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Taj Mahal & Rajasthan Tour Packages by Theme » Golden Triangle with Buddhist Tour of India

Golden Triangle with Buddhist Tour of India
Duration : 17 Nights / 18 Days
Destination Covered : Delhi – Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra – Varanasi – Sarnath – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Patna – Vaishali – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Sarawasti – Lucknow - Delhi – Dharamshala – Mcleodganj – / Norbulingka Institute - Delhi – FLY BACK
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D1 : Delhi (Arrival)

D2 : Old & New Delhi

D3 : Delhi – Jaipur   

D4 : Jaipur  

D5 : Jaipur – Agra  

D6 : Agra – Varanasi  

D7 : Varanasi

D8 : Varanasi / Sarnath 

D9 : Varanasi – Bodhgaya

D10 : Bodhgaya

D11 : Bodhgaya – Patna

D12 : Patna -  Kushinagar

D13 : Kushinagar – Lumbini  

D14 : Lumbini–Sarawasti–Delhi  

D15 : Delhi – Dharamshala

D16 : Dharamshala  

D17 : Dharamshala  

D18 : Dharamshala – Delhi




Tour Highlights & Inclusions

(All services including Transport / Transfers, Sightseeing, Guides etc are EXCLUSIVE)
• OLD (ancient) and NEW (modern) DELHI Sightseeing – Red Fort, Jamia Mazjid, Chandini Chowk, Qutab Minar, Lotus Temple, Akshardham, India Gate, Raj Ghat, Safdarjung Tomb, Connaught Place etc
• 1- Rickshaw Ride in Old Delhi
• Sound and Light Show at Red Fort or Purana Quila in DELHI
• Visit to CHOKHI DAANI – Traditional Rajasthani Village Resort in JAIPUR
• 1- Elephant Ride at Amber Fort in JAIPUR
• JAIPUR Sightseeing – Amber Fort, City Palace, Heritage Museum, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal, Birla Temple etc
• Fatehpur Sikri Tour
• AGRA Sightseeing - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra and Itma-Ud-Daulah
• Battery Bus Ride for the Taj Mahal in AGRA
• Train Tickets (Air-Conditioned Executive Sleeper Class Express Train)
o Agra – Varanasi
o Lucknow – Delhi
• Flight Tickets
o Delhi – Dharamshala
o Dharamshala – Delhi
• 1-Boat Ride on Ganges in VARANASI
• 1-Evening Sunset Ceremony at Ganges in VARANASI
• VARANASI Sightseeing – City & Temple Tour, Kashi Vidyapeeth, Ghat of Varanasi
• SARNATH Sightseeing – Stupas, Ashoka Pillar, Museum, Sarnath Temple etc
• BODHGAYA Sightseeing – Bodhi Tree, Mahabodhi Temple, archeological museum, Lotus Tank, Buddha Kund, Chinese Temple & monastery, Bhutanese & Burmese Monastery, Japanese & Thai Monastery & International Buddhist House.
• RAJGIR Sightseeing – Vishva Shanti Stupa, Peace Pagoda, Saptparni Caves, Hot Water springs, Venu Vana Monastery,
• NALANDA Sightseeing – Nalanda University Ruins, Archeological Complex & Museum, Hien Tsang Memorial Hall, Silao & Surajpur Baragaon
• VAISHALI Sightseeing – Kolhua Village and Stupa, museum, Monastery, Ashoka’s Lion Pillar, Bhawan Pokhar Temple etc
• KUSHINAGAR Sightseeing – Ramabhar Stupa, Mahaparinirvana Temple, Nirvana Stupa, Matha Kuar Shrine etc
• LUMBINI Sightseeing – Birthplace of Lord Buddha, Parinirvana Stupa, Sacred Garden, Ashokan Pillar, Sanctum Sanctoram of Birth Place, Pushkarni, Kapilvastu etc.
• SARAVASTI Sightseeing – Jetvana Gardens, Anand Bodhi Tree, Maheth, Shobhnath Temple
• DHARAMSHALA Sightseeing – Norbulingka Institute, Center of Tibetan Art & Culture, Residential Refugee School, Vocational Training Center, Monastery Tour, Cultural Show, Namgyal Monastery & Stupa, McLeodgunj, Tsuglahkhang Palace Complex, Tushita Retreat Center, Meet HH Dalai Lama etc.
• Daily Breakfast at the hotels
• All Airport Transfers by private Air Conditioned Dlx Car
• All sightseeing, transport by chauffer driven Private Air Conditioned Dlx Car
• All Toll / Parking / Driver / Fuel Charges towards travel and Transport
• English Speaking Guide throughout the tour at all places
• 1 Ltr of Mineral Water per tour member per day
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Detailed Tour Itinerary

Day 01:DELHI (Arrival)

golden triangle tour with buddhist tourArrive DELHI - The Political and Cultural Capital of Incredible India to be greeted at the airport by our representative arrival team, who will be waiting with pre-printed signboard of your name at the arrival hall immediately after crossing customs area and currency exchange counters. You will be escorted to the car which will take you to the hotel for check inn. Drive to the hotel is approx 35 minutes form airport. Although most of the international flights arrive late in the evening or at night; your activities for the day will depend upon your arrival flight timing. Spend the night at the hotel for sleep and to get over with the Jet Lag. Overnight stay is at the hotel in Delhi.

Day 02: OLD & NEW DELHI

After breakfast in the morning at the hotel our guide will greet you at the hotel to take you for a full day Guided Sightseeing of Old and New Delhi in Private Dlx Car.
Start off by the visit to The Qutab Minar Complex, followed by The Lotus Temple. Drive through Sfadarjung Tomb or Humanyu Tomb, India Gate, Parliament House, President House and Raj Ghat before entering the Old Delhi to visit the Jamia Mazjid, the famous Red Fort and Chandini Chowk, Walk through the narrow alleys of the oldest and busiest bazaars of India or take a Rickshaw Ride. Visit Shish Ganj Gurudwara. In between if time permits you will also be taken to visit the famous Akshardham Temple or Lakshmi Narayan Temple. To wind up the day tour visit some of the beautiful souvenir shops to buy some of the most exquisite memories from India for your loved ones. Finish the tour with the spectacular Sound and Light Show (1 Hr) at Purana Quila delving into Delhi's glorious and tumultuous past, which makes the 5,000 years old history of the city come alive. Drive through the famous Victorian Cannaught Place - One of the most prominent architectural remnants of British Rule.
Return back to the hotel. Rest of the day is free for leisure activities. You may go for dinner at an excellent Mughal/ Indian/ Continental Restaurant. Overnight stay is at the hotel in Delhi.

Day 03: DELHI - JAIPUR (270 Kms -5.5 hrs)

After breakfast in the morning at the hotel you have time for leisure activities. Later in the day check out and drive to JAIPUR. This historic and first planned city of India was founded by Maharaja Swai Jai Singh in 1727 AD. The king had consulted a number of maps of the world before finally organizing own religious map Shilpa Shastra with the help of a young architect. Maharaja Swai Jai Singh was a builder, astronomer, astrologer, soldier, & philosopher. Presently Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan & is world famous as the Pink City. Wide-avenued Jaipur is the reservoir of Indian customs, traditions, civilization and royal legacy and is one of the most important heritage cities in India. Jaipur is also the home to India’s second most visited site. Arrive and check into the hotel.

Rest of the evening is free for leisure activities in and around the hotel. With Car and Driver at your disposal you may visit some of the world famous colorfully painted in Pink Bazaars of Jaipur. Shopping is an electrifying activity in Jaipur. It is difficult to define in words, the assortment of products, which these markets offer. Without a shopping spree in markets, no trip to Jaipur is complete. It is the perfect place to shop for Handicrafts, antiques, jewelry, gems, pottery, carpets, textiles, metalwork and leather-ware. In the late evening hours you may go to the Chokhi Daani – A Rajasthani Traditional Village Resort to enjoy the folk dance, music and rich hospitality and for leisure activities. You may also enjoy a traditional Rajasthani Food before returning back to the hotel to stay Overnight in Jaipur.

Day 04: JAIPUR

rajasthan, amber fortAfter breakfast in the morning at the hotel our guide will greet you at the hotel lobby to take you for full day sightseeing of Jaipur.

Fist visit the most famous Amber Fort. Enjoy the Elephant Ride from the foothills of the Fort to the Amber Fort top, the elephant ride will give you the experience and take you into the royal past where Maharajas & royal family members were using the services of elephants as royal transport. Visit the Amber Fort. While returning form the Amber Fort stop for the photo shots at the Jal Mahal - The Floating Palace. Later visit the marvelous City Palace - the current generation of the Maharajas (King) still live here. The spectacular Palace is a lively example of the royal Past.

Go on to visit the Hawa Mahal (wind palace) where from royal ladies were watching daily processions and daily life. Constructed of red and pink sandstone highlighted with white lime, the five-storied facade is peppered with 953 small windows. The breeze (hawa) that comes through the windows keeps it cool even in hot months, and gives the palace its name.

Also visit the Historic Museum to be followed by ancient astrological observatory – The Jantar Mantar and beautiful temple – The Birla Mandir made in pure white marble. Evening is for leisure and shopping activities in some of the exclusive souvenirs boutiques and showrooms to buy some of the most exquisite memories of India. Return back to the hotel for overnight stay.
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Day 05: JAIPUR – Fatehpur Sikri – AGRA (250 Kms – 05 Hrs)

After breakfast in the morning at the hotel you have spare time for leisure activities. Later check out of the hotel and drive to AGRA. Enroute visit one of the most important places of Mughal Era - The Fatehpur Sikri - the abandoned Mughal Kingdom, founded by Akbar in 1569 AD as a ceremonial capital. But unfortunately this magnificent city was abandoned due to scarcity of drinking water and Akbar went back to Agra. Walk the aisles of the Jamia Mazjid mosque, entered by way of the impressive Victory Gate, and lose yourself in the throngs of pilgrims at the tomb of the Sufi saint Salim Chisti, his white marble-encased tomb enclosed within the Jamia mosque's central courtyard. Considered the crowning architectural legacy of Akbar (who also built the Red Fort) and still almost perfectly preserved, today the site is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Continue your drive to Agra so as to arrive later in the day and Check Into the hotel. AGRA is home to one of the 7 Wonders of the World-the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces are vivid remainders of the ancient Mughal Empire and Capital City of 16th and early 17th centuries. More just a decadent city of graveyards and stones, Agra is a vibrant centre of Culture, Art and Religious philosophies that have enriched mankind and shaped human thought over centuries.

Later in the day after change, wash and some rest visit the Itmad-ud-Daulah - the Baby Taj. The tomb may not be as mammoth as the Taj but the inlay designs and carvings are no less than Taj if not more. The delicate marble latticework in the passages allows the light to enter the interiors. This tomb was the first complete marble Mughal structure. Evening is for shopping and leisure activities with driver and car at your disposal. Agra is famous for handicrafts products such as Inlay work on Marble, Leather work, Foot-wear, Brass-wear, Carpets, Jewelry, Zari and Embroidery work. Overnight stay is at the hotel in Agra.

Day 06: AGRA (Taj Mahal) – VARANASI (Overnight Train

After breakfast in the morning our guide will greet you at the hotel to take you for sightseeing of AGRA. First visit one of the wonders of the world, The TAJ MAHAL (monument of love), built by 5th great Mughal Emperor Shahi Jahan in the memory as mausoleum of his beloved queen Anjuman Bano Begum-Mumtaz. After her death in 1627 AD, in her memory emperor started to built Taj Mahal (Taj means Crown & Mahal means Palace). It took 22 years for 22000 labors working day and night to build this archeological wonder. It is the romantic origin of Taj as much as its architectural splendor that has led to its fame worldwide. Actually an integrated complex of many structures The Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, itself a combination of Islamic, Hindu, Persian and Turkish elements. Built in pure white marble which was transported from Makrana in Rajasthan by the help of animals Taj Mahal is one of the man made wonder’s of the world. The Taj Mahal built on the banks of River Yamuna is a masterpiece of symmetry, seeming to be floating in the air from a distance, and each revealed as an illusion experienced as one enters through the main gate. The verses of Holy Koran as inscribed on it and at the top of gate 22 small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to built. The Taj Mahal has been built on a Marble Platform that stands one above sandstone. The most elegant dome of the Taj, with diameter of 60 feet’s, rises 80 feet’s, over the building and directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's tomb has been erected next to her's by his son Aurangzeb. Fantastic Inlay works using semi-precious stones decorate and interiors.

Later visit AGRA FORT on the banks of Yamuna River built by 3 emperors, Akbar & Jahangir in red sand stone & Shahi Jahan in white marble. The Crescent shaped Fort is 2.5 Km long and during Mughal rule 1/3rd of the Fort was occupied by the army. When British ruled India, they repeated same tradition and now traditionally Indian army has occupied the same. Visit some of the beautiful monuments housed in the complex - The Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall), the beautiful Diwan-i-Khas (private audience hall) and the magnificent Moti Mazjid (Pearl Mosque) were built by Shah Jahan.

With Car, driver and guide at your disposal go for shopping activities OR Lunch at local restaurant in Agra. Agra is famous for handicrafts products such as Inlay work on Marble, Leather work, Foot-wear, Brass-wear, Carpets, Jewelry, Zari and Embroidery work.

Later in the day visit Sikandra- The site of Akbar's mausoleum and glorious reminder of the historic Mughal Empire. Sikandra was begun by Akbar and completed by his son Jahangir in 1613 AD. It reflects the fusion of Hindu and Muslim art and architecture which characterized the era. The tomb is situated in the centre of a large garden and four identical red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex. The building, with three-storey minarets at each corner, is built of red sandstone with white marble polygonal patterns inlaid. Sikandra is named after Sikandra Lodi, the Delhi ruler who was in power from 1488 to 1517.

Return back to the hotel to check out and transferred to the railway station to board overnight train to VARANASI. This is an overnight train and your journey in Air Conditioned Executive Sleeper Class. Tea / Coffee, snacks, refreshments and meals are available onboard in the Express overnight train. Overnight is onboard the train while traveling to Varanasi.

Day 07: VARANASI

varanasi tourArrive at the Varanasi Railway Station and disembark from the train to be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel for check inn in the city on the banks of Holy Ganges - VARANASI.

Older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, And looks twice as old as all of them put together "– This is Varanasi for you (as written by Mark Twain). Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. Varanasi – the oldest cities of India is situated on the banks of the sacred river Ganges. It has been a center of pilgrimage and learning for over 2000 years and is considered to be one of the oldest surviving cities in the world. It is also the unofficial Spiritual Capital of India. Varanasi is the quintessential Indian holy city, where millions of Hindu travels to for pilgrimage, to worship, mourn or die. Chanting of Mantras, the hymns along with the fragrance of incense in fills the air with mysticism which entrails every person. The refreshing dip in the Ganges with the splashing of water along the ghats- in Varanasi discovery and experience takes to the ultimate bliss.
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Later in the day after change, wash and some rest go for sightseeing of Varanasi Temples and the ancient city. Take a stroll around the ancient city located on the banks of river Ganges. Walk the narrow twisting alleys, poke around some of the literally thousands of temples and shrines, and experience the energy of the dawn rituals of bathing and burial as you float past the famous ghats of the Ganges. Sitting on the banks of the Ganges River, Varanasi is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, dating back thousands of years. The culture of Varanasi is deeply associated with the river Ganges and its religious importance. Later tour the old city visiting the principles temples including Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kashi Hindu University where more than 50,000 students from all over the world are learning. In the evening witness the mesmerizing Sunset Prayer Ceremony at the banks of Holy river Ganges to finish your day. Everyday at dawn thousands of pilgrims and people can be seen offering salutations to the Sun God in waist-deep water, secure in their conviction that the muddy waters of the Ganges will wash away all the accumulated sins of their life. The oil lamps (diyas) and flowers set afloat on the river at dusk make a fascinating sight.

Evening is for shopping and leisure activities. The weavers create dreams on silk, carpets and wood. So do pick up the brocades and the saris in silk along with the Bhadohi carpets. Your pilgrimage holiday at Varanasi is sure to be religiously rewarding as also spiritually elevating. The fragrance of the incense sticks and the chanting mantras will haunt you time and again. Return back to the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 08: VARANASI / Sarnath (Full Day Excursion)

According to Hindu belief, Benaras or Varanasi as it is known is the cosmic center of the Universe. The best way to catch the essence of Varanasi is to travel down the Ganges by boat at six o'clock in the morning. Wake up early in the morning to go for a boat ride on the holy River Ganges to watch the sunrise over the Ganges when hundred of people are worshiping & taking bath. After boat ride on Ganges; return back to the hotel for breakfast.

Varanasi is associated not only with Hinduism but also with Buddhism and Jainism. Besides numerous temples, Varanasi also boasts of Buddhist Stupas and Jain temples. Varanasi is also a mirror of the age-old Indian civilization. The archaeological museum at Sarnath houses numerous remains of the past, including the National emblem of India, the Ashoka Pillar.

Later in the afternoon go for excursion tour of Sarnath Temples and monasteries located outside the city where the Buddha first preached his message of enlightenment 24 centuries ago. This is the place where Lord Buddha after enlightenment gave his first sermon or as the Buddhist say set the wheel of dharma or law rolling. Today Sarnath is considered as one of the richest place to have antiques since the Ashoka period to the 12th century. Visit the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century B.C. to 12th century AD. Visit the ruins, the stupa, the Buddhist temple and the Museum.

After Sarnath sightseeing return back to the hotel. Evening is free for leisure and shopping activities. OR spend the evening on the banks and ghats of holy river Ganges. Overnight stay is at the hotel in Varanasi.

DAY 09: VARANASI – BODHGAYA (240 Kms – 05 Hrs)

After breakfast in the morning check out of the hotel and drive to Bodhgaya. The life of Lord Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is associated with the small town of Bodhgaya. It is one of the four holiest cities of Buddhist faith. It is the site where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment under a Pipal tree (Bodhi Tree) after years of search for the truth and knowledge. He attained the supreme enlightenment and became 'The Buddha' or 'the Enlightened One'. Bodhgaya is not only an important Buddhist pilgrim center, but it is also an important center for the study of Buddhism. To mark the spot where Gautam Buddha had attained Enlightenment, the great Mauryan ruler King Ashok built a small shrine here in the 3rd century BC. Subsequent rulers left their mark on this shrine, which finally took the shape of the Mahabodhi temple that still stands.

Arrive and check into the hotel. Later in the day after change, wash and some rest go for sightseeing of Bodhgaya visiting - the Mahabodhi Temple which is now the World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO. Return back to the hotel later in the day to spend the evening at leisure activities. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 10: BODHGAYA

bodhgaya tourAfter breakfast in the morning at the hotel full day is for visit and pilgrimage to the Lord Buddha and Bodhgaya. Visit the Mahabodhi Temple and Bodhi Tree

The temple is an architectural amalgamation of many centuries, cultures and heritages. While its architecture has a distinct stamp of the Gupta era, it has later ages inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between 7th and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the same temple Hieuen Tsang visited in 7th century.

The original Bodhi tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment had died, but the present tree is a descendant of the original tree, which was obtained from Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, where it was taken by Sanghamitra, King Ashoka's daughter in 3rd century BC.
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Also visit the archeological museum, statue of Lord Buddha, Lotus Tank, Buddha Kund, Rajayatana, Brahm Yoni, Chinese Temple & Monastery, Burmese Temple, Buddhist Monastery of Bhutan, International Buddhist House & Japanese Temple, Thai Temple & Monastery, Tibetan Monastery, Archaeological Museum. Sujata village (2 kms),
After a full day sightseeing return back to the hotel. Evening is for leisure activities; overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 11: BODHGAYA – Rajgir – Nalanda - PATNA (120 Kms – 07 Hrs)

After breakfast early in the morning at the hotel check out and drive to Patna via Rajgir & Nalanda. RAJGIR - Rajgir, known earlier as 'Rajagriha' nestles in the rocky hills, which witnessed the teachings of both Buddha and Mahavira. Rajgir is sacred to the memory of the founder of both Buddhism and Jainism. Lord Buddha spent many months of retreat during the rainy season here, and used to meditate and preach on Griddhkuta, the 'Hill of the Vultures'. Lord Mahavira spent 14 years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda. Lord Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and converted king Bimbisara of the Magasha Kingdom and countless others to his creed. In Rajgir visit the Vishva Shanti Stupa which is on a 400 m high hill and is built in marble. The four shining statues of Buddha are on the four sides of the Stupa. An aerial ropeway provides the link with a hill-top Stupa "Peace Pagoda" built by the Japanese. On one of the hills in the cave of Saptparni, was held the first Buddhist Council. The Saptparni cave is also the source of the Rajgir Hot Water Springs that have curative properties and are sacred to the Hindus. Venu Vana Monastery- King Bimbisar built Venu Vana Monastery as residential quarters for Lord Buddha. It was the very first present to Lord Buddha by the king.

NALANDA - Established during the 5th century B.C., Nalanda was one of the greatest monastic universities of the ancient world. It remained a live learning centre till about 12th century AD when it was destroyed by the invader Bakhtiar Khilji. Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira are both believed to have taught here. Buddha had visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime. Famous Chinese Traveler Hieun Tsang had came at Nalanda in the 7th century AD and stayed for 12 years and left detailed account about the university. He had mentioned about the perfect education system and chastity practiced in monastic life at Nalanda. Nalanda is the first residential international university of the world with strength of 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks' students from all over the Buddhist world. On tour to Nalanda visit Nalanda University Ruins Archaeological Complex, Nalanda Archaeological Museum, Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall, Silao and Surajpur Baragaon

Continue your drive to Patna which is the state’s capital earlier known as Patliputra. Buddha visited this place on his last journey to Kushinagar. Third Buddhist Council was held at Patna under the patronage of Emperor Ashok. It was, in times of Mahabharata, the city of Pataliputra and in the times of rise of Buddhism, the empire of Ashoka. Pataliputra has witnessed its golden days during the reign of Mauryan and Gupta dynasties. Later on, with the preaching of Lord Buddha, the effect of Buddhism started to flourish and became prominent during the reign of Magadha dynasty.

Arrive and check into the hotel. Rest of the evening is free for leisure activities and overnight stay is at the hotel in Patna.

DAY 12: PATNA – Vaishali – KUSHINAGAR (250 Kms – 07 Hrs)

After breakfast in the morning at the hotel check out and drive to KUSHINAGAR. Enroute visit VAISHALI - one of the earliest republics in the world (6th century BC). It was here that Buddha preached his last sermon. Vaishali, birthplace of Lord Mahavira is also Sacred to Jains. Excavations in the area have brought to light an impressive historical past. The epic Ramayana tells the story of the heroic King Vishal who ruled here. Historians maintain that one of the world's first democratic republics with an elected assembly of representatives flourished here in the 6th century B.C. in the time of the Vajjis and the Lichchavis. Lord Buddha visited Vaishali frequently and at Kolhua, close by, preached his last sermon. To commemorate the event, Emperor Ashok, in the third century B.C. erected one of his famous lion pillars here. A hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha - Vaishali hosted the second great Buddhist council. 2-Stupa were erected to commemorate this event. Jainism, too, has its origins in Vaishali, for in 527 B.C., Lord Mahavira was born on the outskirts of the city, and lived in Vaishali till he was 22. Vaishali is then twice blessed and remains an important pilgrim center for both Buddhists and Jains, attracting also historians foraging for the past. Visit the Museum, A life size-pillar beside a brick Stupa at Kolhua, the grand double storied Buddhist monastery, Ashoka’s Lion Pillar, Bhawan Pokhar Temple, World Peace Pagoda etc.

Continue your drive to KUSHINAGAR. Arrive and check into the hotel. Later in the day go for sightseeing of Kushinagar - the place where Buddha attained the state of Mahaparinirvana or Permanent Bliss at the age of 80. The pilgrims as well as the tourists from all over the world visit Kushinagar for its historical significance. Three great Chinese scholars Fa-Hien, Hiuen Tsang and I-Tsing, who traveled to India, also visited Kushinagar. The body of Lord Buddha was cremated here. There is a 50 feet brick Stupa called Ramabhar Stupa - believed to been built on the same spot where Lord Buddha was cremated in 483 BC. Visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple that lies just behind the Nirvana Stupa. The Temple is famous for its 6.10 m long red sand stone statue of the Buddha. The statue represents the "Mahaparinirvana" with Buddha reclining on his right side and his face towards the west. A 5th century AD inscription on the statue, describes that Mahavihara Swami Haribala presented it. Also visit Matha Kuar Shrine with a huge statue of Lord Buddha carved out of one single block of stone, showing Buddha in seating position under the "Bodhi Tree" and touching the ground with his right hand.

Return back to the hotel in the evening. Overnight stay is at the hotel in Kushinagar.

DAY 13: KUSHINAGAR – LUMBINI (160 Kms – 04 Hrs)

buddhist tourAfter breakfast in the morning at the hotel check out and drive to LUMBINI - the sacred birthplace of Lord Buddha and one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage centers in the world. It is believed that Buddha himself have identified 4 places of future pilgrimage in the Parinibbana Sutta, namely, the sites of his birth, enlightenment, first discourse and death. Surprisingly all of these events occurred in open under the trees. Lumbini-a small place in the foothills of Himalayas near the Indo-Nepal border is as important to Buddhists around the world as Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims. This is a piece of heaven on earth and one could see the snowy mountains amidst a splendid garden-embedded with stupas and monasteries!

Arrive and check into the hotel. Later in the day after change, wash and some rest go for sightseeing of Lumbini visiting the Sacred Garden where prince Siddhartha was born. The Garden has an Ashokan pillar, which carries an inscription identifying the spot as the birthplace of Buddha. Sanctum-Sanctorum of the Birthplace, Puskarni - The Sacred Pool, The Buddhist Temple, Kapilvastu etc.
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Return back to the hotel to spend the evening for leisure and overnight stay.

DAY 14: LUMBINI –SARAVASTI (160 Kms– 04 Hrs) – LUCKNOW (04 Hrs) – DELHI (O/N Train)

After breakfast in the morning at the hotel check out and drive to SARAVASTI- The city believed to be founded by the mythological king Sravast. Lord Buddha preached here after he got his enlightenment. Buddha has 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens at Sravasti and has performed some miracles here. After the death of Buddha, this monastery got royal patronage. This holy place also has the famous Anand Bodhi tree, an offspring of the one, said to have been planted by Buddha's main disciple. Later go for sightseeing visiting Maheth, Shobhanath Temple, Saheth. After sightseeing drive ahead to LUCKNOW to board Overnight Train back to Delhi. After refreshments and relaxation; board the express overnight train to Delhi. Overnight is on board in the Air Conditioned Executive Sleeper Class.

DAY 15: DELHI – DHARAMSHALA (Flight)

Arrive at the New Delhi Railway Station to be greeted by our representative and disembark the train. You will be escorted to the car to be transferred to the airport to board your flight to DHARAMSHALA - one of the major Buddhist centers in India and lies in Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh. The headquarters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is also here. Dharamshala is home to several Buddhist temples and monasteries, & is also known as a place of peace and harmony while spreading the same throughout the world – This is Little Tibet (Lhasa). Set against the magnificent backdrop of the towering Dhauladhar ranges, which rise up to more than 4000 meters, Dharamshala, which literally means The Holy Refuge. It is an altogether different world where the crisp breeze is broken by chanting of the hymns along with the tinkling of the prayer wheels. It houses a large settlement of Tibetan refugee. Monks in their robes and old Tibetans walking with rosaries in their hands or turning the prayer wheels is a common sight here. There are a number of monasteries and temples in Dharamshala, which serves as the major attractions for the tourists coming here. There are also several institutes here, set up to conserve the art, culture and traditions of Tibet

Upon arrival at the airport you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel for check in. Rest of the day is free for leisure activities and to feel the holy atmosphere of Dharamshala. Overnight stay is at the hotel in Dharamshala.

DAY 16: DHARAMSHALA

dharamshala tourAfter breakfast in the morning go for sightseeing tour around the little town. First visit Norbulingka Institute which is perhaps one of its best in the world. The institute has its own temple, Museum, Meditation Hall, 1173 images of the Buddha decorate the forty-four foot high temple hall. Later visit the Centre for Tibetan Arts and Culture and visit Residential school run by Tibetan refugees, we would also visit Tibetan crafts village, where Tibetan refugees are imparted training for making various handicrafts, carpets as well as tailoring along with the Vocational Training Centre and Drip Tsechokling Monastery. Later in the evening, attend the Tibetan culture show at Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). Return back to the hotel to spend the evening at leisure. Overnight stay is at the hotel in Dharamshala.

DAY 17: DHARAMSHALA

After breakfast in the morning meet the H.H Dalai Lama (Subject to availability) and listen to his preaching and Buddhist meditation. Later visit Buddhist School of Dialectics and Gaden Choling Nunnery, Namgyal Monastery - The personal monastery of The Dalai Lama, Namgyal is situated in Upper Dharamsala. It houses huge stucco statues of the Buddha, Avalokitesvara and Padmasambhava. The monastery also consists of an institute for learning, where futures Lamas are provided with higher Tibet studies. The Namgyal monks perform prayers and rituals of all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Situated next to the Central cathedral, the monastery hosts more than 180 monks, who follow the practices related to the Vajrayana Buddhism. Namgyalma Stupa- Surrounded by prayer wheels, the Namgyalma Buddhist stupa, has been erected as a memorial to those Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for a free Tibet. Located at the centre of McLeod Gunj, Namgyalma Stupa stands as a monument to the determination of a suppressed people to preserve their distinctive way of life against overwhelming odds. For 24 hours, the devotees turn prayer wheels as they recite mantras. McLeodgunj- Also known as the Little Lhasa, McLeodgunj, which is at an altitude of 1770 meter, is the residence (The Tsuglagkhang Complex) of the H.H Dalai Lama. There are larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara in McLeodganj, which at once attracts the onlookers. With prayer wheels off the sidewalk, McLeodgunj is also known as Little Lhasa, thereby spreading the message of peace and harmony everywhere.

In the evening you may optionally go to explore McLeodgunj Markets The shops at McLeodgunj displays Tibetan wares such as silver jewelry, imported goods, prayer wheels, gemstone rosary beads, and big images of the Tibetan Gods OR do meditation at the Tushita Retreat Center. Return back to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 18: DHARAMSHALA – DELHI (Flight) – Onwards Travel / FLY BACK

After breakfast in the morning at the hotel you have spare time for leisure activities. Later check out of the hotel to be transferred to the airport to board your flight back to DELHI. Arrive Delhi later in the day to be greeted by our representative. Depending on your onwards travel plans and flight schedules you have time to explore Delhi or do last minute shopping activities before being transferred to the airport to board your connecting flight for onwards travel or Fly Back to Your Country with everlasting memories of magnificent glimpses of Incredible India, The Taj Mahal & the Buddhist Places in India.

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