrs – Wake up early morning for tea & breakfast followed by checkout from the Hotel and depart for an excursion to Rajgir and Nalanda Tour.

07:00 hrs – Depart Bodhgaya for Rajgir (85 Km) via deluxe coach.

09:30 hrs – Arrive Rajgir and begin sightseeing at Rajgir through visiting Bimbimsara Jail, Gridhakut Hill, Venuvan Vihara and Saptaparni Caves, associated with Lord Buddha during his lifetime.

12:30 hrs – Proceed to a Restaurant in Rajgir for lunch.

13:30 hrs - Proceed to Nalanda for sightseeing covering ruins of world famous Nalanda University & Nalanda Museum.

17:00 hrs – Depart back to Gaya Railway Station to proceed further during Buddha with India tour.

19:00 hrs – Arrive Gaya Railway Station and board the Mahaparinirvana Express.

20:00 hrs – Dinner on-board. Departure from Gaya at 23:30 hrs to Varanasi Tour (220 kms) by train.
Day 4. Arrive Varanasi (Mahaparinirvana Train Tour)

05:00 hrs - Early morning tea on-board as tourists arrive Varanasi. Disembark the train and board buses.

06:00 hrs – 08:30 hrs – Arrival at hotel, check in and breakfast.

08:30 hrs – After breakfast, begin Sarnath tour (10 km) by visiting Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath Museum and Mulgandha Kuti Vihar, associated deeply with the life of Buddha and foundations of Buddhism. Here only Lord after enlightenment preached his first sermon to the five followers, turned the wheel of law and laid the foundation of dharma or Buddhism.

12:30 hrs – After Sarnath tour, return to Varanasi for lunch and spend the afternoon hours relaxing in Varanasi, the spiritual city of lights and learning.

17:00 hrs – In the evening, continue exploring the cultural city of Varanasi, richly etched around the famous spiritual Ghats alongside the River Ganges. Experience the nerve of the city pulsating with the rich traditions and rituals with boat ride (with required safety procedure adhered). Later witness the mesmerizing Evening Aarti where river is worshipped like a goddess. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5. Varanasi – Mumbai

Breakfast at hotel and begin a short Varanasi city tour. Later this day, transfer to airport to move ahead during Buddha with India tour via flight to Mumbai. On arrival in metropolitan Mumbai, transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6. Mumbai - Aurangabad

After breakfast, begin the Mumbai city tour with a visit to Prince of Wales or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, Gateway of India, Hanging Garden on Malabar hills, C Link Marine Drive, Dhobhi Ghats and Mani Bhawan etc. After the sightseeing is over, transfer to airport to board connecting flight for Aurangabad. (By 9W 3109: Dep. 1825 Hrs /Arr. 1925 Hrs).

On arrival, transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7. Aurangabad – Ajanta Caves - Aurangabad

Begin morning in Aurangabad with breakfast. After this, get ready for excursion to Ajanta Caves. Ajanta is world's remarkable ancient cave complex in Jalgaon. This UNESCO world heritage complex consists of 30 caves belonging to the ancient era of 2nd century BC to about 480 or 650 CE.

The cave complex basically hosts a collection of monasteries and chaitya grihas. These caves are believed to be the ancient monastic complexes displaying paintings centering on Buddha, the incidents associated with his life and Jataka tales. The paintings are etched on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique. (Ajanta caves remain closed on every Monday).

After this, return back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 8. Aurangabad - Ellora Caves - Aurangabad

After breakfast, visit another cave complex near Aurangabad, which is again a world heritage site known as Ellora Caves. Located 18 miles away from Aurangabad, this group of 34 caves is not just dedicated to Buddhist, but also projects Hindu and Jain temple influence in it. The standout attraction here is magnificent Kailasha Temple, hewn out of a single rock. Sighting the carved life size figures of gods and goddesses here is another wonderful experience at Ellora cave complex. (Ellora caves remain closed on every Tuesday).
Day 9. Aurangabad City Tour

Next day begin Aurangabad city tour. Famous as the city of gates, this city is known for its intricate Mughal character. Thanks to Aurangzeb, the mighty Mughal emperor who made this city his capital. The city tour includes a visit to Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara, a replica of Taj Mahal in the region. After the city tour, return back to the hotel for overnight and dinner.
Day 10. Aurangabad – Delhi

After early breakfast, transfer to the airport and board the connect flight for Delhi. (By S2 6172: Dep. 08:15 Hrs /Arr. 10:20 Hrs). On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later continue Delhi tour via visiting Qutub Minar, the first and the largest Muslim minaret complex. Humayun’s Tomb, the next in the series is the frontrunner of the tomb complexes in India. This magnificent chahar bagh garden tomb is the first specimen of Mughal architecture in this country.

Continue visiting Delhi via a drive to India Gate, contributing the British style elegance to the city. A drive past President and Parliament House is another attraction of visiting the Lutyens Delhi. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 11. Delhi – Agra

Breakfast at hotel. And now begin exploring Old Delhi via a visit to Rajghat (cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi), drive past Red Fort, known as the power center of Mughals. This magnificent red sandstone fort is Shah Jehan's symbol of power and elegance. Its main gate (Lahore Gate) overlooks Chandni Chowk, the bustling Mughal marketplace typified with the presence of narrow alleys and old style crowded bazaars. Also visit Jama Masjid, an imposing mosque built by Shah Jahan in 1656. This splendid structure boasts of being the largest and most exquisite mosque in India. Built in yellow sandstone, this grand tower is five storied each one possessing a distinct balcony.

Afternoon drive to Agra.(203 Kms / 04 Hrs). On arrival, transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day 12. Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur (232Kms / Approx. drive time 05 hours )

After breakfast, begin city tour of Agra, the center for Mughals for many centuries. The modern day city was a flourishing Mughal capital known for many interesting monuments and tombs. The most remarkable amongst them is Taj Mahal, the white mausoleum commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1632 in memory of his wife as a burial place. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece built by 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this poetic ode in marble. (Taj Mahal remains closed on all Fridays) Later visit the Agra Fort containing the private and public audience halls and other palaces during the splendid Mughal rule.

After lunch, leave Agra for Jaipur by surface. Enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri, located 40 Km from Agra is the deserted city which was abandoned under the rule of Emperor Akbar due to water scarcity. This city was commissioned and built by the emperor himself in honour of the great Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. The city remains are still an attraction to look out for. The well preserved remnants of Fatehpur Sikri include a visit to the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that narrate grandeur and splendour of the Mughal Empire at its zenith. Continue overland journey to Jaipur. On arrival, check into the hotel. Overnight stay.
Day 13. In Jaipur

After breakfast, visit Amber Fort. It is a classic romantic sandstone fort belonging to the medieval Rajputana. This interior within the fort depicts the miniature paintings on the walls featuring war scenes, hunting and other beautified scenes of Rajput indulgence. Visit the resplendent attractions of Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory, Sheesh Mahal, etc. Enroute Amber Fort, enjoy a brief photography stopover at Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds.

Afternoon continue the city tour via a visit to City Palace, the former Royal residence of Jaipur kingdom. A part of it is converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the fortified campus style, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. The museum of City Palace holds another attraction housing an impressive array of weaponry including pistols, swords, daggers, blunderbusses, flintlocks and rifles. The royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons. Later visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world. Situated near the gate of the city palace, the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 14. Jaipur - Delhi (252 Km / Approx. drive time 05 Hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Delhi. On arrival, transfer to International airport to connect flight for onward destination.
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